NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10348A
SPONSOR: Rosenthal L
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the labor law, in relation to suspending the forfeiture
of unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 state of emergency
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to
improve access to unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of this bill would temporarily suspend the applicability of
forfeiture day penalties during the state disaster emergency declared by
Executive Order No. 202 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Section two of this bill would establish an effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
The amended version would make technical changes to align the bill with
the provisions of Executive Order No. 202.
Over 36 million Americans across the United States have applied for
unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic
continues, this number is expected to grow. A key way in which New York
can help the millions of New York residents who are out of work is by
quickly providing unemployment benefits to those who are in need. To
bolster state efforts, the federal government provided funding for
States to increase their benefits an additional 13 weeks and to provide
those with claims to receive an extra $600 weekly.
For those who have had forfeit penalties enacted against them from past
claims, they are unable to collect benefits in their time of greatest
need. While forfeit penalties are enacted, an individual is unable to
receive any benefits for those days which they would ordinarily receive
unemployment benefits, and they may also be unable to receive the addi-
tional $600 weekly from the federal government, as it is distributed by
Under the current law, there is no flexibility for the Department to
unilaterally waive forfeit days. This legislation would suspend forfeit
day penalties during the declared State of Emergency as a result of
COVID-19. It is clear the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any challenge New
Yorkers have ever faced. Without access to unemployment benefits during
this time of great crisis, families may not have the means to put food
on the table or afford life-saving medicine. The Legislature must act to
provide New Yorkers with the benefits and support they need to care for
their loved ones.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
To be determined.
This act would take effect immediately and would be deemed to have been
in full force and effect on and after May 11, 2020. It would be repealed
on the expiration of the declared State of Emergency under Executive