CHAPTER 162

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION COMMISSION

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 WAGES; BY MAKING CERTAIN CHANGES IN THE PROVISIONS FOR DISQUALIFICATION FOR BENEFITS PAYABLE THEREUNDER; BY MAKING CERTAIN CHANGES IN THE PROVISIONS RELATIVE TO NOTICE OF BENEFIT DETERMINATION AND RIGHT OF APPEAL; BY CHANGING THE PROVISIONS RELATIVE TO VARIABLE CONTRIBUTION RATES AND ADMINISTRATIVE FUNDS; BY CHANGING THE PROVISIONS FOR SUCCESSORSHIP IN RELATION TO EXPERIENCE RATING; BY INCREASING THE SALARIES OF THE COMMISSION; AND BY FIXING THE PERIOD DURING WHICH APPEALS FROM PRELIMINARY DETERMINA, TIONS OF LIABILITY MAY BE TAKEN.

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

Section 1. That Section 2(n) (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 2(n) (1) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 2(n) (1). For the purposes of sections 3(b), 3(d), 4(e), and 7 of this Act that part of the remuneration which, after remuneration equal to $3,000 has been paid to an individual by an employer with respect to employment during any calendar year, is paid after December 31, 1939, and prior to January 1, 1947, to such individual by such employer with respect to employment during such calendar year; or that part of the remuneration which, after remuneration equal to $3,000 with respect to employment after 1938 has been paid to an individual by an employer during any calendar year after 1946, is paid to such individual by such employer during such calendar year.

Section 2. That Section 2(n) (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 all of the said Section 2(n) (2) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 2(n) (2). Provided that, if $3,000 or more of remuneration has been paid by one employer to an individual during any calendar year, some portion of which is included in such individual's base period, the $3,000 shall be equally prorated throughout the quarters of such calendar year in which he was so employed for the purposes of sections 3(b), 3(d), and 4(e) of this Act. And provided, that the remuneration paid to an individual by an employer with respect to employment in another State or other States, upon which contributions were required of and paid by such employer under an unemployment compensation law of such other State or States shall be included as a part of remuneration equal to three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) herein referred to.

Section 3. That Section 4(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 striking out all of the said Section 4(c) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 4(c). He is able to work, and is available for work, and is actively seeking work.

Section 4. 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 period of unemployment next ensuing after he has left his employment voluntarily without good cause attributable to such employment. 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 5. 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 period of unemployment next ensuing after an individual has been discharged from his employment for just cause in connection with his work. 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 6. That Section 5(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 striking out all of the said Section 5(c) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 5(c). If he has refused to accept an offer of work for which he is reasonably fitted, or has refused to accept a referral to a job opportunity when directed to do so by a local employment office of this State or another State. 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) No individual otherwise qualified to receive benefits shall lose the right to benefits by reason of a refusal to accept a referral or new work if:

(A) As a condition of being so employed, he would be required by the employer to join a company union, or would be required by the employer to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization, or would be denied the right by the employer to retain membership in and observe the lawful rules of any such organization; or

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

(C) The work is at an unreasonable distance from his residence, having regard to the character of the work he has been accustomed to do, and travel to the place of work involves expenses substantially greater than that required for his former work; or

(D) The remuneration, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality.

Section 7. 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 a new and additional subsection, to be known as Section 5(g) and reading as follows:

Sec. 5(g). If he has become unemployed by reason of commitment to any penal institution. Benefit wages related to wage credits earned in his most recent employment prior to such commitment 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 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 all of the said Section 6(b) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 6(b). A representative designated by the Commission, and hereinafter referred to as a deputy, shall promptly examine the claim and, on the basis of the facts found by him, shall either determine whether or not such claim is valid, and if valid, the week with respect to which benefits shall commence, the weekly benefit amount payable and the maximum duration thereof, or shall refer such claim or any question involved therein to an appeal tribunal, which shall make its decision with respect thereto in accordance with the procedure described in subsection (c) of this section. The deputy shall promptly notify the claimant and any other interested parties of the decision and the reasons therefor; the deputy may for good cause reconsider his decision and shall promptly notify the claimant and such other interested parties of the denial of such application or of his amended decision and the reasons therefor, as the case may be. Unless the claimant or any such interested party, within five calendar days after the delivery of the deputy's notification, or within seven calendar days after such notification was mailed to his last-known address, files an appeal from such decision, such decision shall be final and benefits shall be paid or denied in accordance therewith. 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 a base period employer, if other than the employer by whom the claimant was employed most recently prior to his filing a claim for benefits, shall, as well as such most recent employer, be considered to be an interested party, but only to the extent that his contribution rate may be affected by benefit wage charges. Accordingly, any such base period employer shall be notified of the determination of the deputy on a claim for benefits and shall be accorded all rights of appeal under this section. However, such appeal, if not by a most recent employer, shall not constitute a basis for postponing or denying the payment of benefits on an otherwise valid claim, but shall be considered in connection with the relief of benefit wages prescribed in Section 5(a), Section 5 (b), and Section 5(g) of this Act.

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 the following:

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:

(CHART MISSING)

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%.

Provided, that, for any calendar year with respect to which the balance in the fund on January 1 thereof is less than five Million Dollars ($5,000,000), no employer's contribution rate shall be less than five-tenths of one percent (.5%).

Section 10. That Section 7(c) (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 7(c) (5) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 7(c) (5). Transfers of experience from a predecessor to a successor employer are hereby recognized providing there is a substantial continuity of ownership and management by the successor of the business of the predecessor. The Commission shall by regulation prescribe the conditions under which a successor employer may be entitled to the experience of a predecessor employer in changes of employer business entity from a partnership to an individual proprietorship, or the reverse, in changes from a partnership to another partnership, in changes of partnerships into corporations, or the reverse, and in changes from an individual proprietorship to a corporation, or the dissolution of a corporate business into an individual proprietorship.

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, designated as Section 7(c) (6) and reading as follows:

Sec. 7(c) (6). If the Federal Unemployment Tax Act is amended by the Congress of the United States to permit a maximum of credit against such Federal tax higher than the 90% maximum rate of credit now permitted under Section 1601 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code to an employer with respect to the Delaware Unemployment Compensation Law, then for any such employer, liable under said Federal statute, his contribution rate under this Act shall be that determined in Section 7(c) (2) (E) of the Act plus the three-tenths of one percent (.3%) additional offset credit permitted under Federal law. Provided, however, that in no event shall any employer's total tax under this Act be higher than three percent (3%).

Section 12. 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, designated as Section 7(c) (7) and reading as follows:

Sec. 7(c) (7). If Section 303 (a) (5) of Title III of the Federal Social Security Act and Section 1603 (a) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code are amended by the Congress of the United States to permit the Unemployment Compensation Commission to use, in financing administrative expenditures incurred in carrying out its employment security functions, some part of the moneys collected or to be collected under the State Unemployment Compensation Law in partial or complete substitution for grants under said Title III of the Federal Social Security Act, in that event there shall be available to the Unemployment Compensation Commission without further appropriation or legislation such portion of said moneys collected or to be collected under the State Unemployment Compensation Law as the Commission may find necessary for effective administration of the Unemployment Compensation Law.

Sec. 7(c) (7) (A). Provided, however, that in no event shall the funds expended by the Commission under this provision in any year be in excess of two-tenths of one percent (.2%) of the payrolls of employers subject to contributions collected under this Act for the previous fiscal year. Such amount shall be determined annually by the Commission in conjunction with the State Treasurer and State Auditor and shall be transferred to the Administration Fund. Any unexpended portion of this annual allocation shall revert to the Unemployment Compensation reserve fund.

Section 13. That Section 10 (a) of Chapter 258, 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 following language in the sixth sentence thereof: "The Chairman of the Commission shall receive an annual salary of Fifty-Two Hundred Dollars ($5,200.00)", and by substituting in lieu thereof the following language at the beginning of the said sixth sentence: The Chairman of the Commission shall receive an annual salary of Six Thousand Dollars ($6,000.00).

Section 14. That Section 11(I) (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 the second sentence thereof, which reads: "Such appeals shall be taken in the manner and within the time prescribed by the Commission," and substituting in 'lieu thereof the following language: Such appeals shall be taken within 15 days from the date of the rendering of such administrative ruling.

Section 15. Section 1, Section 2, Section 9, and Section 10 of this Act shall become effective as of January 1, 1947. All other sections shall become effective upon approval of this Act by the Governor.

Approved April 3, 1947.