CHAPTER 207

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION 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 OFFICE;" BY CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF "WEEKLY BENEFIT AMOUNT;" BY CHANGING THE DURATION OF BENEFITS; BY PROVIDING FOR A NEW BASIS OF PAYMENTS TO INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE MILITARY SERVICE; BY CHANGING THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO DISQUALIFICATION FOR BENEFITS; BY CHANGING THE REQUIREMENT FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS; BY PRESCRIBING SPECIAL CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH AN EMPLOYER MAY RECEIVE A REDUCED CONTRIBUTION RATE; BY CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF "STATE EXPERIENCE FACTOR;" BY LIMITING THE MAXIMUM CONTRIBUTION RATE TO THREE PERCENTUM; BY PROVIDING FOR A REHIRING CREDIT ON BENEFIT WAGES CHARGED TO EMPLOYERS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; BY PROVIDING FOR SUCCESSORSHIP TO ADJUSTED CONTRIBUTION RATES UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; BY CHANGING THE PERIOD OF TIME TO BE COVERED BY THE REGULAR REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR; AND BY CERTAIN CHANGES IN THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT.

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

Section 1. That Section 2 (j) 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 (j) and inserting in lieu thereof as a new Section 2 (j), reading as follows:

Sec. 2 (j). "Employment office" means a free public employment office or branch thereof operated by this State or as a part of a State-controlled system of public employment offices or by a Federal agency charged with the administration of an unemployment compensation program or free public employment offices.

Section 2. That Section 3 (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 3 (b) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

See. 3 (b). An individual's "weekly benefit amount" shall be an amount equal to one-twenty-fifth of his total wages for employment by employers paid during that quarter of his base period in which such total wages were highest, except that if such amount is more than Eighteen Dollars, the weekly benefit amount shall be deemed to be Eighteen Dollars, or if less than Five Dollars, shall be deemed to be Five Dollars, and if not a multiple of Fifty Cents, shall be computed to the next higher multiple of Fifty Cents.

Section 3. That Section 3 (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 3 (e) and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 3 (e), reading as follows:

Sec. 3 (e). Any otherwise eligible individual shall be entitled during any benefit year to a total amount of benefits equal to ten times his weekly benefit amount plus one times his weekly benefit amount for each two hundred dollars of his wages for employment by employers paid during his base period; provided that such total amount of benefits shall not exceed twenty times his weekly benefit amount ; and provided that such total amount of benefits, if not a multiple of Fifty Cents, shall be computed to the next higher multiple of Fifty Cents. For the purpose of this section, wages shall be counted as wages for employment by employers for benefit purposes with respect to any benefit year only if such benefit year begins subsequent to the date on which the employer from whom such wages were paid has satisfied the conditions of Section 2 (h) or Section 8 (c) with respect to becoming an employer.

Section 4. That Section 3 (f) 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 3 (f) and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 3 (f), reading as follows:

Section 3 (f) (1). Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of this Act the benefit rights of trainees 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 including such auxiliary forces as may by Act of Congress be placed under the jurisdiction of or associated in service with such forces, 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 is terminated no later than six months after the conclusion of the present War.

(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 for such termination.

(4). With respect to any trainee, each calendar quarter of his base period which was spent in the military service shall be treated for benefit purposes as if such calendar quarter were spent in covered employment for which the trainee was paid wages of five hundred dollars ($500.00). Provided, however, that this subsection shall apply only if such trainee had during the four most recent calendar quarters prior to his entrance into the military service been paid wages for employment equal to not less than one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00).

(5). And provided that no benefits based on such credits shall be payable for any week with respect to which he is receiving or has received a payment under a Federal unemployment allowance plan under an act of Congress, based upon previous military service, except that if such remuneration is less than the benefits which 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 remuneration. And further provided that in no case shall such additional payments under this Act entitle any individual to a maximum amount of benefits beyond the maximum amount for which any other covered worker with identical earnings would be eligible.

Section 5. That Section 4 (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 the words: "one hundred and twenty-five dollars ($125.00)" in the first sentence thereof and inserting in lieu thereof the words: "two hundreds dollars ($200.00)."

Section 6. 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 striking out all of the said Section 5 and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section 5, reading as follows:

Sec. 5. An individual shall be disqualified for benefits--

(a) For the period of unemployment next ensuing after he has left his employment voluntarily without good cause. 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.

(b) For the period of unemployment next ensuing after an individual has been separated from his employment by discharge due solely to deliberate misconduct in wilful disregard of the employing unit's interest. 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.

(c) If he has failed, without good cause, either to apply for available suitable work when so directed by the employment office or the Commission or to accept suitable work when offered him. Such disqualification shall begin with the week in which the refusal occurred and shall continue for the duration of the period of unemployment during which such refusal occurred.

(1) In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the Commission shall consider the degree of risk involved to his health, safety, and morals, his physical fitness and prior training, his experience and prior earnings, his length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in his customary occupation, and the distance of the available work from his residence.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, no work shall be deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied under this Act to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions: (a) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lock-out, or other labor dispute; (b) 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; (c) 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.

(d) For any week with respect to which the Commission finds that his total or partial unemployment is due to a stoppage of work which exists because of a labor dispute at the factory, establishment, or other premises at which he is or was last employed.

() (1) For any week with respect to which or a part of which he has received or is seeking unemployment benefits under an unemployment compensation law of another State or of the United States; Provided that if the appropriate agency of such other State or of the United States finally determines that he is not entitled to such unemployment benefits, this disqualification - shall not apply.

(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.

(1) Any individual who has made a false statement to the Commission for 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 7. 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 adding thereto a new and additional paragraph to be known as Section 7 (c) (1) (C), reading as follows:

Sec. 7 (c) (1) (C). No employer's rate shall be less than the standard rate for any calendar year unless the balance to the credit of this State in the fund as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year shall have been equal to or in excess of the highest amount of benefits paid in any previous calendar year.

Section 8. That Section 7 (c) (2) (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 all of the said Section 7 (c) (2)

(D)and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 7 (c) (2) (D), reading as follows:

Sec. 7 (c) (2) (D). For any calendar year, the "state experience factor" shall be the term used for the total benefits paid from the fund during the most recent three completed calendar years, less all amounts credited to the fund in such years other than employers' contributions, divided by the total of the benefit wages of all employers during the same three years. In such computation, any fraction shall be adjusted to the nearest multiple of 1%.

Section 9. That Section 7 (c) (2) (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 7 (c) (2)

(E)and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 7 (c) (2) (E), reading as follows:

Sec. 7 (c) (2) (E). The contribution rate for each employer for the current calendar year shall be determined prior to the due date of the first contribution for such year in accordance with the following table :

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAW TABLE

When the State

Experience If the Employer's Benefit Wage Ratio

Factor is Does not Exceed:

1

50%

100%

150%

200%

250%

2

25

50

75

100

125

3

17

33

50

66

83

4

13

25

38

50

63

5

10

20

30

40

50

6

8

17

25

34

42

7

7

14

21

29

36

8

6

13

19

25

31

9

6

11

16

22

28

10

5

10

15

20

25

11

5

9

14

18

23

12

4

8

13

17

21

13

4

8

12

15

19

14

4

7

11

14

18

15

3

7

10

13

17

16

3

6

9

12

16

17

3

6

9

12

15

18

3

6

8

11

14

19

3

5

8

11

13

20

3

5

8

10

13

21

2

5

7

10

12

22

2

5

7

9

11

23

2

4

7

9

11

24

2

4

6

8

10

 

The Employer's Contribution Rate Shall be:

 
 

.5% 1.0% 1.5% _ 2.0%

2.5%

If the employer's benefit wage ratio exceeds the percentage in the last column of the table opposite the State Experience Factor, his contribution rate shall be 3%.

Section 10. 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) (G), reading as follows:

Sec. 7 (c) (2) (G). Notwithstanding any inconsisent provisions of this Act, if after the last day of any claimant's benefit year but within the thirty days next following thereafter, an employer for whom benefit wage charges were made as a consequence of such claimant's receipt of benefits alleges that he had reemployed such claimant within the claimant's benefit year, and the Commission finds that such employee received in benefits a total amount aggregating not more than twenty-five percent of the maximum benefit payments to which he was entitled within such benefit year, because of such reemployment, the employer's benefit wage record shall be credited with 75% of the benefit wages previously charged against him relating to such claimant's previous employment ; or if the Commission finds that such employee received in benefits an amount aggregating more than twenty-five percent but not more than fifty percent of the maximum benefits to which he was entitled within such benefit year, because of such reemployment, the employer's benefit wage record shall be credited with 50% of the benefit wages previously charged against him relating to such claimant's previous employment; or if the Commission finds that such employee received in benefits a total amount aggregating more than fifty per cent but not more than seventy-five percent of the maximum benefits to which he was entitled within such benefit year, because of such reemployment, the employer's benefit wage record shall be credited with 25% of the benefit wages previously charged against him relating to such claimant's previous employment. Provided, that such credits shall be made for the calendar year in which the finding is made by the Commission and no attempt shall be made to relate such credits to the period in which the rehiring occurred.

Section 11. 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) (5), reading as follows:

Sec. 7 (c) (5). For the purposes of this subsection two or more employing units which are parties to or subject to a merger, consolidation, or other form of reorganization effecting a change in legal identity or form shall be deemed to be a single employing unit if the Commission finds that (i) immediately after such change the employing enterprises of the predecessor employing unit or units are continued solely through a single employing unit as successor thereto, and (ii) immediately after such change such successor is owned or controlled by substantially the same interests as the predecessor employing unit or units.

Section 12. That Section 11 (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 fourth sentence thereof, which states : "Not later than the last day of February of each year, the Commission shall submit to the Governor a report covering the administration and operation of this Act during the preceding calendar year and shall make such recommendations for amendments to this Act as it deems proper", and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Not later than the last day of February of each odd year, the Commission shall submit to the Governor a report covering the administration and operation of this Act during the preceding two calendar years and shall make such recommendations for amendments to this Act as it deems proper.

Section 13. That Section 19 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 19, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 19 reading as follows :

Sec. 19 (a). No benefits shall be payable in the months of January, February, March, April, November, and December to any claimant more than 75% of whose base period wages were received for seasonal employment. Provided, however, that this restriction shall not apply to payment of benefits for partial unemployment. (This provision shall be effective from April 1, 1943, until March 31, 1945.)

(b). The term "seasonal employment" means employment in a seasonal industry by an individual customarily engaged in such industry and who, during the portion or portions of the year when such industry is not in operation, is ordinarily not engaged in any other work. Provided, however, that no occupation or industry shall be deemed to provide seasonal employment that is not part of the first processing of agricultural products. For the purpose of this section, the canning of chicken and allied products shall be considered part of such processing of agricultural products.

(c) The Commission shall make studies of the employment experience of seasonal workers and of benefits paid to workers engaged partially or entirely in seasonal employment and such studies shall serve as a basis for recommendations for future amendments to this act.

Approved March 12, 1943.