Bill to Ease Unemployment Rules for Jobless and Employers Headed to Governor

A bill which would provide relief to businesses and their employees impacted by mitigation efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, is now on its way to the governor’s desk.

The House unanimously concurred on Senate amendments to House Bill 68, which would make temporary changes to Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) law to ease requirements for both employers and their workers seeking unemployment relief.

“During the COVID-19 emergency, my bill would waive job search and registration waiting periods required of all claimants and relieve employers of charges they pay into the Unemployment Compensation Fund,” said Rep. Ryan. “This includes employers who pay UC taxes and nonprofits and public employers who choose to pay a solvency fee into the UC Trust Fund. The original intent of the bill is maintained to extend the 21-day appeal period from 15 days and provides automatic relief for benefit charges paid out during the emergency period.”

For employers who do not participate in the state’s UC program, Ryan’s bill expands the repayment period from 30 days to 120 days. An additional 60 days (interest free) may be granted to employers claiming a financial hardship. No interest would be charged on late payments nor would it accrue on unpaid balances until Jan. 1, 2021.

Congress recently passed legislation to provide up to $37.8 million in federal funding to provide extended unemployment benefits. Ryan’s bill authorizes the Secretary of Labor and Industry to enact emergency regulations needed to comply with the requirements for federal assistance and requires monthly reports to the General Assembly on UC activity and statutory changes needed to comply with federal law.