Provides that a claimant shall not be paid such benefits in excess of twenty-six times the amount of regular compensation (including dependents' allowances) payable to such individual for a week of total unemployment during a benefit year.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5678
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the labor law, in relation to benefits of shared work
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to extend the number of weeks that an
employee participating in the Shared Work program is eligible to receive
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one extends the length of time that an eligible claimant shall
be paid benefits under the Shared Work program from twenty-six weeks to
twenty-six times the amount of regular compensation payable to such
individual for a week of total unemployment during a benefit year.
Section two establishes the effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
The Shared Work program is a type of short-term compensation program
which provides an alternative to layoffs for employers that are experi-
encing a reduction in available work. Under an employer's shared work
plan, employees' work hours may be reduced by 20% to 60% in exchange for
receiving a pro-rated portion of their unemployment insurance benefits.
These types of programs help to preserve jobs and keep trained, produc-
tive employees on payroll during temporary business downturns, making it
easier for employers to gear up quickly when economic conditions
improve. As of July 2020, at the height of unemployment during the
COVID-19 pandemic, over 2,580 employers had joined New York State's
Shared Work program, compared to just 195 compared to the previous year.
This increase demonstrates just how valuable this program can be as New
York continues down the path of economic recovery.
However, under current state law, while an employer's shared work plan
can cover up to 53 weeks of work, claimants in the Shared Work program
are limited to receiving only 26 weeks of benefits during any benefit
year. Meanwhile, states such as Connecticut and Massachusetts cap the
maximum number of benefit weeks at 52, while others cap the number of
weeks based on the claimant's weekly benefit rate for total unemploy-
ment. For these reasons, this bill would increase the amount of benefits
that an eligible claimant may be paid under the Shared Work program to
be consistent with other partial unemployment benefits under the law, up
to twenty-six times the claimant's weekly benefit rate.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
To be determined.
The bill would take effect immediately.