Report Title:

Unemployment insurance

Description:

Provides and limits optional exemptions from the unemployment insurance law for business owners holding at least a 50% interest in their company; repeals the disqualification for unemployment benefits of an owner-employee of a corporation who voluntarily leaves employment.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1069

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT SECURITY.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Section 383-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"383-7 Excluded service. "Employment" does not include the following service:

(1) Agricultural labor as defined in section 383-9 if it is performed by an individual who is employed by an employing unit:

(A) Which, during each calendar quarter in both the current and the preceding calendar years, paid less than $20,000 in cash remuneration to individuals employed in agricultural labor; and

(B) Which had, in each of the current and the preceding calendar years:

(i) No more than nineteen calendar weeks, whether consecutive or not, in which agricultural labor was performed by its employees; or

(ii) No more than nine individuals in its employ performing agricultural labor in any one calendar week, whether or not the same individuals performed the labor in each week;

(2) Domestic service in a private home, local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority as set forth in section 3306(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;

(3) Service not in the course of the employing unit's trade or business performed in any calendar quarter by an individual, unless the cash remuneration paid for the service is $50 or more and the service is performed by an individual who is regularly employed by the employing unit to perform the service. For the purposes of this paragraph, an individual shall be deemed to be regularly employed to perform service not in the course of an employing unit's trade or business during a calendar quarter only if:

(A) On each of some twenty-four days during the quarter the individual performs the service for some portion of the day; or

(B) The individual was regularly employed as determined under subparagraph (A) by the employing unit in the performance of the service during the preceding calendar quarter;

(4) (A) Service performed on or in connection with a vessel not an American vessel, if the individual performing the service is employed on and in connection with the vessel when outside the United States;

(B) Service performed by an individual in (or as an officer or member of the crew of a vessel while it is engaged in) the catching, taking, harvesting, cultivating, or farming of any kind of fish, shellfish, crustacea, sponges, seaweeds, or other aquatic forms of animal and vegetable life, including service performed as an ordinary incident thereto, except:

(i) The service performed in connection with a vessel of more than ten net tons (determined in the manner provided for determining the register tonnage of merchant vessels under the laws of the United States);

(ii) The service performed in connection with a vessel of ten net tons or less (determined in the manner provided for determining the register tonnage of merchant vessels under the laws of the United States) by an individual who is employed by an employing unit which had in its employ one or more individuals performing the service for some portion of a day in each of twenty calendar weeks all occurring, whether consecutive or not, in either the current or the preceding calendar year; and

(iii) Service performed in connection with the catching or taking of salmon or halibut for commercial purposes;

(5) Service performed by an individual in the employ of the individual's son, daughter, or spouse, and service performed by a child under the age of twenty-one in the employ of the child's father or mother;

(6) Service performed in the employ of the United States government or an instrumentality of the United States exempt under the Constitution of the United States from the contributions imposed by this chapter, except that to the extent that the Congress of the United States permits states to require any instrumentalities of the United States to make payments into an unemployment fund under a state unemployment compensation law, all of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to those instrumentalities, and to services performed for those instrumentalities, in the same manner, to the same extent, and on the same terms as to all other employers, employing units, individuals, and services; provided that if this State is not certified for any year by the Secretary of Labor under section 3304(c) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, the payments required of those instrumentalities with respect to that year shall be refunded by the department of labor and industrial relations from the fund in the same manner and within the same period as is provided in section 383-76 with respect to contributions erroneously collected;

(7) Service performed in the employ of any other state, or any political subdivision thereof, or any instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing which is wholly owned by one or more states or political subdivisions; and any service performed in the employ of any instrumentality of one or more other states or their political subdivisions to the extent that the instrumentality is, with respect to the service, exempt from the tax imposed by section 3301 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;

(8) Service with respect to which unemployment compensation is payable under an unemployment system established by an act of Congress;

(9) (A) Service performed in any calendar quarter in the employ of any organization exempt from income tax under section 501(a) of the federal Internal Revenue Code (other than an organization described in section 401(a) or under section 521 of the Code), if:

(i) The remuneration for the service is less than $50; or

(ii) The service is performed by a fully ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of the minister's ministry or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties required by the order;

(B) Service performed in the employ of a school, college, or university, if the service is performed by a student who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes at the school, college, or university; or

(C) Service performed by an individual who is enrolled at a nonprofit or public educational institution which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on as a student in a full-time program, taken for credit at such institution, which combines academic instruction with work experience, if such service is an integral part of such program, and such institution has so certified to the employer, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to service performed in a program established for or on behalf of an employer or group of employers;

(10) Service performed in the employ of a foreign government (including service as a consular or other officer or employee of a nondiplomatic representative);

(11) Service performed in the employ of an instrumentality wholly owned by a foreign government:

(A) If the service is of a character similar to that performed in foreign countries by employees of the United States government or of an instrumentality thereof; and

(B) If the United States Secretary of State has certified or certifies to the United States Secretary of the Treasury that the foreign government, with respect to whose instrumentality exemption is claimed, grants an equivalent exemption with respect to similar service performed in the foreign country by employees of the United States government and of instrumentalities thereof;

(12) Service performed as a student nurse in the employ of a hospital or a nurses' training school by an individual who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes in a nurses' training school chartered or approved pursuant to state law; and service performed as an intern in the employ of a hospital by an individual who has completed a four-year course in a medical school chartered or approved pursuant to state law;

(13) Service performed by an individual for an employing unit as an insurance agent or as an insurance solicitor, if all service performed by the individual for the employing unit is performed for remuneration solely by way of commission;

(14) Service performed by an individual under the age of eighteen in the delivery or distribution of newspapers or shopping news, not including delivery or distribution to any point for subsequent delivery or distribution;

(15) Service covered by an arrangement between the department and the agency charged with the administration of any other state or federal unemployment compensation law pursuant to which all services performed by an individual for an employing unit during the period covered by the employing unit's duly approved election, are deemed to be performed entirely within the agency's state;

(16) Service performed by an individual who, pursuant to the Federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, is not subject to the federal laws relating to unemployment compensation;

(17) Service performed by an individual for an employing unit as a real estate salesperson, if all service performed by the individual for the employing unit is performed for remuneration solely by way of commission;

(18) Service performed by a registered sales representative for a registered travel agency, when the service performed by the individual for the travel agent is performed for remuneration by way of commission;

(19) Service performed by a vacuum cleaner salesperson for an employing unit, if all services performed by the individual for the employing unit are performed for remuneration solely by way of commission;

(20) Service performed for a family-owned private corporation organized for profit that employs only members of the family who each own at least fifty per cent of the shares issued by the corporation, provided that:

(A) The private corporation elects to be excluded from coverage under this chapter;

(B) The election for exclusion shall apply to all shareholders and under the same circumstances;

(C) No more than two members of a family may be eligible per entity for exclusion under this paragraph;

(D) The exclusion shall be irrevocable for five years;

(E) The family-owned private corporation presents to the department proof that it has paid federal unemployment insurance taxes as required by federal law; and

(F) The election to be excluded from coverage shall be effective the first day of the calendar quarter in which the application and all substantiating documents requested by the department are filed with the department;

(21) Service performed by a direct seller as defined in section 3508 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; [and]

(22) Service performed by an election official or election worker as defined in section 3309(b)(3)(F) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended[.]; and

(23) Service performed by an individual who holds an ownership interest of more than fifty per cent in the employing unit, provided that:

(A) The individual elects to be excluded from coverage under this chapter and files an application with the department;

(B) The election for exclusion shall be irrevocable for five years;

(C) The individual presents to the department proof that the individual has paid federal unemployment insurance taxes as required by federal law; and

(D) The election to be excluded from coverage shall be effective the first day of the calendar quarter in which the application and all substantiating documents requested by the department are filed with the department.

None of the foregoing exclusions (1) to [(22)] (23) shall apply to any service with respect to which a tax is required to be paid under any federal law imposing a tax against which credit may be taken for contributions required to be paid into a state unemployment fund or which as a condition for full tax credit against the tax imposed by the federal Unemployment Tax Act is required to be covered under this chapter."

SECTION 2. Section 383-30, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"383-30 Disqualification for benefits. An individual shall be disqualified for benefits:

(1) Voluntary separation. For any week prior to October 1, 1989, in which the individual has left work voluntarily without good cause, and continuing until the individual has, subsequent to the week in which the voluntary separation occurred, been employed for at least five consecutive weeks of employment. For the purposes of this paragraph, "weeks of employment" means all those weeks within each of which the individual has performed services in employment for not less than two days or four hours per week, for one or more employers, whether or not such employers are subject to this chapter. For any week beginning on and after October 1, 1989, in which the individual has left the individual's work voluntarily without good cause, and continuing until the individual has, subsequent to the week in which the voluntary separation occurred, been paid wages in covered employment equal to not less than five times the individual's weekly benefit amount as determined under section 383-22(b).

An owner-employee of a corporation [who brings about the owner-employee's unemployment by divesting ownership, leasing the business interest, terminating the business, or by other similar actions where the owner-employee is the party initiating termination of the employment relationship, has voluntarily left employment.] shall not be disqualified for benefits for any period during which the owner-employee has made all contributions required by this chapter regardless of the method or reason for termination of the employment relationship.

(2) Discharge or suspension for misconduct. For any week prior to October 1, 1989, in which the individual has been discharged for misconduct connected with work, and continuing until the individual has, subsequent to the week in which the discharge occurred, been employed for at least five consecutive weeks of employment. For the week in which the individual has been suspended for misconduct connected with work and for not less than one or more than four consecutive weeks of unemployment which immediately follow such week, as determined in each case in accordance with the seriousness of the misconduct. For the purposes of this paragraph, "weeks of employment" means all those weeks within each of which the individual has performed services in employment for not less than two days or four hours per week, for one or more employers, whether or not such employers are subject to this chapter. For any week beginning on and after October 1, 1989, in which the individual has been discharged for misconduct connected with work, and until the individual has, subsequent to the week in which the discharge occurred, been paid wages in covered employment equal to not less than five times the individual's weekly benefit amount as determined under section 383-22(b).

(3) Failure to apply for work, etc. For any week prior to October 1, 1989, in which the individual failed, without good cause, either to apply for available, suitable work when so directed by the employment office or any duly authorized representative of the department of labor and industrial relations, or to accept suitable work when offered and continuing until the individual has, subsequent to the week in which the failure occurred, been employed for at least five consecutive weeks of employment. For the purposes of this paragraph, "weeks of employment" means all those weeks within each of which the individual has performed services in employment for not less than two days or four hours per week, for one or more employers, whether or not such employers are subject to this chapter. For any week beginning on and after October 1, 1989, in which the individual failed, without good cause, either to apply for available, suitable work when so directed by the employment office or any duly authorized representative of the department of labor and industrial relations, or to accept suitable work when offered until the individual has, subsequent to the week in which the failure occurred, been paid wages in covered employment equal to not less than five times the individual's weekly benefit amount as determined under section 383-22(b).

(A) In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual there shall be considered among other factors and in addition to those enumerated in paragraph (3)(B), the degree of risk involved to the individual's health, safety, and morals, the individual's physical fitness and prior training, the individual's experience and prior earnings, the length of unemployment, the individual's prospects for obtaining work in the individual's customary occupation, the distance of available work from the individual's residence, and prospects for obtaining local work. The same factors so far as applicable shall be considered in determining the existence of good cause for an individual's voluntarily leaving work under paragraph (1).

(B) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no work shall be deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied under this chapter to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:

(i) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute;

(ii) If the wages, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality;

(iii) If as a condition of being employed the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization.

(4) Labor dispute. For any week with respect to which it is found that unemployment is due to a stoppage of work which exists because of a labor dispute at the factory, establishment, or other premises at which the individual is or was last employed; provided that this paragraph shall not apply if it is shown that:

(A) The individual is not participating in or directly interested in the labor dispute which caused the stoppage of work; and

(B) The individual does not belong to a grade or class of workers of which, immediately before the commencement of the stoppage, there were members employed at the premises at which the stoppage occurs, any of whom are participating in or directly interested in the dispute; provided that if in any case separate branches of work, which are commonly conducted as separate businesses in separate premises, are conducted in separate departments of the same premises, each such department shall, for the purpose of this paragraph, be deemed to be a separate factory, establishment, or other premises.

(5) If the department finds that the individual has within the twenty-four calendar months immediately preceding any week of unemployment made a false statement or representation of a material fact knowing it to be false or knowingly failed to disclose a material fact to obtain any benefits not due under this chapter, the individual shall be disqualified for benefits beginning with the week in which the department makes the determination and for each consecutive week during the current and subsequent twenty-four calendar months immediately following such determination, and such individual shall not be entitled to any benefit under this chapter for the duration of such period; provided that no disqualification shall be imposed if proceedings have been undertaken against the individual under section 383-141.

(6) Other unemployment benefits. For any week or part of a week with respect to which the individual has received or is seeking unemployment benefits under any other employment security law, but this paragraph shall not apply (A) if the appropriate agency finally determines that the individual is not entitled to benefits under such other law, or (B) if benefits are payable to the individual under an act of Congress which has as its purpose the supplementation of unemployment benefits under a state law."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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