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A07959 Summary:

BILL NOA07959
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07148
 
SPONSORStirpe
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §§524, 581, 591, 591-a, 596, 599 & 601, rpld §590 sub 5 ¶(d), Lab L; add §§31 & 32, amd §31, Chap of 2021 (as proposed in S. 1042-A & A. 2355-A)
 
Relates to weekly unemployment insurance benefits; relates to the calculation of benefits.
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A07959 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A7959
 
SPONSOR: Stirpe
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to the calculation of weekly employment insurance benefits for certain workers; to amend a chapter of the laws of 2021 amending the labor law relating to the calculation of weekly employment insurance benefits for workers who are partially unem- ployed, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S. 1042-A and A. 2355-A, in relation to the effectiveness thereof; and to repeal certain provisions of the labor law relating thereto   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to amend a chapter of the laws of 2021 amending the labor law relating to the calculation of weekly employment insurance benefits for workers who are partially unemployed, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S.1042-A and A.2355-A, to effectuate the intent of the law.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends section 524 of the Labor Law to clarify the definition of "week of employment" in situations where a claimant is employed on a shift starting on Sunday and continuing through midnight into Monday. Section 2 of the bill would make technical changes. Section 3 of the bill would repeal paragraph (d) of subdivision 5 of section 590 of the labor law, as added by a chapter of the laws of 2021 amending the labor law relating to the calculation of weekly employment insurance benefits for workers who are partially unemployed, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S.1042-A and A.2355-A, to eliminate the option for claimants to take a 25% benefit reduction when they only have one day of employment in a week. Sections 4 through 13 of the bill would make technical changes. Section 14 of the bill would establish a severability clause and add a new section to the unconsolidated law to provide for an interim method for calculating partial unemployment benefits until the underlying legislation takes effect. This method would disregard the first 10 hours of work performed by a claimant during a week of unemployment and estab- lish a schedule of benefit reductions as follows: *0-10 hours: 0% benefit reduction *11-16 hours: 25% benefit reduction *17-21 hours: 50% benefit reduction *22-30 hours: 75% benefit reduction *31 and more hours: 100% benefit reduction Section 15 of the bill would amend the effective date of a chapter of the laws of 2021 amending the labor law relating to the calculation of weekly employment insurance benefits for workers who are partially unem- ployed, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S.1042-A and A.2355-A, to April 1, 2022 or 30 days after the Commissioner of Labor certifies that the New York State Department of Labor has an information technolo- gy system capable of accommodating the amendments in such act, whichever occurs earlier.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): N/A   JUSTIFICATION: On January 18, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor implemented a new emergency rule to redefine how part-time work is calculated using an "hours-based" approach. Under these new rules, a claimant can work more than four days during the week without automatically losing their full unemployment benefit under the current law. While this approach was better than the 25% benefit reduction penalty that had applied previous- ly to each day of employment in a week, regardless of the number of hours worked per day, it still unfairly penalizes partially unemployed workers by basing their unemployment benefits on the amount of time they work rather than how much they actually earn. Subsequently, legislation which passed both houses, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S.1042-A and A.2355-A, removed the 25% per day penalty for partially unemployed claimants and established an earnings- based system to provide a fairer and more equitable computation of partial unemployment insurance benefits which are proportionate to the claimant's wages. This legislation revised the calculation of partial unemployment benefits by establishing a "partial benefit credit" based on the claimant's weekly benefit rate for total unemployment, which would then be applied against their actual weekly earnings. This bill would amend such legislation to effectuate the intent of the law and ensure that claimants are able to access a more reasonable amount of benefits in the time that it takes the Department of Labor to modernize its unemployment insurance systems and incorporate the new partial unemployment insurance changes. This bill, together with the original legislation, represents a necessary step forward to creating a more modern and reliable unemployment program that helps New Yorkers maintain their job skills and attachment to the labor market, encourages more individuals to seek out available job opportunities, and provides essential support to part-time workers as they continue to strive towards full-time employment.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided that sections one through fourteen of this act shall take effect on the same date and in the same manner as a chapter of the laws of 2021 amending the labor law relating to the calculation of weekly employment insurance benefits for workers who are partially unemployed, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S.1042-A and A. 2355-A, takes effect; provided, however, that the amendments to subdivision 1 of section 591 of the labor law made by section four of this act shall be subject to the expiration and rever- sion of such subdivision pursuant to section 10 of chapter 413 of the laws of 2003, as amended, when upon such date the provisions of section five of this act shall take effect; and provided, further, that the amendments to section 591-a of the labor law made by sections eight and nine of this act shall not affect the expiration and repeal of such section and shall expire and be deemed repealed therewith.
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