Protecting Businesses from Increasing Cost of Unemployment Insurance


Due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, many Virginians are out of work due to business closures, school closures, and other health-related emergencies. The United States Department of Labor has greatly expanded the definition of who is eligible for unemployment compensation benefits, the period of time a person may be on unemployment compensation benefits, and the amount of unemployment pay a dislocated worker receives per week. The increase in workers who are eligible as well as the increase in funds distributed to families in the Commonwealth has depleted the Virginia Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, and resulted in greatly increased levels of employer benefit charges and anticipated increases in the tax rates of covered employers under the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act.
In response to this crisis, the United States Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration has issued guidance letters (Federal Guidance) regarding the broad, emergency flexibility that States have to provide temporary relief to unemployed individuals and employers directly impacted by COVID-19. Pursuant to that guidance and its own authority, the Virginia Employment Commission (Commission) has already taken action with the United States Department of Labor to secure benefits for Virginians and request and repay Title XII advances from the Federal Unemployment Account.
However, there is still work that the Commission can do to lessen the tax burden on businesses that has resulted from record unemployment. Under the Federal Guidance, the Virginia Employment Commission may also relax its ordinary requirements in calculating the annual statement of the employers' benefit charges and taxes for ... Read more



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