On October 27, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law (P.L. 2010, c.82), which revises the unemployment insurance (UI) claims procedures to address certain abuses occurring in the UI system. The legislature attributed the problems to third-party agents that were hired to represent corporations in unemployment claims, which in turn often resulted in the improper delay or denial of UI benefits to laid off workers. The new law provides for a detailed mechanism for the registration and regulation of authorized agents representing employers in UI claims, and sets forth detailed requirements the registered agents must follow when handling UI claims (such as identifying prerequisites to adjournment requests, obligating them to promptly notify their clients of the dates of proceedings, etc.). Additionally, the law provides for an increase in the amount of time for both employers and claimants to appeal initial claim determinations to 7 calendar days after delivery of the notification or 10 calendar days after the notice is mailed, and an increase in the amount of time for both employers and claimants to appeal final decisions to 20 days. The law also provides that an employer’s UI account will not be charged for the amount of an overpayment of benefits if the overpayment is caused by an error of the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance. Governor Christie previously vetoed a prior version of this bill which would have eliminated repayment obligations of recipients of unemployment benefit overpayments. The law is effective immediately.
The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, D.C. could impact your business.
Amendment To "Work Stoppage" Disqualification Under Employment Laws Requires Board Of Review To Make Factual Finding Regarding Reason For Cessation Of Work
Bustard v. Bd. of Review, 2008 WL 2726632 (N.J. Super., App. Div., July 15, 2008) — A recent amendment to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(d) created an exception to the well known “work stoppage” disqualification from unemployment benefits where the employer prevents an individual from working. In this, the first case to implicate that amendment, the Appellate Division criticized the Board for failing to adequately analyze its application. In remanding the matter, the Court noted an agency’s determination is not entitled to deferential review where it “bespeaks inadequate consideration of factual issues.”
On November 8, 2016, voters in several states passed medical or recreational marijuana measures each of which will likely impact employers. As this area of law is developing quickly, and since the Trump administration’s position on marijuana is unclear, employers may want to consider the impact of these new laws as well as watch for new developments.