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Seasonal  & Part-time Workers, Are They Eligible for Unemployment?

2017As the holiday season begins, at CCC we are predicting its end, when the unemployment line begins to grow.  To protect your organization’s unemployment tax rate, it is important to know whether employees are properly categorized as Seasonal or Part-time to determine whether their filing for unemployment claims will financially impact your organization.

Seasonal employment relates to employers who operate during a specific time of year for a limited amount of time.  These would be industries such as skiing, fishing, logging, etc. In most states, this does not apply to retailers that operate year round, but hire seasonal employees for peak times throughout the year.

There are a number of states that have special provisions for these seasonal employers with limitations regarding the collection of unemployment benefits after the season has ended.  These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  (Contact your CCC Account Executive for specific information on your state.)

Part-time workers are in all industries and are loosely defined as any employee who works under 40 hours per week.  Within this part-time status you can have subcategories of employment, each having a different impact on the employer’s unemployment tax account.

Regular part-time employees are hired as part-time and work generally (within a 5% change) the same number of hours throughout the year. An employee of this nature would be eligible for partial unemployment benefits, but in most states, the employer would be eligible to request relief of benefit charge.

When a claimant receives partial benefits, the state agency subtracts an employee’s wages from their weekly benefit amount and pays them the difference.

Part-time employees have hours that can fluctuate throughout the year. These employees are eligible for partial unemployment benefits and the employer is not eligible to request relief of benefit charge.

On-call employees are only contacted when they are needed for work. These employees are eligible for unemployment benefits and when they work, their benefits will be reduced by the amount they receive in wages for that period.

As the unemployment claims begin to arrive in early January, it is important to review the employment of each claimant to insure the proper information relating to their employment is provided to the state agency.  The state agency will use your information and records along with the claimant’s information to determine what if any benefits are paid and how those benefits will impact your organization.  If you have questions regarding either a current or former employee’s employment status or regarding seasonal employment, please contact CCC at (800) 207-6926 for assistance or via email at contact@corporatecostcontrol.com.


Unemployment Tax Update:

Ohio Bill Proposing Employee Contributions!

According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, H. B. 382 was introduced during the 132nd General Assembly.  The bill includes changes, in what is considered, the minimum safe level (MSL) used in calculating the trust fund solvency of the state.     Ohio based their legislation to accommodate the AHCM (Average High Cost Multiple) of 1.0 that the U. S. Department of labor mandated in their legislation in September of 2010.   An AHCM of 0.5 began in 2014 and increased by 0.1 each year ending in 2019 at 1.0.   Ohio Map

As mentioned in prior newsletter, the AHCM was created through a study completed by the Government of Accountability Office.       The study reviewed all recessions (including the Great Recession) that have occurred over the past twenty-five years.   The results of the study reflected that the states who had an AHCM of 1.0 before the recessions started, did not need to borrow money from the federal government.   As mentioned in the above paragraph, the percentages were elevated each year from 2014 until the desired 1.0 AHCM until achieved.   Each state that reaches the ACHM required, can obtain an interest free loan under the Title XII loan provision.     This is costly for the FUTA portion of the government as they had to borrow from other federal agencies in order to fund claims during the recession.   It was costly for the states agencies as interest was owed on the balances due causing additional cost to employers in that state.

Although Ohio will qualify for an interest free loan by the end of 2017, they wanted to make sure they do not fall short in future years.    Ohio has introduced this bill to meet the expectations for the possibility of an interest free loan if needed.   They have requested their MSL to be equal to 0.75 of the AHCM required which somewhat falls under what the federal government mandated.   The state requested the taxable wage base to increase from 9,500 (2018) to $11,000 effect the January following the passage of the bill.     The duration of benefits is also being requested from 26 to 24 weeks in some instances.   The final recommendation within the bill was to add employee based contributions that would employers to deduct up to 10% of a quotient determined by Ohio Department of Job and Family services.

About half the nation met the AHCM of 0.7 by December 31, 2016.    The counts for 2017, will not be in until around February of 2018.    The deadline is quickly approaching.    More states are going to start considering the AHCM with future rate calculations.   We should see similar legislation in other states as the deadline for the AHCM for December 31, 2019 approaches.

If you have questions or would like a copy of the Ohio bill proposed, please contact our director, Norma Green, at ngreen@corporatecostcontrol.com or (800) 207- 6926, Ext 418.


Guideline

Join Us For the Final Tax Presentation of 2017: Outlook 2018

Our Tax Director Norma Green will review her outlook for 2018.  This will review what occurred in 2017 and it’s impact on 2018. Are the states solvent? Where are we with the Average High Cost Multiple? What is happening to the 2018 Taxable Wage Base for each state? And More!

Click on the title above to register.  Questions or issues regarding registering? If you have questions regarding either a current or former employee’s employment status or regarding seasonal employment, please contact CCC at (800) 207-6926 for assistance or via email at contact@corporatecostcontrol.com.

Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money. Contact our Sales Team (800) 207-6926

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