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Legislative Memo

Lev Ginsburg
Director of Government Afairs
T 518.465.7511 x207
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.4110-A (Onorato) / A.8273 (Meng)
Governor's Program Bill #8

  Support

SUBJECT:

Expanding unemployment benefits eligibility standards

 

S.4110-A (Onorato) / A.8273 (Meng)
Governor's Program Bill #8

DATE:

May 12, 2009

 

This bill proposes numerous changes to the Labor Law to conform to standards set forth in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, permitting New York State to be eligible to receive the maximum amount available from the “unemployment compensation modernization” section of the ARRA.  The Business Council has withdrawn its previous opposition to the bill and supports the language which has been added to further clarify a voluntary separation with good cause to include  “the illness or disability of a member of the individual's immediate family.”

The Business Council supports amendments made to this bill to include language found within the US Department of Labor's guidance to states seeking to comply with provisions found within the ARRA.  Our previous opposition to the bill indicated that the terms as taken from the ARRA were not defined and would leave to broader, and likely varying interpretations, as to what constituted a voluntary quit with good cause due to the illness or disability of a member of the individual's immediate family.  That USDOL guidance defined further the language contained within the ARRA to stipulate that illness or disability must be verified, and that the care of the ill or disabled person must be for a period of time longer than the employer was willing to grant leave, paid or otherwise.  The inclusion of the USDOL guidance into this bill provides a greater degree of clarity to both the employer and employee in terms of the eligibility standards necessary to constitute a voluntary quit with good cause. 

For these reasons, The Business Council has withdrawn its opposition memo to S. 4110-A / A.8273 and is now supports passage of the bill, as amended.