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Introduced Version House Bill 4542 History

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H. B. 4542

 

         (By Delegates White, T. Campbell, Varner and Williams)

         [Requested by the Department of Commerce]

         [Introduced February 15, 2012; referred to the

         Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]

 

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §21A-5-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to unemployment compensation benefits; and prevent contributory and reimbursable employers from being relieved of benefit charges to their accounts if an overpayment of benefits is the result of the employer's failure to provide requested information timely or to adequately allow the state to accurately determine a claimant's eligibility for benefits.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §21A-5-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 5. EMPLOYER COVERAGE AND RESPONSIBILITY.

§21A-5-7. Joint and separate accounts.

    (1) The commissioner shall maintain a separate account for each employer, and shall credit his account with all contributions paid by him prior to July 1, 1961. On and after July 1, 1961, the commissioner shall maintain a separate account for each employer, and shall credit said employer's account with all contributions of such employer in excess of seven tenths of one percent of taxable wages; and on and after July 1, 1971, The commissioner shall maintain a separate account for each employer, and shall credit said the employer's account with all contributions of such the employer in excess of four tenths of one percent of taxable wages: Provided, That any adjustment made in any employer's account after the computation date shall may not be used in the computation of the balance of an employer until the next following computation date: Provided, however, That nothing in this chapter shall be construed to grant grants an employer or individual in his, her or its service prior claims or rights to the amounts paid by him, her or its into the fund, either on his, her or its behalf or on behalf of such the individuals. The account of any employer which had has been inactive for a period of four consecutive calendar years shall be terminated for all purposes.

    (2) Benefits paid to an eligible individual for regular and extended total or partial unemployment beginning after the effective date of this article shall be charged to the account of the last employer with whom he or she has been employed as much as thirty working days, whether or not such the days are consecutive: Provided, That no employer's account shall may be charged with benefits paid to any individual who has been separated from a noncovered employing unit in which he or she was employed as much as thirty days, whether or not such the days are consecutive: Provided, however, That no employer's account shall may be charged with more than fifty percent of the benefits paid to an eligible individual as extended benefits under the provisions of article six-a of this chapter: Provided further, That state and local government employers shall be charged with one hundred percent of the benefits paid to an eligible individual as extended benefits. Beginning on July 1, 1984, Benefits paid to an individual are to be charged to the accounts of his or her employers in the base period, the amount of such the charges, chargeable to the account of each such employer, to be that portion of the total benefits paid such the individual as the wages paid him or her by such the employer in the base period are to the total wages paid him or her during his or her base period for insured work by all his or her employers in the base period. For the purposes of this section, no base period employer's account shall may be charged for benefits paid under this chapter to a former employee, provided such if the base period employer furnishes separation information within fourteen days from the date the notice was mailed or delivered, which results in a disqualification under the provision set forth in subsection one, section three, article six, or subsection two, section three, article six of this chapter or would have resulted in a disqualification under such that subsection except for a subsequent period of covered employment by another employing unit. Further, no contributory base period employer's experience rating account shall may be charged for benefits paid under this chapter to an individual who has been continuously employed by that employer on a part-time basis, if the part-time employment continues while the individual is separated from other employment and is otherwise eligible for benefits. One half of extended benefits paid to an individual after July 1, 1984, and subsequent years are to be charged to the accounts of his or her employers, except state and local government employers, in the base period in the same manner provided for the charging of regular benefits. Effective January 1, 1988, The entire state share of extended benefits paid to an individual shall be charged to the accounts of his or her base period employers. The provisions of this section permitting the noncharging of contributory employers' accounts have no application to benefit charges imposed upon reimbursable employers.

    Effective July 1, 2012, contributory and reimbursable employers may not be relieved of benefit charges to their accounts if an overpayment of benefits established after that date is the result of the employer's failure, or the failure of third party agents acting on the employer’s behalf, to provide requested information timely or to adequately allow the agency to accurately determine a claimant's eligibility for benefits when his or her claim is initially filed.

    (3) The commissioner shall for each calendar year hereafter, classify employers in accordance with their actual experience in the payment of contributions on their own behalf and with respect to benefits charged against their accounts, with a view of fixing such the contribution rates as will reflect such experiences. For the purpose of fixing such the contribution rates for each calendar year, the books of the department shall be closed on July 31 of the preceding calendar year, and any contributions thereafter paid after that, as well as benefits thereafter paid after that with respect to compensable weeks ending on or before June 30 of the preceding calendar year, shall may not be taken into account until the next annual date for fixing contribution rates: Provided, That if an employer has failed to furnish to the commissioner on or before July 31 of such the preceding calendar year the wage information for all past periods necessary for the computation of the contribution rate, such the employer's rate shall be, if it is immediately prior to such that July 31, less than three and three-tenths percent, increased to three and three-tenths percent: Provided, however, That any payment made or any information necessary for the computation of a reduced rate furnished on or before the termination of an extension of time for such the payment or reporting of such information granted pursuant to a regulation rule of the commissioner authorizing such an extension, shall be taken into account for the purposes of fixing contribution rates: Provided further, That when the time for filing any report or making any payment required hereunder falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the due date shall be deemed to be is the next succeeding business day: And provided further, That whenever, through mistake or inadvertence, erroneous credits or charges are found to have been made to or against the reserved account of any employer, the rate shall be adjusted as of January 1 of the calendar year in which such the mistake or inadvertence is discovered, but payments, made under any rate assigned prior to January 1 of such that year, shall not be deemed to be are not erroneously collected.

    (4) The commissioner may prescribe regulations rules for the establishment, maintenance and dissolution of joint accounts by two or more employers, and shall, in accordance with such regulations the rules and upon application by two or more employers to establish such an a joint account, or to merge their several individual accounts in a joint account, maintain such a joint account as if it constituted is a single employer's account.

    (5) State and local government employers are hereby authorized to may enter into joint accounts and to maintain such the joint account or accounts as if it or they constituted are a single employer's account or accounts.

    (6) Effective on and after July 1, 1981, If an employer has failed to furnish to the commissioner on or before August 31 1980, and each year thereafter, with the exception of 1981, which due date shall be September 30, 1981, of each year the wage information for all past periods necessary for the computation of the contribution rate, such the employer's rate shall be, if it is immediately prior to July 1, 1981 less than seven and five-tenths percent, increased to seven and five-tenths percent.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prevent contributory and reimbursable employers, under the unemployment compensation laws, from being relieved of benefit charges to their accounts if an overpayment of benefits is the result of the employer's failure to provide requested information timely or to adequately allow the state to accurately determine a claimant's eligibility for benefits.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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