News & Press

Connecticut is “Chasing Cheaters”

The Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) and the Division of Criminal Justice have joined forces to combat the state’s unemployment fraud issue. So far they have arrested 200 people charged with illegally collecting more than $5.5 million in unemployment insurance benefits. Approximately 25 percent of those arrested have paid back the owed benefit payments in full.

Ongoing repayments are being made by others as part of court-ordered restitution.

According to State Labor Commissioner Scott D. Jackson, Since the state’s “Chasing Cheaters” program began in June 2013, it has recovered nearly $1.8 million, which has been returned to the state’s unemployment fund for paying benefits”.

Additional information about the state’s Fraud Prosecution Program can be found on the DOL website: https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/BPCU/Prosecution/default.htm

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on Connecticut is “Chasing Cheaters”

Connecticut’s Worker Classification Test is on Trial

Connecticut employers who use independent contractors in their business operations should be awaiting a decision in the Southwest Appraisal Group case with interest.

In this case, Part “C” of Connecticut’s Worker Classification test is being examined. According to Part “C”, in order for a worker to be classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee, they must “customarily be engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.”

Southwest contends that imposing this allegedly new requirement will be damaging to the Connecticut economy whereas the state argues that its interpretation of the statutory test ensures that workers classified as contractors will be economically independent.

The case is currently awaiting oral arguments at the State Supreme Court.

Click here to read more about the case: http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-abc-s-of-worker-classification-are-41696/

UPDATE: The Connecticut Supreme Court has reversed the trial court’s decision and ruled in favor of Southwest Appraisal Group. They concluded that “evidence of the performance of services for third parties is not required to prove part C of the ABC test but, rather, is a single factor that may be considered under the totality of the circumstances analysis governing that inquiry.” They further explained, “just as the mere freedom to provide services for third parties is not by itself dispositive under part C, whether the individual actually provided services for someone other than the employer is not dispositive proof of an employer-employee relationship.”

Employers now have 10 additional factors from the Connecticut Supreme Court to consider when evaluating if an individual will meet part C of that test.

Read more details on these factors and the Court’s decision here: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=84dfc7e7-4f20-4dc6-9d5e-9c884f04427b

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on Connecticut’s Worker Classification Test is on Trial

Youth Unemployment Rates Rise

ConnecticutAccording to the 2016 State of Working Connecticut Report the state added 5,700 jobs in January and the unemployment rate remained at a relatively healthy 4.5 percent, but according to economists the unemployment rate for young people in the state is over double that amount at 10 percent. When urban areas were examined the rate almost quadruples to 20 percent.

Many fear that minimum wage increases will only make the issue worse as they feel that a raise in minimum wage would prevent employers from hiring young, unskilled workers.  Others feel the wage increase is vital for youths to be able to find employment where the income is enough to meet their basic needs.

While many disagree on how to solve the issue, the majority concur that education and employment programs for younger workers are keys to reversing the trend of high unemployment in the cities.

Read more on the discussion here: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/business/article/Unemployment-rate-for-youth-in-cities-still-too-11009333.php

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on Youth Unemployment Rates Rise

State Sues IBM for Failed Unemployment Computer System Overhaul

Pennsylvania – On Thursday March 9th, Governor Tom Wolfe’s Administration filed a lawsuit against IBM for breach of contract. In a public statement Governor Wolf said “Pennsylvania taxpayers paid IBM nearly $170 million for what was supposed to be a comprehensive, integrated, and modern system that it never got”. According to an Associated Press report, IBM says the claims have no merit and they plan to fight the lawsuit.

Read the full story here: http://www.dailyitem.com/the_danville_news/news/governor-sues-ibm-for-computer-overhaul-debacle/article_88137589-7c59-5d28-bdb3-98cfafadf54f.html

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on State Sues IBM for Failed Unemployment Computer System Overhaul

Unemployment Claims Catapult Despite an Overall Healthy Job Market

In just two weeks’ time, the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits catapulted from just 20,000 to 243,000 which is well above economists’ predictions of unemployment claims coming in around 238,000. This new stat may come as a surprise since U.S. jobless claims as of March 2nd were reported to be at their lowest levels since March of 1973.

Even with this drastic increase in initial claim filings, many other economic indicators show an incredibly healthy labor market. The federal government is set to release a jobs report which could show 210,000 new jobs were created in February.

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on Unemployment Claims Catapult Despite an Overall Healthy Job Market

New Unemployment Bill Proposes Paid Family Leave

Connecticut – On Wednesday March 8th, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) sponsored a lobbying event that discussed, amongst other issues, a new unemployment compensation bill. The bill proposes that employees would be eligible for 12 weeks paid family leave in a year. This paid leave would be financed by a tax on employee earnings.

The CBIA opposes the family and medical leave measure stating that it would drive up the cost of doing business in the state, while Senator Martin Looney, president pro tem of the Senate, supports the legislation as “essential to the health and well-being” of workers in Connecticut.

Proposed legislation also includes a separate measure that would raise the annual earnings threshold for collecting benefits from $600 currently to $2,000. This measure is receiving wide support from the CBIA and other Connecticut based employers.

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on New Unemployment Bill Proposes Paid Family Leave

Unemployment Offset Determined Unlawful in Back-Pay Awards

New Jersey – A recent Appellate Court ruling  determined that a plaintiff-employee’s unemployment benefits were incorrectly credited against a verdict he obtained in a discrimination suit against his former employer.

Rex Fornaro was formerly employed as a flight instructor with Flightsafety International Inc. After his termination, he collected unemployment for 11 months. An Essex County jury awarded $83,000 in back pay, and Superior Court Judge Francine Schott reduced that award by $14,000, which represented half the unemployment benefits the state had paid him. In her decision, Judge Francine Schott noted this was a fair adjustment since both an employer and employee pay into unemployment benefits.

The decision was appealed and in the Appellate Court decision, Judge Susan Reisner wrote: “We hold that the collateral source statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:15-97, does not apply to [New Jersey Law Against Discrimination] cases, and we find no other basis on which to deduct unemployment compensation from back pay awarded under the LAD,”

The panel also relied on federal jurisprudence, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1951 decision in NLRB v. Gullett Gin, where the court held that the National Labor Relations Act mandates that unemployment benefits are not to be deducted from back pay awards.

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on Unemployment Offset Determined Unlawful in Back-Pay Awards

Former Executive Receives Unemployment after Alleged Ethics Violations were Unfounded

New Haven, CT – After initially being denied unemployment benefits in September 2015, Nichole Jefferson, former Executive Director of the Commission on Equal Opportunities, has won the city’s second appeal of unemployment benefits. 

Principal Appeals Referee Arnold J. Perrotta of the Employment Security Appeals Division of the state Department of Labor, who reversed the initial ruling against Jefferson said the city’s case “had all the markings of a witch hunt” and found there was a “huge disparity between the allegations and the facts.”

An FBI investigation also found no evidence of the alleged ethics violations.

Read more about this interesting case here: http://www.nhregister.com/government-and-politics/20170306/new-haven-loses-second-appeal-of-unemployment-benefits-for-fired-official 

 

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on Former Executive Receives Unemployment after Alleged Ethics Violations were Unfounded

Drug Tests and Unemployment Compensation

The House has passed a resolution (H.J. Res. 42), sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) expressing disapproval of a Labor Department rule restricting state government from requiring drug testing for those applying for unemployment compensation. The vote, on Feb. 15, was 236-189 nays.

By |Blog, News & Press|Comments Off on Drug Tests and Unemployment Compensation

Meghan Avery Promoted to Director of Operations

UTCA_-Meghan-2848-Web

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Unemployment Tax Control Associates, Inc. (UTCA), a national unemployment insurance service provider based in Springfield, Mass., with an office in Boston, today announced the promotion of Meghan Avery to director of operations. The announcement was made by Tim Phelan, chief legal counsel & vice president of client services.

Ms. Avery draws expertise from her undergraduate studies at Hofstra University and brings nearly a decade of professional experience to UTCA, six of which were gleaned in-house. Meghan joined the team as senior analyst in 2011, quickly advancing to lead analyst and next, client services manager, before her most current promotion.

As Director of Operations, she will oversee client services and all aspects of the claims department, management education and sales functions. Ms. Avery will manage key areas of the operational budget and employee development. Additionally, liaising with the CEO and Director of Finance, she will be tasked with deliverables related to the company’s financial objectives, profitability and alignment of corporate strategic goals.

“Meghan’s promotion is certainly well-deserved. In addition to commendable qualifications and experience, she has demonstrated success in-house relative to operational performance,” explained Phelan. “Drawing on her expertise in the cost management area of our business, Meghan’s talents have supported the growth of UTCA, furthering the company’s ability to effectively speak to our value proposition. She is a rising star at UTCA and embodies our mission of providing the best service in the industry focusing on the client, first and foremost.”

See Coverage in Business West:

Meghan Avery Promoted at Unemployment Tax Control Associates

 

 

 

 

By |News & Press|Comments Off on Meghan Avery Promoted to Director of Operations