Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5480

February Session, 2018

 

LCO No. 2263

 

*02263_______LAB*

Referred to Committee on LABOR AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

 

Introduced by:

 

(LAB)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BENEFITS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 31-231a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) For a construction worker identified pursuant to regulations adopted in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, the total unemployment benefit rate for the individual's benefit year commencing on or after April 1, 1996, shall be an amount equal to one twenty-sixth, rounded to the next lower dollar, of his or her total wages paid during that quarter of his or her current benefit year's base period in which wages were the highest but not less than fifteen dollars nor more than the maximum benefit rate as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) For an individual not included in subsection (a) of this section, the individual's total unemployment benefit rate for his or her benefit year commencing after September 30, 1967, shall be an amount equal to one twenty-sixth, rounded to the next lower dollar, of the average of his or her total wages, as defined in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 31-222, paid during the two quarters of his current benefit year's base period in which such wages were highest but not less than fifteen dollars, and commencing on or after October 1, 2018, shall be an amount equal to one twenty-sixth, rounded to the next lower dollar, of the average of his or her current total wages, as defined in section 31-222, paid during the three-quarters of his or her current benefit year's base period but not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred fifty-six dollars in any benefit year commencing on or after the first Sunday in July, 1982, nor more than sixty per cent rounded to the next lower dollar of the average wage of production and related workers in the state in any benefit year commencing on or after the first Sunday in October, 1983, and provided the maximum benefit rate in any benefit year commencing on or after the first Sunday in October, 1988, shall not increase more than eighteen dollars in any benefit year, such increase to be effective as of the first Sunday in October of such year, and further provided the maximum benefit rate shall not increase in any benefit year commencing on or after the first Sunday in October, 2018, if the balance in the Unemployment Trust Fund results in an average high cost multiple that is less than 0.7, as calculated pursuant to subsection (f) of section 31-225a. The average wage of production and related workers in the state shall be determined by the administrator, on or before August fifteenth annually, as of the year ended the previous June thirtieth to be effective during the benefit year commencing on or after the first Sunday of the following October and shall be so determined in accordance with the standards for the determination of average production wages established by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(c) The administrator shall adopt regulations pursuant to the provisions of chapter 54 to implement the provisions of this section. Such regulations shall specify the National Council on Compensation Insurance employee classification codes which identify construction workers covered by subsection (a) of this section and specify the manner and format in which employers shall report the identification of such workers to the administrator.

Sec. 2. Subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 31-236 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(4) During any week with respect to which the individual has received or is about to receive remuneration in the form of (A) wages in lieu of notice or dismissal payments, including severance or separation payment by an employer to an employee beyond the employee's wages upon termination of the employment relationship, [unless the employee was required to waive or forfeit a right or claim independently established by statute or common law, against the employer as a condition of receiving the payment,] or any payment by way of compensation for loss of wages, or any other state or federal unemployment benefits, except mustering out pay, terminal leave pay or any allowance or compensation granted by the United States under an Act of Congress to an ex-serviceperson in recognition of the ex-serviceperson's former military service, or any service-connected pay or compensation earned by an ex-serviceperson paid before or after separation or discharge from active military service, or (B) compensation for temporary disability under any workers' compensation law;

Sec. 3. Subdivision (16) of subsection (a) of section 31-236 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(16) For purposes of subparagraph (A) (ii) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, "illness or disability" means an illness or disability diagnosed by a health care provider that necessitates care for the ill or disabled person for a period of time longer than the employer is willing to grant leave, paid or otherwise, and "health care provider" means (A) a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery by the state in which the doctor practices; (B) a podiatrist, dentist, psychologist, optometrist or chiropractor authorized to practice by the state in which such person practices and performs within the scope of the authorized practice; (C) an advanced practice registered nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or clinical social worker authorized to practice by the state in which such person practices and performs within the scope of the authorized practice; (D) Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts; (E) any medical practitioner from whom an employer or a group health plan's benefits manager will accept certification of the existence of a serious health condition to substantiate a claim for benefits; (F) a medical practitioner, in a practice enumerated in subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, of this subdivision, who practices in a country other than the United States, who is licensed to practice in accordance with the laws and regulations of that country; or (G) such other health care provider as the Labor Commissioner approves, performing within the scope of the authorized practice. For purposes of subparagraph (B) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, "wilful misconduct" means deliberate misconduct in wilful disregard of the employer's interest, or a single knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule or policy of the employer, when reasonably applied, provided such violation is not a result of the employee's incompetence and provided further, in the case of absence from work, "wilful misconduct" means an employee must be absent without either good cause for the absence or notice to the employer which the employee could reasonably have provided under the circumstances for three separate instances within a twelve-month period. Except with respect to tardiness, for purposes of subparagraph (B) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, each instance in which an employee is absent for one day [or two consecutive days] without either good cause for the absence or notice to the employer which the employee could reasonably have provided under the circumstances constitutes a "separate instance". For purposes of subdivision (15) of this subsection, "temporary help service" means any person conducting a business that consists of employing individuals directly for the purpose of furnishing part-time or temporary help to others; and "temporary employee" means an employee assigned to work for a client of a temporary help service.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018

31-231a

Sec. 2

October 1, 2018

31-236(a)(4)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2018

31-236(a)(16)

Statement of Purpose:

To update and reform unemployment compensation and ensure that the Unemployment Trust Fund remains solvent in future years.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]