On January 3, a bill (S2589) was introduced in the Senate which would amend current provisions of N.J.S.A. 43:21-5 (New Jersey’s Unemployment Compensation Law) regarding disqualification from unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for misconduct by claimants. The bill would retain the provisions of P.L. 2010, ch. 37 (discussed in the December 2010 and July 2010 issues of the New Jersey eAuthority) that would completely bar UI benefits in cases of “severe misconduct” by claimants and would increase the periods of disqualification for “simple misconduct.” However, the bill would amend the law to clearly define “simple misconduct” and “severe misconduct.” In addition, the bill would add language to the statute that would place the burden of proof on the employer to show that employee actions constitute misconduct and would likewise require that employers provide written documentation to support assertions of misconduct.

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