Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1096
       By Senator Braynon
       36-00241-15                                           20151096__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to unemployment compensation; amending
    3         s. 443.101, F.S.; clarifying application of a
    4         provision relating to disqualification for benefits;
    5         providing that certain victims of domestic violence
    6         may not be disqualified for benefits for voluntarily
    7         leaving work; providing an effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
   12  443.101, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   13         443.101 Disqualification for benefits.—An individual shall
   14  be disqualified for benefits:
   15         (1)(a) For the week in which he or she has voluntarily left
   16  work without good cause attributable to his or her employing
   17  unit or for the week in which he or she has been discharged by
   18  the employing unit for misconduct connected with his or her
   19  work, based on a finding by the Department of Economic
   20  Opportunity. As used in this paragraph, the term “work” means
   21  any work, whether full-time, part-time, or temporary.
   22         1. Disqualification for voluntarily quitting continues for
   23  the full period of unemployment next ensuing after the
   24  individual has left his or her full-time, part-time, or
   25  temporary work voluntarily without good cause and until the
   26  individual has earned income equal to or greater than 17 times
   27  his or her weekly benefit amount. As used in this subsection,
   28  the term “good cause” includes only that cause attributable to
   29  the employing unit which would compel a reasonable employee to
   30  cease working or attributable to the individual’s illness or
   31  disability requiring separation from his or her work. Additional
   32  disqualifications Any other disqualification may not be imposed.
   33         2. An individual who otherwise satisfies the eligibility
   34  requirements of this subsection may is not be disqualified under
   35  this subsection for benefits due to the following reasons:
   36         a. Voluntarily leaving temporary work to return immediately
   37  when called to work by the permanent employing unit that
   38  temporarily terminated his or her work within the previous 6
   39  calendar months;
   40         b., or for Voluntarily leaving work to relocate as a
   41  result of his or her military-connected spouse’s permanent
   42  change of station orders, activation orders, or unit deployment
   43  orders; or.
   44         c. Voluntarily leaving work if he or she proves that his or
   45  her discontinued employment is a direct result of circumstances
   46  related to domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28.
   47         3. An individual who voluntarily leaves work due to
   48  circumstances identified under sub-subparagraph 2.c. must:
   49         a. Provide evidence such as an injunction, a protective
   50  order, or other documentation authorized by state law which
   51  reasonably proves that domestic violence has occurred; and
   52         b. Reasonably believe that he or she is likely to be the
   53  victim of a future act of domestic violence, including
   54  aggravated stalking as provided in s. 784.048(3), (4), or (5),
   55  committed by a family or household member, as defined in s.
   56  741.28, at, in transit to, or departing from the individual’s
   57  place of employment.
   58         4. Unless the individual establishes that such remedies are
   59  likely to be futile or to increase the risk of future incidents
   60  of domestic violence, he or she must make reasonable efforts to
   61  preserve employment, which may include seeking a protective
   62  injunction, relocating to a secure place, or seeking reasonable
   63  accommodation from the employing unit such as a transfer or
   64  change of assignment.
   65         5. An individual who is otherwise eligible for benefits
   66  under this paragraph is ineligible for each week that he or she:
   67         a. Fails to meet the requirements of s. 443.091(1);
   68         b.Does not meet the criteria described in sub-subparagraph
   69  3.b.; or
   70         c. Refuses a reasonable accommodation offered in good faith
   71  by his or her employing unit.
   72         6. The employment record of an employing unit may not be
   73  charged for the payment of benefits to an individual who has
   74  voluntarily left work under this paragraph.
   75         7.2. Disqualification for being discharged for misconduct
   76  connected with his or her work continues for the full period of
   77  unemployment next ensuing after having been discharged and until
   78  the individual is reemployed and has earned income of at least
   79  17 times his or her weekly benefit amount and for not more than
   80  52 weeks immediately following that week, as determined by the
   81  department in each case according to the circumstances or the
   82  seriousness of the misconduct, under the department’s rules
   83  adopted for determining determinations of disqualification for
   84  benefits for misconduct.
   85         8.3. If an individual has provided notification to the
   86  employing unit of his or her intent to voluntarily leave work
   87  and the employing unit discharges the individual for reasons
   88  other than misconduct before the date the voluntary quit was to
   89  take effect, the individual, if otherwise entitled, shall
   90  receive benefits from the date of the employer’s discharge until
   91  the effective date of his or her voluntary quit.
   92         9.4. If an individual is notified by the employing unit of
   93  the employer’s intent to discharge the individual for reasons
   94  other than misconduct and the individual quits without good
   95  cause before the date the discharge was to take effect, the
   96  claimant is ineligible for benefits pursuant to s. 443.091(1)(d)
   97  for failing to be available for work for the week or weeks of
   98  unemployment occurring before the effective date of the
   99  discharge.
  100         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.