In addition to changes in tax rates and benefit amounts, two bills passed by the Indiana legislature this year impact employee eligibility for unemployment compensation. House Enrolled Act No. 1450 provides that effective July 1, 2011, an individual is not unemployed for any week in which the individual is regularly and customarily employed on an on-call or as needed basis and has remuneration for personal services payable to the individual or work available from the individual’s on-call or as needed employer.

This Act also provides that an individual is not unemployed for any week in which the department finds that the individual is on vacation and receiving remuneration for that week from the employer. In addition, an individual is not unemployed for any week during which the department finds the individual is on vacation and has not received remuneration from the employer for that week because of a written contract or the employer’s regular vacation policy. The department must find that the individual has a reasonable assurance of continued employment after the vacation period ends. In both cases, the employer must comply with any department rule or policy that requires the filing of a report in connection with an individual, group or mass separation arising from the vacation period.

Effective October 1, 2011, an individual who accepts a severance package from an employer in connection with a layoff or plant closing will have his or her unemployment benefits reduced or eliminated.

Under Indiana law, an individual is not eligible for unemployment benefits if he or she fails without good cause to accept an offer of suitable work. Senate Enrolled Act No. 86 provides that effective July 1, 2011, an individual is deemed to have refused an offer of suitable work if an offer of work is withdrawn after the individual tests positive for drugs as part of a drug test given on behalf of a prospective employer, or if the individual refuses, without good cause, to submit to a drug test required by a prospective employer.


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