At the advisory council meeting today, the council approved seven of the Department’s proposed changes to unemployment law. These are:
D12-17 — licensing suspended or revoked when funds owed for unemployment
The council sought and received advice from DWD that this provision will only apply to employers with unpaid unemployment taxes. This new language will not apply to claimants with overpayments. There was concern from the council over employers who had licensed employees. These employers would have difficulty knowing about employees whose licenses were suspended because of unemployment-related debts that were unrelated to the employer. As a result, the employer would not know about unlicensed employees performing essentials tasks.
D12-28 — LLCs with the same members will no longer be treated as a single employer
D12-23 — DWD can use SSNs to search DMV records
D12-15 — waiver of interest on employers’ late payments of unemployment taxes
D12-16 — cafeteria plans to be excluded in claimants’ benefit year wage calculations
D12-04 — waiver of penalty for employer’s late successorship application
D12-27 — change in penalties to create incentives for employers to file quarterly wage reports
You can see a description of these changes as well as others still on the table in the attached memo. The actual DWD proposals are available at: http://dwd-uireform.vforberger.fastmail.fm/ .
The Advisory Council’s meeting schedule is (ending times are only guesses):
Wed Feb 6 9:30am – 1:30pm
Thu Feb 21 10:00am – 2:00pm
Thu Mar 14 9:30am – 1:30pm
Thu Mar 21 10:00am – 2:00pm
Thu Apr 18 10:00am – 2:00pm
Thu May 16 10:00am – 2:00pm
Thu Jun 20 10:00am – 2:00pm
The other proposed changes are still under consideration and will be decided during the next council meetings.
Approval by the council only means that the council recommends the legislature take up and pass these changes to unemployment law. The legislature is always free to whatever it wants. But, in unemployment law, traditionally any changes to unemployment law have gone through the council.
Here is the lengthy (50 pp.) analysis of proposed changes DWD submitted to the Advisory Council in late November/early December 2012 regarding the state’s unemployment law. The proposed changes were substantial and ended up for the most part being adopted. This memo was completed in early January 2013.
UPDATE (17 Sept. 2016): Note that copies of this memorandum were also provided to members of the Advisory Council and posted on the labor and employment listserv for the Wisconsin bar.