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09.32.02 - Division of Unemployment Insurance - Proposed Regulations

PROPOSED ACTION ON REGULATIONS
MARYLAND REGISTER, VOLUME 44, ISSUE 3,
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2017

Title 09 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING, AND REGULATION

Subtitle 32 Unemployment Insurance

09.32.02 Claims for Benefits

Authority: Labor and Employment Article, §§8-101, 8-305, and 8-1009, Annotated Code of Maryland

Notice of Proposed Action
[17-073-P]

The Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation proposes to amend Regulation .13 under COMAR 09.32.02.13 Claims for Benefits.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this action is to repeal outdated provisions and definitions to reflect legislative changes made in 2009 to the Unemployment Insurance Law and to clarify that severance paid in exchange for a release of claims is fully deductible.

Comparison to Federal Standards

There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.

Estimate of Economic Impact

The proposed action has no economic impact.

Economic Impact on Small Businesses

The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.

Impact on Individuals with Disabilities

The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.

Opportunity for Public Comment

Comments may be sent to Jared Murphy, Director, UI Legal Services, Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, 1100 North Eutaw St., Baltimore, MD 21201, or call 410-767-2409, or email to jared.murphy@maryland.gov, or fax to 410-333-7099. Comments will be accepted through March 6, 2017. A public hearing has not been scheduled.

.13 Severance Pay, Dismissal Pay, or Pay instead of Notice of Termination.
  A. [Definitions.
    (1) Employee Benefits Package.
      (a) “Employee benefits package” means any cash or in-kind contribution which is made by an employer to or on behalf of an employee or any dependent of an employee and which does not constitute wages paid to the employee.
      (b) “Employee benefits package” includes but is not limited to an employer’s contribution:
        (i) To a health, medical, life, or disability insurance plan;
        (ii) To a pension plan or retirement plan;
        (iii) To a deferred compensation plan;
        (iv) To an annuity plan;
        (v) To a stock option plan; or
        (vi) For dependent care assistance.
    (2)] “Severance pay” [means] is the gross amount of severance pay including severance pay that is contingent on the employee signing a release of liability or waiver agreement, dismissal pay, pay instead of notice of termination, wage continuation, or other remuneration paid or payable to the claimant upon separation from employment.
    [(3) “Wage continuation” means any payment that consists of the same wage amount and employee benefit package that is paid to an individual when services are no longer being performed as was paid when services were being performed.]
  B.[Deductible] Deducting Severance Pay.
    (1) Severance pay shall be deducted from benefits [when the individual’s former position has not been eliminated].
    [(2) Wage continuation shall be deducted from benefits even when the individual’s former position has been eliminated.]
    [(3)] (2) The Secretary shall allocate severance pay that is paid in a lump sum or in increments to a number of weeks following the date of separation, including the week during which the claimant was separated from employment. The Secretary shall allocate severance pay by:
      (a) Calculating the entire amount of severance pay including any amount of severance pay that may be contingent on the employee signing a release of liability or waiver agreement;
      (b)—(d) (text unchanged)
    [(4)] (3) (text unchanged)
  [C. Nondeductible Severance Pay. Severance pay that is not wage continuation may not be deducted from benefits when the claimant’s former position is eliminated and that position will not be filled, regardless of whether the claimant’s former job duties are being performed by others.
  D. Partial Earnings. Severance pay that is less than the claimant’s weekly benefit amount may not be deducted pursuant to Regulation .10F of this chapter as partial earnings.]
  [E.] C. (text unchanged)

KELLY M. SCHULZ
Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation