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AB-397 Unemployment insurance: benefits: disqualification: notice. (2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/03/2021 09:00 PM
AB397:v99#DOCUMENT

Revised  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 397


Introduced by Assembly Members Mayes and Chiu
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Nazarian, Santiago, and Wicks)

February 03, 2021


An act to amend Sections 1260 and 1261 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, relating to unemployment insurance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 397, as introduced, Mayes. Unemployment insurance: benefits: disqualification: notice.
Existing law requires that an individual is disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits if the individual willfully, for the purpose of obtaining unemployment compensation benefits, either made a false statement or representation, including, but not limited to, using a false name, false social security number, or other false identification, with actual knowledge of the falsity of it, or withheld a material fact in order to obtain unemployment compensation benefits. An individual disqualified from unemployment compensation benefits for making a false statement or representation or withholding material facts is ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits for certain periods of time, as provided.
This bill, among other things, would require the Employment Development Department, prior to disqualifying an individual and subjecting that person to a period of ineligibility, to provide notice to the individual of the proposed determination. The bill would require the notice to be sent separately from other notices and provide specified information with regard to the basis of the determination and the individual’s right to respond. The bill would authorize the department, after certain conditions are fulfilled, to issue a final notice of determination to the individual that includes the number of weeks for which the individual is ineligible for benefits, the statements, representations, or facts found to be false or withheld, and the individual’s right of appeal.
Existing law authorizes the Director of Employment Development to extend the period of ineligibility for not more than 8 weeks when there have been successive disqualifications from unemployment compensation benefits, as provided.
This bill would require the department to provide the above-described notices for each successive disqualification for making a false statement or representation or withholding material facts before the director can extend the ineligibility period.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1260 of the Unemployment Insurance Code is amended to read:

1260.
 (a) An individual disqualified under Section 1256, under a determination transmitted to him or her the individual by the department, is ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits for the week in which the act that causes his or her the disqualification occurs and continuing until he or she has, they have, subsequent to the act that causes disqualification and his or her their registration for work, performed service in bona fide employment for which remuneration is received equal to or in excess of five times his or her their weekly benefit amount.
(b) An individual disqualified under subdivision (b) of Section 1257, under a determination transmitted to him or her the individual by the department, is ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits for not less than 2 two nor more than 10 consecutive weeks beginning with:
(1) The week in which the cause of his or her the disqualification occurs, if he or she the individual registers for work in that week.
(2) The week subsequent to the occurrence of the cause of his or her the individual’s disqualification in which he or she first registers they first register for work, if he or she does they do not register for work in the week in which the cause of his or her their disqualification occurs.
(c) An individual disqualified under subdivision (a) of Section 1257, under a determination transmitted to him or her the individual by the department, and who was not paid any benefit amount as a result of his or her their false statement or representation, is ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits for two weeks commencing with the week in which the determination is mailed to or personally served upon him or her, them, or any subsequent week, for which he or she is they are first otherwise in all respects eligible for unemployment compensation benefits and for not more than 13 subsequent weeks for which he or she is they are otherwise in all respects eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. No disqualification under this subdivision shall be applied to any week if all or any portion of the week is beyond the three-year period next succeeding the date of the mailing or personal service of the determination. This subdivision shall not apply to an individual convicted under Section 2101.
(d) An individual disqualified under subdivision (a) of Section 1257, under a determination transmitted to him or her the individual by the department, and who was paid any benefit amount as a result of his or her their false statement or representation, is ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits for five weeks commencing with the week in which the determination is mailed to or personally served upon him or her, them, or any subsequent week, for which he or she is they are first otherwise in all respects eligible for unemployment compensation benefits and for not more than 10 subsequent weeks for which he or she is they are otherwise in all respects eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. No disqualification under this subdivision shall be applied to any week if all or any portion of the week is beyond the three-year period next succeeding the date of the mailing or personal service of the determination. This subdivision shall not apply to an individual convicted under Section 2101.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) or (d), an individual who is subject to a disqualification that is imposed under subdivision (b) of Section 1257 may, if he or she is they are otherwise in all respects eligible for unemployment compensation benefits, concurrently serve a disqualification imposed under subdivision (a) of Section 1257.
(f) Prior to disqualifying an individual pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1257 and subjecting that individual to the period of ineligibility described in subdivision (c) or (d), the department shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide notice to the individual of the proposed determination. This notice shall be transmitted separately from other notices from the department, including, but not limited to, any notice of potential overpayment alleged by the department.
(A) The notice shall state the false statement or misrepresentation on which the department based its determination to disqualify the individual pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1257.
(B) The notice shall state the individual’s right to respond to the notice pursuant to paragraph (2).
(2) Provide the individual with a period of not less than 30 days to respond by telephone or in writing to the proposed determination of ineligibility pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1257 by explaining any alleged false or withheld facts, statements, or representations.
(3) After an individual has responded to the allegations or after 30 days if the individual fails to respond, the department may issue a final notice of determination to an individual. That notice shall contain all of the following:
(A) The number of weeks for which the individual is ineligible for benefits pursuant to subdivision (c) or (d).
(B) The statements, representations, or facts found to be false or withheld.
(C) The individual’s right to appeal the determination as described in paragraph (4).
(4) The individual may appeal the determination to an administrative law judge within 30 days from mailing or personal service of the notice of determination. The 30-day period may be extended by the administrative law judge for good cause, including, but not be limited to, mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. The director shall be an interested party to any appeal.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1261 of the Unemployment Insurance Code is amended to read:

1261.
 When successive disqualifications under Section 1257 occur, the director may extend the period of ineligibility provided for in Section 1260 for an additional period not to exceed eight additional weeks. With regard to successive disqualifications pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1257, the department is required to have complied with subdivision (f) of Section 1260 for each successive disqualification.

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REVISIONS:
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