FIX UNFAIR UNEMPLOYMENT PENALTIES
A.4839 Moya/S. 2873A Savino
The NYS AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union members and their families as well as our retirees and their families strongly supports this bill.
Current Labor Law provisions for unemployment insurance benefits (U/I) encourage workers not to accept work because there are extreme penalties for individuals if they perform any work while collecting unemployment benefits. If an individual accepts a job, they lose 25% of their benefit per day of work. No matter how much they earn or how long they work, if a claimant attends work on one day they lose 25%; two days, 50%; three days 75%; and on day 4 they would lose 100% of their weekly U/I benefit. Claimants that earn more than the maximum weekly benefit ($405 per week), regardless of numbers of days worked, are ineligible for U/I.
This bill addresses the problem by replacing the current penalty system with a new system that allows for continued but reduced unemployment payments based on earnings from part time work.
Workers will continue collecting an unemployment payment in instances where they accept part time work, except the benefit will be based on earnings rather than an arbitrary penalty. In most instances, claimants will see increases in total weekly income, yet the payout from the trust fund will still be lower than if the worker stays totally unemployed and does not accept part time work. This will have the effect of encouraging workers to accept part time work and reduce pressure on the trust fund.
Therefore, this Federation urges this bill be passed.
For further information contact the Legislative Department at 518-436-8516.