Bill Summary for H 128 (2021)

Summary date: 

May 26 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 128 (Public) Filed Tuesday, February 23, 2021
AN ACT TO REEMPLOY NORTH CAROLINA'S WORKFORCE BY PROVIDING BONUSES FOR ACCEPTING REEMPLOYMENT AND REQUIRING INDIVIDUALS TO RESPOND TO EMPLOYER REQUESTS AND TO MAKE ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE LAWS.
Intro. by K. Hall, Elmore, D. Hall, Willis.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute deletes the content of the 2nd edition and now provides the following.

Section 1

Directs the Division of Employment Security of the Department of Commerce to seek approval from the US Department of Labor to use federal funds, including Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC, as defined) funds, allocated to North Carolina and enter an agreement with the Department of Labor to provide a back-to-work bonus as follows. Provides for a $1,500 bonus for accepting reemployment within 30 days after the date the act becomes law, or an $800 bonus for accepting reemployment within the period starting 30 days after the date the act becomes law and before 60 days after the date the act becomes law, payable in two installments as specified. Bars payment of a bonus for accepting reemployment after September 6, 2021.

Section 2

Amends GS 96-14.9 regarding the four work search requirements that must be met on a weekly basis for an individual to maintain eligibility for unemployment benefits for each weekly benefit period. Modifies the requirement for the individual to be actively seeking work to no longer allow satisfaction of one of the three required job contacts with potential employers during the week by attending a reemployment activity offered by a local career center. Adds to the required record of the individual's work search efforts to include whether any of the potential employers have made an interview request and, if so, the responses made under new subsection (f1). Enacts new subsection (f1), establishing response requirements for an individual who has received an interview request by an employer offering suitable work under the statute, including: (1) responding to the request within 48 hours; (2) scheduling an interview following a request within seven days, with later interviews permitted upon agreement with the potential employer; (3) appearing for a scheduled interview; and (4) attending any reemployment activity associated with the interview request if required by an employer. Allows employers to report violations to the Division and requires the Division to audit, on its own or through a private third-party, all reported violations to determine if an individual's eligibility to receive benefits is impacted by the violation. Regarding the requirement for an individual to accept suitable work when offered after the first 10 weeks of a benefit period which meets the threshold specified based on the individual's weekly benefit amount, clarifies that the weekly benefit amount considered by the Division to determine if the offer is for suitable work includes only benefits paid under GS Chapter 96.

Amends GS 96-14.11 to disqualify an individual for any remaining benefits if the Division determines that the individual has failed, without good cause, to satisfy any of the interview response requirements set forth in new GS 96-14.9(f1) three or more times during a benefit year.

Amends GS 96-40, adding to the required components of the Division's audit of the unemployment insurance program to include auditing at least 25% of all weekly certifications under GS 96-14.9, as amended, filed with the Division each week, including a review or examination of a sufficient nature to analyze whether the certification and any associated materials are accurate and have complied with applicable law in order to prevent, detect, and reduce fraud, improper payments, overpayments, and other programmatic irregularities. Allows the Division to use a private third-party firm.

Applies to claims with weekly certification under GS 96-14.9 filed on or after the date the act becomes law. 

Changes the act's titles.

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