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Modifications to New York State (NYS) Unemployment Law Insurance Law Relevant to NYS Employers

Changes to the New York state unemployment insurance law will require employers to think twice about how they respond to formal inquiries from the New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) on former employees who have filed claims for unemployment benefits.

Employers now may be penalized for failing to respond on time to a request for information from the NYDOL under a change in the law that became effective on October 1, 2013. An employer must submit a response to a notice of potential charges to the employer’s account within 10 calendar days. If there is an overpayment to a claimant resulting from an employer’s late or insufficient response (such as failure to timely provide information supporting a discharge for cause), and the employer does not qualify for an exception, the employer will not be relieved of charges to its account due to the overpayment. Additionally, the failure to respond truthfully to all requests for information can result in further penalties. To ease the burden on employers and streamline the process, the NYDOL is launching an online system. The State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) will enable employers to receive information and respond to inquiries electronically. 

Additional changes took effect January 1, 2014, and include the following:

  • To relieve underfunding of the New York State Unemployment Insurance Fund, employer contributions are due on the first $10,300 of wages per employee, up from $8,500, thereby increasing the tax contribution owed for employees whose annual earnings exceed $8,500.

    • Additional increases will occur each January 1st starting in 2015, rising to $13,000 by 2026.

  • The six lowest contribution rates for employers have been eliminated. Employers in these lower contribution brackets should contact the NYDOL to confirm their new rate.

  • Claimants will have to earn 10 times their benefit rate to re-qualify for benefits after exhausting benefits or being disqualified for resigning without good cause, declining a job offer or misconduct.

  • Severance pay may affect benefit eligibility. Employers should review severance practices, representations regarding unemployment eligibility and provisions in separation agreements.

  • If the claimant is collecting pension from an employer and the employer contributed to the pension, the claimant may have his or her weekly unemployment benefits reduced based on receipt of such pension benefits.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 15

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About this Author

Richard Greenberg, Jackson Lewis, workplace grievances lawyer, arbitrations litigation attorney
Principal

Richard Greenberg is a Principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He advises both unionized and union-free clients on a full-range of labor and employee relations matters.

With respect to traditional labor matters, Mr. Greenberg represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and in state and federal court. Mr. Greenberg also advises clients on the legal aspects of remaining union-free....

212-545-4080
Daniel J. Jacobs, Jackson Lewis law firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Shareholder

Daniel J. Jacobs is a Shareholder in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He assists both unionized and union-free clients with a full-range of labor and employee relations matters.
With respect to traditional labor matters, Mr. Jacobs represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, contingency planning, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and in state and federal court.
Mr. Jacobs also has experience assisting clients in numerous industries with the development and maintenance of personnel policies, reorganizations and reductions in force, purchase/sale transactions, sexual harassment and other workplace conduct rules, wrongful discharge and other workplace litigation.

212-545-4000
Noel Tripp Principal Employment lawyer at Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Noel P. Tripp is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Since joining Jackson Lewis as a summer associate in May 2005, he has practiced exclusively in employment law.

Mr. Tripp has been involved in matters pending before federal and state courts and administrative agencies covering the gamut of employment-related matters from discrimination and workplace harassment to wage/hour disputes and affirmative-action compliance. His principal focus is the defense of class and collective action...

631-247-0404