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Legislative Memo

Lev Ginsburg
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7517 x207
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.6850 (Ritchie) / A.9725 (Morelle)

  Support

SUBJECT:

Elimination of Employer Unemployment Contributions for Employees Fired for Misconduct

 

S.6850 (Ritchie) / A.9725 (Morelle)

DATE:

April 5, 2012

 

This bill would amend the Labor Law to clarify current law and eliminate the unfair situation when an employer, that had fired an employee for misconduct is later required to contribute to that former employee's unemployment benefit after that employee is released from a subsequent job for a non-disqualifying reason.† Recent 3rd Department Appellate Division cases have highlighted the need for this amendment in response to the Department of Laborís change in interpretation of the law.

Under current law and DOL interpretation, if an employee, fired for misconduct, obtains a new position and is let go in a non-disqualifying way from the new position, the employee may be eligible to collect UI benefits, charged in portion to the original employer from which the employee was fired for misconduct.† This bill amends the labor law protecting the original employer from these circumstances by giving the original employer an opportunity to object and be excluded from the base period of employers used in calculating a valid original claim and therefore not be charged a debit on the claim of the terminated employee.

New York businesses and especially small business owners are doing their best to create jobs and bring New York out of this recession. It is especially important now to create policies that protect businesses and job creators from having to shoulder the burden of undeserved UI claims.† Many employers under this proposal will be spared from paying an unemployment claim for an employee that the employer rightfully fired for misconduct. 

For these reasons, The Business Council supports S.6850/A.9725.