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On June 8, 2021, Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds signed HF 871 which allows the Iowa Workforce Development Department to establish a “short-term temporary layoff” rule to waive or alter the work search requirements for a claim for unemployment insurance benefits if an individual has a reasonable expectation that the individual will be returning to employment and is attached to a regular job or industry or is in good standing in a union.

To be considered attached to a regular job/industry, the individual must be on a short-term or temporary layoff.  If work is not available at the conclusion of the layoff period due to short-term circumstances beyond the employer’s control, the employer may request an extension of the waiver or alteration for up to two weeks from the department.

The department defines “short-term or temporary layoff” as a layoff period of sixteen weeks or less due to seasonal weather conditions that impact the ability to perform work related to highway construction, repair, or maintenance with a specific return-to-work date verified by the employer.

HF 871 does not provide clarification as to “good standing” in a union.

How does this impact employers?

HF 871 provides employers an opportunity to keep valuable employees job attached during a layoff by not requiring them to seek and if suitable, accept another position during a temporary lack of work. While the employer’s unemployment tax account will be responsible for charges as a result of benefits collected by the employee, this would not be as detrimental as the loss of a valuable employee.

 

 


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