Florida Senate - 2011                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for SB 728
                                Barcode 842200                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                   Comm: WD            .                                
                  04/27/2011           .                                

       The Committee on Budget (Siplin) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with directory and title amendments)
    4         Delete lines 108 - 177
    5  and insert:
    6         Section 3. Effective July 1, 2011, present subsections (5)
    7  through (25) of section 443.036, Florida Statutes, are
    8  redesignated as subsections (6) through (26), respectively,
    9  present subsections (26) through (45) of that section are
   10  redesignated as subsection (28) through (47), respectively, new
   11  subsections (5) and (27) are added to that section, and present
   12  subsections (6), (7), (9), (16), (29), and (43) of that section
   13  are amended, to read:
   14         443.036 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   15         (5) “Alternative base period” means the last four completed
   16  calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an
   17  individual’s benefit year.
   18         (7)(6) “Available for work” means actively seeking and
   19  being ready and willing to accept suitable work employment.
   20         (8)(7) “Base period” means the first four of the last five
   21  completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day
   22  of an individual’s benefit year. If the agency determines,
   23  pursuant to s. 443.091(1)(g), that an alternative base period
   24  will be used, the term has the same meaning as the alternative
   25  base period.
   26         (10)(9) “Benefit year” means, for an individual, the 1-year
   27  period beginning with the first day of the first week for which
   28  the individual first files a valid claim for benefits and,
   29  thereafter, the 1-year period beginning with the first day of
   30  the first week for which the individual next files a valid claim
   31  for benefits after the termination of his or her last preceding
   32  benefit year. Each claim for benefits made in accordance with s.
   33  443.151(2) is a valid claim under this subsection if the
   34  individual was paid wages for insured work in accordance with s.
   35  443.091(1)(g) and is unemployed as defined in subsection (43) at
   36  the time of filing the claim. However, the Agency for Workforce
   37  Innovation may adopt rules providing for the establishment of a
   38  uniform benefit year for all workers in one or more groups or
   39  classes of service or within a particular industry if the agency
   40  determines, after notice to the industry and to the workers in
   41  the industry and an opportunity to be heard in the matter, that
   42  those groups or classes of workers in a particular industry
   43  periodically experience unemployment resulting from layoffs or
   44  shutdowns for limited periods of time.
   45         (17)(16) “Earned income” means gross remuneration derived
   46  from work, professional service, or self-employment. The term
   47  includes commissions, bonuses, back pay awards or back pay
   48  settlements, front pay or front wages, and the cash value of all
   49  remuneration paid in a medium other than cash. The term does not
   50  include income derived from invested capital or ownership of
   51  property.
   52         (27) “Initial skills review” means an online education or
   53  training program, such as that established under s. 1004.99,
   54  which is approved by the Agency for Workforce Innovation and
   55  designed to measure an individual’s mastery level of workplace
   56  skills.
   57         (31)(29) “Misconduct” includes, but is not limited to, the
   58  following, which may not be construed in pari materia with each
   59  other:
   60         (a) Conduct demonstrating conscious willful or wanton
   61  disregard of an employer’s interests and found to be a
   62  deliberate violation or disregard of reasonable the standards of
   63  behavior which the employer has a right to expect of his or her
   64  employee, including standards lawfully set forth in the
   65  employer’s written rules of conduct; or
   66         (b) Carelessness or negligence to a degree or recurrence
   67  that manifests culpability or, wrongful intent, or evil design
   68  or shows an intentional and substantial disregard of the
   69  employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations
   70  to his or her employer.
   71         (45)(43) “Unemployment” or “unemployed” means:
   72         (a) An individual is “totally unemployed” in any week
   73  during which he or she does not perform any services and for
   74  which earned income is not payable to him or her. An individual
   75  is “partially unemployed” in any week of less than full-time
   76  work if the earned income payable to him or her for that week is
   77  less than his or her weekly benefit amount. The Agency for
   78  Workforce Innovation may adopt rules prescribing distinctions in
   79  the procedures for unemployed individuals based on total
   80  unemployment, part-time unemployment, partial unemployment of
   81  individuals attached to their regular jobs, and other forms of
   82  short-time work.
   83         (b) An individual’s week of unemployment commences only
   84  after his or her registration with the Agency for Workforce
   85  Innovation as required in s. 443.091, except as the agency may
   86  otherwise prescribe by rule.
   88         Between lines 273 and 274
   89  insert:
   90         (g) She or he has been paid wages for insured work equal to
   91  1.5 times her or his high quarter wages during her or his base
   92  period, except that an unemployed individual is not eligible to
   93  receive benefits if the base period wages are less than $3,400.
   94  If the individual is ineligible for benefits calculated on a
   95  base period wage, wages must be calculated using an alternative
   96  base period and the claimant must have the opportunity to choose
   97  whether to establish a claim using such wages. Wages shall be
   98  calculated for an alternative base period only if the base
   99  period wages are inadequate to establish eligibility under this
  100  paragraph and only for benefit years that begin on or after
  101  January 1, 2011. Wages used to establish a monetarily eligible
  102  benefit year may not be used to establish monetary eligibility
  103  in a subsequent benefit year.
  105         Delete lines 958 - 993
  106  and insert:
  107         (a) Notices of claim.—The Agency for Workforce Innovation
  108  shall promptly provide a notice of claim to the claimant’s most
  109  recent employing unit and all employers whose employment records
  110  are liable for benefits under the monetary determination. The
  111  employer must respond to the notice of claim within 20 days
  112  after the mailing date of the notice, or in lieu of mailing,
  113  within 20 days after the delivery of the notice. If a
  114  contributing employer fails to timely respond to the notice of
  115  claim, the employer’s account may not be relieved of benefit
  116  charges as provided in s. 443.131(3)(a), notwithstanding
  117  paragraph (5)(b). The agency may adopt rules as necessary to
  118  administer implement the processes described in this paragraph
  119  relating to a notice notices of claim.
  120         (b) Monetary determinations.—In addition to the notice of
  121  claim, the Agency for Workforce Innovation must shall also
  122  promptly provide an initial monetary determination to the
  123  claimant and each base period employer whose account is subject
  124  to being charged for its respective share of benefits on the
  125  claim. The monetary determination must include a statement of
  126  whether and in what amount the claimant is entitled to benefits,
  127  and, in the event of a denial, must state the reasons for the
  128  denial. A monetary determination for the first week of a benefit
  129  year must also include a statement of whether the claimant was
  130  paid the wages required under s. 443.091(1)(g) and, if so, the
  131  first day of the benefit year, the claimant’s weekly benefit
  132  amount, and the maximum total amount of benefits payable to the
  133  claimant for a benefit year. The monetary determination is final
  134  unless within 20 days after the mailing of the notices to the
  135  parties’ last known addresses, or in lieu of mailing, within 20
  136  days after the delivery of the notices, an appeal or written
  137  request for reconsideration is filed by the claimant or other
  138  party entitled to notice. The agency may adopt rules as
  139  necessary to implement the processes described in this paragraph
  140  relating to notices of monetary determinations and the appeals
  141  or reconsideration requests filed in response to such notices.
  142         (c)Determinations involving an alternative base period.—In
  143  the case of a claim for benefits involving an alternative base
  144  period under s. 443.091(1)(g), if the agency is unable to access
  145  wage information through the database of its tax collection
  146  service provider, the agency shall request the information from
  147  the employer by mail. The employer must provide the requested
  148  information within 10 days after the agency mails the request.
  149  If wage information is unavailable, the agency may base the
  150  determination on an affidavit submitted by the individual
  151  attesting to her or his wages for those calendar quarters. The
  152  individual must furnish payroll information, if available, in
  153  support of the affidavit. Benefits based on an alternative base
  154  period must be adjusted if the quarterly report of wage
  155  information received from the employer under s. 443.141 results
  156  in a change in the monetary determination.
  157         (d)(c)Nonmonetary determinations.—If the agency receives
  158  information that may result in a denial of benefits, the agency
  159  must complete an investigation of the claim required by
  160  subsection (2) and provide notice of a nonmonetary determination
  161  to the claimant and the employer from whom the claimant’s reason
  162  for separation affects his or her entitlement to benefits. The
  163  determination must state the reason for the determination and
  164  whether the unemployment tax account of the contributing
  165  employer is charged for benefits paid on the claim. The
  166  nonmonetary determination is final unless within 20 days after
  167  the mailing of the notices to the parties’ last known addresses,
  168  or in lieu of mailing, within 20 days after the delivery of the
  169  notices, an appeal or written request for reconsideration is
  170  filed by the claimant or other party entitled to notice. The
  171  agency may adopt rules as necessary to administer implement the
  172  processes described in this paragraph relating to notices of
  173  nonmonetary determination and the appeals or reconsideration
  174  requests filed in response to such notices, and may adopt rules
  175  prescribing the manner and procedure by which employers within
  176  the base period of a claimant become entitled to notice of
  177  nonmonetary determination.
  178         (e)(d)Determinations in labor dispute cases.If a Whenever
  179  any claim involves a labor dispute described in s. 443.101(5)
  180  443.101(4), the Agency for Workforce Innovation shall promptly
  181  assign the claim to a special examiner who shall make a
  182  determination on the issues involving unemployment due to the
  183  labor dispute. The special examiner shall make the determination
  184  after an investigation, as necessary. The claimant or another
  185  party entitled to notice of the determination may appeal a
  186  determination under subsection (4).
  187         (f)(e)Redeterminations.—
  188         1. The Agency for Workforce Innovation may reconsider a
  189  determination if it finds an error or if new evidence or
  190  information pertinent to the determination is discovered after a
  191  prior determination or redetermination. A redetermination may
  192  not be made more than 1 year after the last day of the benefit
  193  year unless the disqualification for making a false or
  194  fraudulent representation under s. 443.101(7) 443.101(6) is
  195  applicable, in which case the redetermination may be made within
  196  2 years after the false or fraudulent representation. The agency
  197  must promptly give notice of redetermination to the claimant and
  198  to any employers entitled to notice in the manner prescribed in
  199  this section for the notice of an initial determination.
  200         2. If the amount of benefits is increased by the
  201  redetermination, an appeal of the redetermination based solely
  202  on the increase may be filed as provided in subsection (4). If
  203  the amount of benefits is decreased by the redetermination, the
  204  redetermination may be appealed by the claimant if a subsequent
  205  claim for benefits is affected in amount or duration by the
  206  redetermination. If the final decision on the determination or
  207  redetermination to be reconsidered was made by an appeals
  208  referee, the commission, or a court, the Agency for Workforce
  209  Innovation may apply for a revised decision from the body or
  210  court that made the final decision.
  211         3. If an appeal of an original determination is pending
  212  when a redetermination is issued, the appeal, unless withdrawn,
  213  is treated as an appeal from the redetermination.
  215  ====== D I R E C T O R Y  C L A U S E  A M E N D M E N T ======
  216         And the directory clause is amended as follows:
  217         Delete line 179
  218  and insert:
  219  (d), (f), and (g) of subsection (1) of section 443.091, Florida
  221         Delete line 939
  222  and insert:
  223  subsection (2), subsection (3), and
  225  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  226         And the title is amended as follows:
  227         Delete lines 9 - 17
  228  and insert:
  229         for “available for work,” “base period,” “earned
  230         income,” “misconduct,” and “unemployment”; adding
  231         definitions for “alternative base period” and “initial
  232         skills review”; amending s. 443.091, F.S.; revising
  233         requirements for making continued claims for benefits;
  234         requiring that an individual claiming benefits report
  235         certain information and participate in an initial
  236         skills review; providing an exception; specifying
  237         criteria for determining an applicant’s availability
  238         for work; providing for an alternative base period
  239         under certain circumstances; amending s.
  241         After line 51
  242  insert:
  243         requiring an employer to provide wage information to
  244         support an individual’s eligibility for benefits;
  245         authorizing the Agency for Workforce Innovation to
  246         accept an affidavit from the claimant to support
  247         eligibility for benefits under certain circumstances;