Unemployment reform legislation is up for consideration again by the Missouri Legislature this year. For the fourth time, NFIB/MO testified in support of the measure, which would help ensure the solvency of the state’s unemployment trust fund by tying the length of benefits to the unemployment rate.
Under HB 1409, sponsored by Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, unemployment compensation limits would be based upon a sliding scale—from 13 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is below 6 percent up to 20 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is 9 percent or higher. Currently, the maximum total amount of benefits must not exceed 20 times his or her weekly benefit amount, or 33 1/3 percent of his or her wage credits. The bill would also revise the definition of “wages” (in terms of employment security laws) to include termination and severance pay as well.
From the effective date of the law—January 1, 2019 if approved—employers would have 60 days to file an appeal for recovery of overpayments for the past five years due to erroneous experience rating.