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S.F. No. 2186 - Department of Employment and Economic Development Unemployment Compensation Bill
Author: Senator Foung Hawj
Prepared By:
Date: March 17, 2014



On an annual basis the Department of Employment and Economic Development presents an Unemployment Compensation bill to the legislature.  The bill is usually a combination of policy, housekeeping, and technical proposals.  That is the case with S.F. No. 2186.  This summary only summarizes the policy changes proposed in Article 1.

Article 1

Section 1 amends the definition of wages used to compute benefits (and taxes).  Excluded from “wages” are income of a former employee resulting from the exercise of a nonqualified stock option.  The treatment of wages for owner-operators where payments are made for services and equipment rental is moved from Minnesota Rules to Minnesota Statutes.

Section 2 governs the transfer of experience rating records of an employer when there is a transfer of ownership of all or part of a business.  Employers often want to succeed to a preexisting experience rating because it is lower than the rating they would otherwise get.  The section addresses a holding of a recent court decision that made it very difficult to transfer experience ratings to a successor employer.

Section 3 reduces the interest charged on most past due employer payments from one and a half percent a month to one percent a month (18 percent per annum to 12 percent per annum).

Section 4 clarifies and specifies the impact of various employer payments to an employee, such as sick pay, vacation pay, or pensions on the receipt of unemployment compensation benefits.

Section 5 exempts attorneys that represent employers from the requirement that appeals be filed online.  Otherwise employer appeals made by an agent (not an employee) of the employer must be filed online. 

Section 6 reduces from one and a half percent per month to one percent per month the interest an employee must pay when paying back benefits fraudulently received.

Section 7 reduces the time period that an employer must retain records for the purposes of audit from eight years plus the current year to four years plus the current year.


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