• Summary date: May 14 2020 - More information

    Amends GS 96-14.2, changing the weekly benefit amount for total unemployment. Now, provides for the weekly benefit amount to equal the average of the wages paid to the individual in the two highest paid quarters of the individual's base period divided by 52 and rounded to the next lower whole dollar (previously, was equal to the wages paid in the last two completed quarters of the individual's base period, divided and rounded as described). Also increases the cap for the weekly benefit amount from $350 to $450.

    Amends GS 96-14.3, eliminating the current duration parameters for unemployment benefits. Instead, establishes a standard maximum period of 26 weeks for any eligible individual entitled to receive unemployment benefits, unless expressly extended by state or federal law. Makes conforming changes to the total allowable benefits amount.

    Amends GS 96-14.8 to expand the reasons for leaving work provided which do not disqualify an individual for benefits, and which are not chargeable to the employer's account. Adds instances where an individual leaves work due solely to a disability incurred or other health condition, whether or not related to work, so long as the individual shows an adequate disability of the employee, a minor in the legal custody of the individual, an aged or disabled parent of the individual, or a disabled member of the individual's immediate family, at the time of leaving, that prevented the employee from doing the greater of other alternative work at minimum wage or 85 percent of the individual's regular wage, and that the individual gave the employer reasonable notice of the disability or health condition. Adds instances where an individual is unable to accept a particular shift due to inability to obtain child care for a minor under 14 years of age in the legal custody of the individual or elder care for an aged or disabled parent of the individual. Finally, adds instances where an individual leaves work to accompany a spouse to a new place of residence where the spouse has secured work in a location that is too far removed for the claimant reasonably to continue to work.

    The above provisions apply to claims for unemployment insurance benefits filed on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Appropriates $100,000 from the General Fund to the Division of Employment Security for the 2020-21 fiscal year to conduct a statewide public information campaign concerning the act's modifications. Effective July 1, 2020.

    Directs the Legislative Research Commission to study the feasibility of establishing an unemployment insurance work-sharing or short-term compensation program and report to the 2021 General Assembly upon its regular convening. 

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