CHAPTER 280 – UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION COMMISSION LAW

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT KNOWN AND CITED AS THE "UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAW," BEING CHAPTER 258 OF THE LAWS OF DELAWARE, 1937, AS AMENDED, BY CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF EMPLOYMENT, PROVIDING FOR BENEFITS AFTER TERMINATION OF MILITARY SERVICE, CHANGING THE CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS, CHANGING THE PERIODS OF DISQUALIFICATION FOR CERTAIN CAUSES, PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF BENEFITS TO INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING FEDERAL OLD AGE INSURANCE BENEFITS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, PROVIDING AN ADDITIONAL PENALTY FOR FALSE STATEMENTS BY A CLAIMANT, REVISING THE ASSESSMENT OF BENEFIT WAGES UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, PROVIDING A METHOD OF RECOVERY AND RECOUPMENT OF BENEFITS WHEN PAID TO AN INDIVIDUAL NOT THERETO ENTITLED, MAKING CERTAIN CHANGES IN THE PROVISIONS RELATIVE TO BASING FUTURE RATES ON BENEFIT EXPERIENCE, PROVIDING A PENALTY OF FIVE DOLLARS FOR EMPLOYING UNITS WHO DO NOT FILE REPORTS FIVE DAYS AFTER THEY BECOME DUE, PERMITTING THE COMMISSION TO DELEGATE TO THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THE POWER TO MAKE PRELIMINARY DETERMINATIONS ON ALL QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE LIABILITY OF EMPLOYING UNITS FOR CONTRIBUTIONS, ELIMINATING A SPECIAL "EMPLOYMENT SERVICE ACCOUNT" IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATION FUND, GIVING A NEW PROCEDURE FOR THE HANDLING OF THE SAID UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATION FUND AND STATING AS A POLICY OF THIS STATE THAT MONEYS IMPROPERLY SPENT FROM SUCH FUND WILL BE REPLACED BY SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FROM THE GENERAL FUNDS OF THIS STATE, RESTATING COMPLETELY THE PROVISIONS RELATIVE TO "COLLECTION OF CONTRIBUTIONS," RESTATING THE PROVISIONS VOIDING A WAIVER OF RIGHTS AND THE PENALTIES WITH RESPECT THERETO, CHANGING THE BASIC JURISDICTION IN PROSECUTION OF CASES RELATING TO FRAUDULENT CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS, AND BY RESTATING AND ENLARGING THE COMMISSION'S POWER TO ENTER INTO RECIPROCAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH OTHER STATES TO PROTECT THE BENEFIT RIGHTS OF WORKERS WHO WORK IN MORE THAN ONE STATE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Section 2 (i) (3) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 2(i) (3) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 2(i) (3). Services covered by an arrangement pursuant to section 18 of this Act between the Commission 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 are deemed to be performed entirely within this State, shall be deemed to be employment if the Commission has approved an election of the employing unit for whom such services are performed, pursuant to which the entire service of such individual during the period covered by such election is deemed to be insured work.

Section 2. That Section 2 (i) (6) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto a new and additional paragraph to be known as Section 2 (i) (6) (11), reading as follows:

Sec. 2 (i) (6) (11). Service covered by an arrangement between the Commission 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 such employing unit's duly approved election, are deemed to be performed entirely within such agency's State.

Section 3. That Section 3 of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto the following new and additional paragraph or subsection:

Sec. 3 (f). Benefits after Termination of Military Service. (1) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of this Act the benefit rights of trainee shall be determined in accordance with the following provisions of this subsection for the periods and with respect to the matters specified herein. Except as herein otherwise provided, all other provisions of this Act shall continue to be applicable in connection with such benefits.

(2) The term "military service" as used in this subsection means active service in the land or naval forces of the United States, but the service of an individual in any reserve component of the land or naval forces of the United States who is ordered to active duty in any such force for a period of thirty days or less shall not be deemed to be active service in such force during such period.

(3) The term "trainee" as used in this subsection means an individual who entered military service after April 1, 1940, who continued such service for not less than ninety consecutive days and whose military service was terminated on or before April 1, 1943.

(4) With respect to any trainee, the first benefit year following the termination of his military service shall be the one year period beginning on the day next following the date of such termination.

(5)(A) With respect to a benefit year as defined in paragraph (4) of this subsection, the base period of a trainee with respect to whom a benefit year had been current upon the date of his entry into military service shall be the base period applicable to such benefit year plus all completed and uncompleted calendar quarters occurring subsequent to the last day of such base period but prior to the date of his entry into military service, and the base period of a trainee with respect to whom no benefit year was current upon the date of his entry into military service shall be the four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the date of his entry into such service and the uncompleted calendar quarter, if any, subsequent to the last day of such four completed calendar quarters but prior to the date of his entry into such service.

(5) (B) With respect to the first benefit year as defined in section 2 (c), which commences subsequent to the date of termination of a trainee's period of military service but within the five completed calendar quarters next succeeding such date of termination, the base period shall be all completed and uncompleted calendar quarters occurring subsequent to such date of termination and prior to the first day of such next following benefit year, exclusive however of the completed calendar quarter and the uncomputed calendar quarter (if any) immediately preceding the first day of such next following benefit year; but if the base period with respect to any such next following benefit year as defined in section 2 (c) includes less than four calendar quarters (and for the purposes of this exception and uncompleted calendar quarter shall be deemed to be a completed calendar quarter) (i) the maximum total amount of benefits otherwise payable with respect to such next following benefit year shall be increased by the difference if any between the maximum total amount of benefits payable with respect to the trainee's benefit year as defined in paragraph 4 of this subsection and the total amount of benefits actually paid with respect to the same benefit year provided that the total amount of benefits so payable with respect to such next following benefit year shall not exceed the highest amount of benefits payable to any individual during any benefit year under Section 3 (e) of this act, and (ii) the qualifying wage requirement for such next following benefit year shall be an amount having the same relation to the amount provided in section 4(e) as the number of calendar quarters in such base period bears to four.

(6) The provisions of section 4 (d) of this Act with respect to waiting period shall not be applicable to a benefit year as defined in paragraph (4) of this subsection.

(7) An otherwise eligible trainee shall be entitled during a benefit year as defined in paragraph (4) of this subsection to a total amount of benefits equal to whichever is the lesser of (i) that fraction of his base period wages that would be controlling under Section 3(e) of this act and (ii) the product obtained by multiplying his weekly benefit amount by 4 times the number of completed and uncompleted calendar quarters included within the base period applicable to such benefit year, except that such total amount of benefits shall be reduced by the total amount of benefits, if any, paid to him with respect to weeks of unemployment beginning within the benefit year, if any, current as of the date of his entry into military service.

(8) If under an Act of Congress, payments with respect to the unemployment of individuals who have completed a period of military service are payable by the United States, a trainee shall be disqualified for benefits with respect to any week beginning within a benefit year as defined in paragraph (4) of this subsection until he has exhausted all his rights to such payments from the United States.

Section 4. That Section 4 (d) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the words "two weeks" in the first sentence thereof and substituting in lieu thereof the words "one week";

and

By striking out the second sentence thereof, which states "Such weeks of employment need not be consecutive."

Section 5. That Section 4(d) (1) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 4(d) (1) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 4 (d) (1) Unless it occurs within the benefit year which includes the week with respect to which he claims payment of benefits, provided that this requirement shall not interrupt the payment of benefits for consecutive weeks of unemployment.

Section 6. That Section 5(a) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 5 (a) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 5 (a) For the week in which he has left his most recent work voluntarily without good cause and for not less than two or more than seven weeks of continuous unemployment which immediately follow such weeks, as determined according to the circumstances in each case. Benefit wages related to wage credits earned in such employment shall not be considered in determining the future contribution rate of any individual employer under Section 7(c) of this act.

Section 7. That section 5 (b) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 5 (b) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 5 (b) For the week in which he has been discharged for misconduct connected with his most recent work and for not less than two or more than seven weeks which immediately follow such week as determined according to the circumstances in each case. Benefit wages related to wage credits earned in such employment shall not be considered in determining the future contribution rate of any individual employer under Section 7 (c) of this act.

Section 8. That section 5(e) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 5(e) (2) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Section 5(e) (2) For any week with respect to which he is receiving or has received remuneration in the form of a primary insurance benefit under Title II of the Social Security Act, as amended, or similar payments under any Act of Congress. If the amount of such payment for any week is less than the weekly benefit that would otherwise be due under this Act, he shall be entitled to receive for such week, if otherwise eligible, benefits reduced by the amount of such payment.

Section 9. That Section 5 of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto the following new and additional paragraph or subsection:

Sec. 5 (f) Any individual who has made a false statement to the Commission Tor the purpose of obtaining benefits to which he was not lawfully entitled shall be disqualified for benefits for a period of one year from the date on which the said false statement was made. Provided, however, that this disqualification shall not apply to cases in which it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Commission that the said false statement was made by reason of a mistake or misunderstanding of law or of fact and without fraudulent intent.

Section 10. That Section 6 (b) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence thereof and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 6 (b) If an appeal is duly filed, benefits with respect to the period prior to the final decision of the Commission shall be paid only after such decision: Provided, that if an appeal tribunal affirms a decision of a deputy, or the Commission affirms a decision of an appeals tribunal, allow benefits, such benefits shall be paid regardless of any appeal which may thereafter be taken, but if such decision is finally reversed, any assessment of benefit wages that may have been made with respect to such award shall be cancelled.

Section 11. That Section 6 of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto the following new and additional paragraph or subsection:

Sect. 6(j) Recovery and Recoupment. Any person, who by reason of his fraud, has received any sum as benefits under this Act to which he was not entitled shall, in the discretion of the Commission, be liable to repay such sum to the Commission for the unemployment compensation fund or to have such sum deducted from any future benefits payable to him under this Act. Any person who, other than by reason of his fraud, has received any sum as benefits under this Act, to which he was not entitled, shall be liable to repay such sum and shall, in the discretion of the Commission, be liable to have such sum deducted from any future benefits payable to him. In any case in which recoupment from future benefits is permissible under this subsection, the Commission, before resorting thereto, shall issue an order for recoupment stating the grounds thereof, such order shall be subject to the provisions of this section with respect to notice to claimant and appeal by him the same manner and to the same extent as an original determination upon a claim for benefits. In any case in which under this subsection a claimant is liable to repay to the Commission any sum for the unemployment compensation fund, such sum shall be collectible without interest in the name of the Commission.

Section 12. That Section 7(c) (1) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 7(c) (1) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 7(c) (1) (A) The Standard rate of contributions payable by each employer shall be 2.7 per centum.

(B) No employer's rate shall be reduced below the standard rate for any calendar year unless and until his account could have been chargeable with benefit wages throughout the thirty-six consecutive calendar months ending on December 31 of the preceding calendar year.

Section 13. That Section 7(c) (2) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph thereof and inserting in lieu thereof a new first paragraph reading as follows:

Sec. 7(c) (2) For the year 1942 and each calendar year thereafter, each employer's rate for any calendar year shall be determined on the basis of his record as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year. Variations from the standard rate of contributions shall be determined in accordance with the following requirements;

Section 14. That Section 7(c) (2) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto a new and additional paragraph to be known as Section 7(c) (2) (f), reading as follows:

Sec. 7(c)(2)(F) No employer's rate for the period of twelve months commencing January first of any calendar year shall be less than two and seven-tenths per centum (2 7/10%) unless all contributions due on wages paid for employment for such employer during pay periods ending prior to October 1 of the preceding year have been paid by December 31 of such preceding year.

Section 15. That Section 7 (c) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto a new and additional paragraph, to be known as Section 7(c) (4), reading as follows:

Sec. 7 (c) (4) The Commission (i) shall promptly notify each employer of his rate of contributions as determined for any calendar year pursuant to this section. Such determination shall become conclusive and binding upon the employer unless, within 15 days after the mailing of notice thereof to his last known address or in the absence of mailing, within 15 days after the delivery of such notice, the employer files an application for review and redetermination, setting forth his reasons therefor. If the commission grants such review, the employer shall be promptly notified thereof and shall be granted an opportunity for a fair hearing, but no employer shall have standing, in any proceeding involving his rate of contributions or contribution liability, to contest the chargeability to his account of any benefits paid in accordance with a determination, redetermination or decision pursuant to section 6 of this Act except upon the ground that the services on the basis of which such benefits were found to be chargeable did not constitute services performed in employment for him and only in the event that he was not a party to such determination, redetermination or decision or to any other proceedings under this Act in which the character of such services was determined. The employer shall be promptly notified of the Commission's denial of his application, or of the Commission's redetermination, both of which shall become final unless within 15 days after the mailing of notice thereof to his last known address or in the absence of mailing, within 15 days after the delivery of such notice, a petition for judicial review is filed in the Superior Court of the County in which the employer's place of business is located. In any proceeding under this subsection the findings of the Corn-Mission as to the facts, if supported by evidence and in the absence of fraud, shall be conclusive and the jurisdiction of said court shall be confined to questions of law. No additional evidence shall be received by the court but the court may order additional evidence to be taken before the Commission and the Commission may, after hearing such additional evidence, modify its determination, and file such modified determination, together with a transcript of the additional record, with the court. Such proceedings shall be heard in a summary manner and shall be given precedence over all other civil cases except cases arising under Section 6 of this Act and the Workmen's Compensation Law of this State. An appeal may be taken from the decision of the Superior Court to the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware in the same manner, but not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as is provided in civil cases; (ii) may provide by regulation for periodic notification to employers of benefits paid and chargeable to their accounts or of the status of such accounts, and any such notification, in the absence of an application for redetermination filed in such manner and within such period as the Commission may prescribe, shall become conclusive and binding upon the employer for all purposes. Such redeterminations, made after notice and opportunity for hearing, and the Commission's findings of fact in connection therewith, may be introduced in any subsequent administrative or judicial proceedings involving the determination of the rate of contributions of any employer for any calendar year and shall be entitled to the same finality as is provided in this subsection with respect to the findings of fact made by the Commission in proceedings to redetermine the contribution rate of an employer.

Section 16. That Section 11(g) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto the following new and additional paragraph:

If any employing unit required to file with the Commission any report, with respect to persons in its employ, shall neglect or refuse to do so within five days after the time when such reports should have been filed, the said employing unit shall be subject to a specific penalty of Five Dollars, which shall be in addition to any other penalties provided for in this Act.

Section 17. That Section 11 of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto the following new and additional paragraph or subsection:

Sec. 11 (1) (1) The Commission may delegate to the Executive Director the power to make preliminary determinations on all questions relating to the liability of employing units for the contributions mentioned in this Act, but such administrative rulings shall be subject to review by the Commission if the employing unit affected thereby shall appeal to the Commission. Such appeals shall be taken in the manner and within the time prescribed by the Commission. The person taking the appeal shall be designated as the complainant. The Commission shall hear such appeals within a reasonable time.

(2) Formal hearings shall be conducted according to the rules prescribed by the Commission, and a record of such hearings shall be made and kept by the Commission. The said record shall include the evidence, the Commission's findings of fact, and the Commission's decision together with a brief statement of the reasons therefor. It shall show the manner in which the Commission construed the law and applied it to the facts.

(3) The Commission's decision shall be final and conclusive as to the liability of the said employing unit unless, within ten days after notice thereof, the complainant shall appeal to the Superior Court for the county in which the complainant resides. In every such appeal the cause shall be decided by the Court from the record, without the aid of a jury; and the Court may affirm, reverse, or modify the Commission's decision. The Commission's findings of fact shall not be set aside unless the Court shall determine that the record contains no substantial evidence that would reasonably support the said findings.

(4) If the Court finds that additional evidence should be taken, the Court shall remand the case to the Commission for completion of the record.

(5) If the Court finds that the Commission has made an error of law, the Court shall reverse or modify the Commission's decision and render an appropriate judgment.

(6) The Superior Courts for the several counties of the State of Delaware are hereby vested with jurisdiction to hear and determine all appeals taken pursuant to this Act; and by appropriate rules to prescribe the procedure in such appeals. Until such rules shall have been prescribed, the rules of Court governing appeals from the Industrial Accident Board shall be applicable.

(7) The decision of the Court shall be in writing, and the Prothonotary shall file a certified copy thereof with the Commission.

(8) Costs may be awarded by the Court in its discretion; and when so awarded the same amount of costs shall be allowed, taxed and collected, as are allowed, taxed and collected, for like services in the said Court.

Section 18. That Section 12 (b) of Chapter 13 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 12 (b) and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 12 (b) reading as follows:

Sec. 12(b) FINANCING: All moneys received by this State under the said Act of Congress entitled "An Act to provide for the establishment of a National Employment System and for Co-operation with the States in Promotion of such system, and for other purposes," approved June 6, 1933, (48 Stat. 113; U. S. C., Title 29 Sec. 49c), as amended, shall be paid into the Unemployment compensation administration fund, and said moneys are hereby made available to the commission for the Delaware State employment service, to be expended as provided by this section and by said Act of Congress.

For the purpose of establishing and maintaining free employment offices, the commission is authorized to enter into agreements with the Railroad Retirement Board established by Act of Congress of the United States of America or any other agency of the United States charged with the administration of an unemployment insurance or compensation law, with any political subdivision of this State or with any private nonprofit organization, and as a part of any such agreement, the commission may accept moneys, services or quarters as a contribution to the unemployment compensation administration fund.

Section 19. That Section 13 of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said section, except the caption "UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATION FUND," and inserting in lieu thereof a new section 13, as follows:

Sec. 13 (a) SPECIAL FUND. There is hereby created in the State treasury a special fund to be known as the unemployment compensation administration fund. All moneys which are deposited or paid into this fund shall be continuously available to the commission for expenditure in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and shall not lapse at any time or be transferred to any other fund. All moneys in this fund which are received from the Federal government or any agency thereof or which are appropriated by this State for the purposes described in section 12 of this Act shall be expended solely for the purposes and in the amounts found necessary by the Social Security Board for the proper and efficient administration of this Act. The fund shall consist of all moneys appropriated by this State, all moneys received from the United States of America, or any agency thereof, including the Social Security Board, and all moneys received from any other source for such purpose, and shall also include any moneys received from any agency of the United States or any other State as compensation for services or facilities supplied to such agency, any amounts received pursuant to any surety bond or insurance policy or from other sources for losses sustained by the employment security administration fund or by reason of damage to equipment or supplies purchased from moneys in such fund, and any proceeds realized from the sale or disposition of any such equipment or supplies which may no longer be necessary for the proper administration of this Act. All moneys in this fund shall be deposited, administered, and disbursed, in the same manner and under the same conditions and requirements as is provided by law for other special funds in the State treasury, except that moneys in this fund shall not be commingled with other State funds, but shall be maintained in a separate account on the books of a depositary bank. The State treasurer shall be liable on his official bond for the faithful performance of his duties in connection with the unemployment compensation administration fund provided for under this Act. Such liability on the official bond shall be effective immediately upon the enactment of this provision, and such liability shall exist in addition to any liability upon any separate bond existent on the effective date of this provision, or which may be given in the future. All sums recovered on any surety bond for losses sustained by the unemployment compensation administration fund shall be deposited in said fund.

(b) REIMBURSEMENT OF FUND. If any moneys received after June 30, 1941, from the Social Security Board under title III of the Social Security Act, or any unencumbered balances in the Unemployment Compensation Administration Fund as of that date, or any moneys granted after that date to this State pursuant to the provisions of the Wagner-Peyser Act, or any moneys made available by this State or its political subdivisions and matched by such moneys granted to this State pursuant to the provisions of the Wagner-Peyser Act, are found by the Social Security Board, because of any action or contingency, to have been lost or been expended for purposes other than, or in amounts in excess of, those found necessary by the Social Security Board for the proper administration of this Act, it is the policy of this State that such moneys shall be replaced by moneys appropriated for such purpose from the general funds of this State to the Unemployment Compensation Administration Fund for expenditure as provided in subsection (a) of this section. Upon receipt of notice of such a finding by the Social Security Board, the Commission shall promptly report the amount required for such replacement to the Governor and the Governor shall at the earliest opportunity, submit to the Legislature a request for the appropriation of such amount. This subsection shall not be construed to relieve this State of its obligation with respect to funds received prior to July 1, 1941, pursuant to the provisions of title III of the Social Security Act.

Section 20. That Section 14 of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said section, except the caption "COLLECTION OF CONTRIBUTIONS", and inserting in lieu thereof a new section 14 as follows:

Sec. 14 (a) INTEREST ON PAST-DUE CONTRIBUTIONS: Contributions unpaid on the date on which they are due and payable, as prescribed by the Commission, shall bear interest at the rate of one-half of one per centum per month from and after such date until payment plus accrued interest is received by the Commission. Interest collected pursuant to this subsection shall be paid into the unemployment compensation fund. Provided, however, that the Commission shall have the power and authority to waive the payment of interest for a period of not more than six months in cases where it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Commission that the delayed payment was caused by a reasonable doubt as to liability and the employer was not negligent in applying for a determination of the question of liability. And provided, further, that no interest shall be charged in cases where the Commission shall have ascertained that an amount equal to the amount of the delayed payment had previously been paid by the employer into the unemployment trust fund of another State. The word "State", as used in this paragraph, includes the District of Columbia and any Territory of the United States of America.

(b) COLLECTION: If, after due notice, any employer defaults in any payment of contributions or interest thereon, the amount due may be collected by civil action in the name of the Commission, and the employer adjudged in default shall pay the costs of such action. Civil actions brought under this section to collect contributions or interest thereon from an employer shall be heard by the court at the earliest possible date and shall be entitled to preference upon the calendar of the court over all other civil actions except petitions for judicial review arising under the workmen's compensation law of this State.

(c) ARBITRARY ASSESSMENT: If any employing unit shall neglect or refuse to make any contribution report required by the rules and regulations of the Commission, for a period of thirty days after the date on which the said contribution report should have been made, or if any contribution report which has been made by an employing unit shall be deemed by the Commission to be incorrect, the Commission shall have the power and authority to make an estimate and determination of the liability of such employing unit from any information which the Commission may have or may obtain and, according to such estimate and determination so made, to assess the said employing unit for the contributions, interest and penalties due from the said employing unit and to give notice of such assessment and determination, by registered mail, and to make demand upon the said employing unit for payment. Such assessment and determination shall be final and conclusive as to such employing unit's liability and the amount thereof, unless the said employing unit shall protest such assessment and determination within fifteen days after the mailing of the notice thereof. If any employing unit protests the said assessment and determination, the said employing unit, upon its written request, shall be heard by the Commission. Such hearing shall be conducted according to the procedure prescribed by the Commission. Immediately after the said hearing the Commission shall notify the said employing unit of its findings, and the assessment and determination then made, if any, shall be final and conclusive as to the liability of said employing unit, upon the issuance of such notice.

(d) The contributions, penalties and interest due from the employer under the provisions of this chapter, from the time they shall become due, shall be a debt of the employer to the unemployment compensation fund. Such debt, whether sued upon or not, shall be a lien on all the property of the debtor for a period of 2 years and shall be given preference as a first lien in any distribution of the assets of the employer, whether in bankruptcy, insolvency, execution process, in the distribution of the estate of any employer, or otherwise. Provided, however, that such lien shall not be effective against any purchaser or mortgagee for value if such purchaser or mortgagee, prior to the acquisition of any interest in the property or assets, shall make a requisition, in writing, upon the Commission for a statement of the contributions, interest and penalties due from the said employer and the Commission shall within ten days after the receipt of such requisition shall neglect or fail either to make certification under its seal and the hand of its Executive Director to such prospective purchaser or mortgagee of the amount due by the employer, or to file within said period of ten days a certificate of debt covering the liability of the said employer in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e) of this section. And further provided that such lien shall be subordinated only to the liens provided for under Article 2 of Chapter 133 of the Revised Code of 1935 of Delaware, and Chapter 65, Paragraph 2889, Section 57, of said code.

(e) As an additional or alternative remedy the Commission may issue, under its seal and the hand of its Executive Director, to the Prothonotary of the Superior Court in and for any county of the State of Delaware, a certificate that any employer is indebted under the provisions of this chapter in an amount which shall be stated in such certificate; and thereupon the Prothonotary to whom such certificate shall have been issued shall immediately enter upon his record of docketed judgments the name of such employer, the name of the Commission, the amount of the debt so certified, a brief description of the said employer's liability under this chapter, and the date of making such entries. The making of such entries shall have the same force and effect in all respects as the entries of docketed judgment in the office of such prothonotary, and the Commission shall have all the remedies and may take all the proceedings for the collection of the said debt which could be had or taken upon a judgment in an action of law upon debt or contract, but without prejudice to the said employer's right of appeal.

(f) Whenever any employing unit shall acquire the organization, trade or business or substantially all the assets thereof, of another employing unit which was an employer subject to this act, the acquiring employing unit shall give to the Commission written notice of the said acquisition within seven days after the date of the transfer. The said notice shall specify the acquired assets and state the value as of the date of the transfer. If such notice is not duly given, or if the Commission within seven days after the receipt of such notice shall issue a certificate under the provisions of Section 14 (e), or shall notify the acquiring employing unit of the amount due by its predecessor in interest, the acquiring employing unit shall hold in trust enough of the acquired assets to pay the said debt; and failing to hold such assets in trust as aforesaid the acquiring employing unit shall become liable for the said debt to the extent of the value of the acquired assets.

(g) PRIORITIES UNDER LEGAL DISSOLUTIONS OR DISTRIBUTIONS: In the event of any distribution of an employer's assets pursuant to an order of any court under the laws of this State, including any receivership, assignment for benefit of creditors, adjudicated insolvency, composition or similar proceeding, contributions then due or thereafter falling due shall be paid in full prior to all other claims except taxes due the United States or the State of Delaware which by statutory provision are prior liens on the said assets, and claims for wages of not more than $250 to each claimant earned within six months of the commencement of the said proceeding. In the event of an employer's adjudication in bankruptcy, judicially confirmed extension proposal, or composition, under the Federal Bankruptcy Act of 1898 as amended, contributions then or thereafter due shall be entitled to such priority as is provided by that Act for taxes due to a State of the United States.

(h) The Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to compromise a claim for contributions, interest and penalties due, in cases where the Commission shall have ascertained, upon investigation, that the probable public sale value of the property upon which the Commission shall have obtained a lien is substantially less than the amount of the debt, or that a judgment obtained by the Commission is uncollectible in full. In such cases the Commission may accept an offer by the debtor to pay less than the full amount of the debt in full discharge thereof, if the Commission be satisfied that the amount so offered is the most that could be collected by legal process. In such cases the Commission may prescribe the appropriate accounting methods by which the uncollected portion of the debt shall be written off its accounts instead of being carried indefinitely as an uncollected delinquent debt.

(i) REFUNDS. If not later than four years after the date on which any contributions or interest thereon became due, an employer who has paid such contributions or interest thereon shall make application for an adjustment thereof in connection with subsequent contribution payments, or for a refund thereof because such adjustment cannot be made, and the Commission shall determine that such contributions or interest or any portion thereof was erroneously collected, the Commission shall allow such employer to make an adjustment thereof, without interest, in connection with subsequent contribution payments by him, or if such adjustment cannot be made the Commission shall refund the said amount, without interest, from the Fund. For like cause and within the same period, adjustment or refund may be so made on the Commission's own initiative.

Section 21. That Section 15(a) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said section and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 15 (a) as follows:

Sec. 15 (a) WAIVER OF RIGHTS VOID. Any agreement by an individual to waive, release, or commute his rights to benefits or any other rights under this Act shall be void. Any agreement by any individual in the employ of any person or concern to pay all or any portion of an employer's contributions, required under this Act from such employer, shall be void. No employer shall directly or indirectly make or require or accept any deduction from wages to finance the employer's contributions required from him, require or accept any waiver of any right hereunder by any individual in his employ, willfully or intentionally discriminate in regard to the hiring or tenure of work on any term or condition of work of any individual on account of his claiming benefits under this act, or in any manner obstruct or impede the filing of claims for benefits. Any employer or officer or agent of an employer who willfully or intentionally violates any provision of this subsection shall, for each offense, be fined not less than $20 nor more than $200 or be imprisoned for not more than ninety days, or both.

Section 22. That Section 16 (a) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said section and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 16(a) as follows:

Sec. 16(a) Whoever makes a false statement or representation knowing it to be false or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, to obtain or increase any benefit for himself or for any other person, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $20 nor more than $50, or by imprisonment for not longer than sixty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment; and each false statement or representation or failure to disclose a material fact shall constitute a separate offense. In cases where any person shall have obtained money from the Commission by reason of such false statement or representation, made knowingly, he shall be guilty of obtaining money under false pretenses. The Justices of the Peace of the State of Delaware and the Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington are hereby vested with jurisdiction to hear and determine cases in which the accused shall be charged with violating this section or with obtaining money under false pretenses by reason of such violation provided, however, that the jurisdiction of a Justice of the Peace shall be limited to cases in which the accused is a resident of the Hundred in which the Justice of the Peace has his office or in a Hundred immediately adjacent thereto. Nothing in this section herein contained shall affect the rights of the Commission as hereinbefore set forth in Sections 6 and 14.

Section 23. That Section 18 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 18 and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 18, reading as follows:

Sec. 18 Reciprocal Arrangements

(a) The Commission is hereby authorized to enter into reciprocal arrangements with appropriate and duly authorized agencies of other States or of the Federal Government, or both, whereby:

(1) Services performed by an individual for a single employing unit for which services are customarily performed in more than one State shall be deemed to be services performed entirely within any one of the States (i) in which any part of such individual's service is performed or (ii) in which such individual has his residence or (iii) in which the employing unit maintains a branch office or its principal place of business, provided there is in effect, as to such services, an election, approved by the agency charged with the administration of such State's unemployment compensation law, pursuant to which all the services performed by such individual for such employing unit are deemed to be performed entirely within such State;

(2) Potential rights to benefits accumulated under the unemployment compensation laws of one or more States or under one or more such laws of the Federal Government, or both, may constitute the basis for the payment of benefits through a single appropriate agency under terms which the Commission finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests and will not result in any substantial loss to the fund;

(3) Wages or services, upon the basis of which an individual may become entitled to benefits under an unemployment compensation law of another State or of the Federal Government, shall be deemed to be wages for insured work for the purpose of determining the rights to benefits under this act, and wages for insured work, on the basis of which an individual may become entitled to benefits under this act shall be deemed to be wages or services on the basis of which unemployment compensation under such law of another State or of the Federal Government is payable, but no such arrangement shall be entered into unless it contains provisions for reimbursements to the fund for such of the benefits paid under this act upon the basis of such wages or services, and provisions for reimbursements from the fund for such of the compensation paid under such other law upon the basis of wages for insured work, as the commission finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests; and

(4) Contributions due under this act with respect to wages for insured work shall for the purposes of section 14 of this act be deemed to have been paid to the fund as of the date payment was made as contributions therefor under another State or Federal unemployment compensation law, but no such arrangement shall be entered into unless it contains provisions for such reimbursement to the fund of such contributions and the actual earnings thereon as the Commission finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests.

(b) Reimbursements paid from the fund pursuant to paragraph 3 of subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed to be benefits for the purpose of sections 3 and 9 of this act but no reimbursement payable from the fund shall be charged against any employer's account for the purposes of section 7 of this act. The Commission is authorized to make to other State or Federal agencies and to receive from such other State or Federal agencies, reimbursements from or to the fund, in accordance with arrangements entered into pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The administration of this act and of other State and Federal unemployment compensation and public employment service laws will be promoted by cooperation between this State and such other States and the appropriate Federal agencies in exchanging service, and making available facilities and information. The Commission is therefor authorized to make such investigations, secure and transmit such information, make available such services and facilities and exercise such of the other powers provided herein with respect to the administration of this act as he deems necessary or appropriate to facilitate the administration of any such unemployment compensation or public employment service law, and in like manner, to accept and utilize information, services and facilities made available to this State by the agency charged with the administration of any such other unemployment compensation or public employment service law.

To the extent permissible under the laws and Constitution of the United States, the Commission is authorized to enter into or cooperate in arrangements whereby facilities and services provided under this act and facilities and services provided under the unemployment compensation law of any foreign government, may be utilized for the taking of claims and the payment of benefits under the employment security law of this State or under a similar law of such government.

Section 24. That Section 7(c) (2) (A) of Chapter 258 of the Laws of Delaware, 1937, as amended, (known and cited as the "Unemployment Compensation Law"), be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence of the said Section 7(c) (2) (A).

Section 25. This Act shall become effective July 1, 1941.

Approved May 26, 1941.