Unemployment compensation law




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Compiler's Note: Section 9(1) of Act 6 of 2011, which amended section 213, provided that the amendment shall apply to charges for compensation corresponding to benefit years that begin on and after the effective date of the amendment.

Section 214.  Representation in Proceedings.--Any party in any proceeding under this act before the department, a referee or the board may be represented by an attorney or other representative.

(214 added June 15, 2005, P.L.8, No.5)

 

ARTICLE III



CONTRIBUTIONS BY EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYES

(Hdg. amended July 21, 1983, P.L.68, No.30)

 

Section 301.  Contributions by Employers and Employes; Successors-In-Interest; Appeals.--



(a)  (1)  Each employer shall pay contributions with respect to the calendar year 1984, and each calendar year thereafter, at a rate equal to five and four-tenths per centum (5.4%) for employers with a zero or credit reserve account balance and eight and five-tenths per centum (8.5%) for 1984, eight and eight-tenths per centum (8.8%) for 1985 and nine and two-tenths per centum (9.2%) for 1986 and thereafter for employers with a debit reserve account balance of wages paid by him for employment: Provided, however, That with respect to employers subject to the provisions of section 301.1(b) of this act, such rate shall be adjusted in accordance with the provisions of sections 301.1, 301.2 and 301.6 of this act.

(2)  An employer's rate of contribution shall be the sum of three per centum (3%) plus his rate of contribution as determined under this section or section 301.1 of this act, without regard to this paragraph or paragraph (2.1) of this subsection, if all his reports required by this act and regulations of the department to establish the amount of contributions or showing the amount of wages paid to each employe for calendar quarters through the second calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year and all his contributions due on wages paid to the end of the second calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year, together with interest and penalties due thereon, have not been filed and paid by September 30 of such preceding calendar year, except that an employer who has timely filed an appeal as provided in subsection (e) of this section and who has been determined ineligible to receive a reduced rate solely on the basis that he has not filed all reports and paid all contributions, interest and penalties within the time limits as required in this paragraph, shall have his rate redetermined and shall not be considered ineligible under this paragraph if such delinquent reports are filed and payment of such delinquent contributions, interest and penalties is made within thirty (30) days after the department has notified the employer of the reason for his ineligibility for rate reduction in response to the appeal filed by the employer under subsection (e) or, if the employer executes and files with the department, no later than the end of the thirty (30) days, a deferred payment plan, which is accepted by the department as filed or modified, for such delinquent contributions, interest and penalties. If the employer fails to comply with the deferred payment plan, the reduced rate granted shall be revoked and, notwithstanding sections 301(j) and 309.2, additional contributions shall be due as a result of the rate increase and shall bear interest from the due date of the corresponding report or reports.

(2.1)  An employer's rate of contribution shall be the sum of three per centum (3%) plus his rate of contribution as determined under this section or section 301.1 of this act, without regard to this paragraph or paragraph (2) of this subsection, if the employer fails to file any report required by section 315(a)(1), (2) or (3) of this act in accordance with section 315(b). This paragraph shall apply to an employer's rate of contribution for the calendar year in which the report becomes due through the calendar year in which the report is filed: Provided, however, That an employer who has timely filed an appeal as provided in subsection (e) of this section and who has been determined ineligible to receive a reduced rate solely on the basis that he has not filed a report as required in this paragraph shall have his rate redetermined and shall not be considered ineligible under this paragraph if such report is filed within thirty (30) days after the department has notified the employer of the reason for his ineligibility for rate reduction in response to the appeal filed by the employer under subsection (e): and Provided further, That for purposes of this paragraph when one party to a transfer of organization, trade, business or work force files the report required by section 315(a)(2) of this act in accordance with section 315(b), the other party to the transfer will be deemed to have filed its report at that time.

(3)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of the act except paragraph (2) of this subsection, any employer who becomes newly liable for contributions under this act in a calendar year in which it employs individuals in the performance of a contract or subcontract for construction in this Commonwealth of roads, bridges, highways, buildings, factories, housing developments or other construction projects shall be liable for contributions at the rate of nine and two-tenths per centum (9.2%) for 1984, nine and four-tenths per centum (9.4%) for 1985 and nine and seven-tenths per centum (9.7%) for 1986 and thereafter paid by him for employment, until such time as he becomes subject to the provisions of sections 301.1, 301.2 and 301.6 of this act subject to the provisions of section 301.1(g).

(4)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, any employer who becomes newly liable for contributions under this act, other than an employer subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection, shall be liable for contributions at the rate of three and five-tenths per centum (3.5%) of wages paid by him for employment until such time as he shall become classifiable under the provisions of section 301.1(b) of this act. Thereafter his rate of contributions shall be five and four-tenths per centum (5.4%) for employers with a zero or credit reserve account balance and eight and five-tenths per centum (8.5%) for 1984, eight and eight-tenths per centum (8.8%) for 1985 and nine and two-tenths per centum (9.2%) for 1986 and thereafter for employers with a debit reserve account balance subject to adjustment under the provisions of sections 301.1, 301.2 and 301.6 of this act.

((a) amended June 15, 2005, P.L.8, No.5)

(b)  Except as specifically provided under section four hundred four, wages paid with respect to employment performed under shipping articles shall, for the purposes of this act, be considered as having been paid as of a date determined under rules and regulations of the department irrespective of when actual payment was made to the employe. ((b) amended Dec. 17, 1959, P.L.1893, No.693)

(c)  Each employer with respect to any period prior to January 1, 1984, shall be liable for contributions in accordance with the provisions of this act applicable to each period in effect prior to such date, and for these purposes such provisions shall remain in full force and effect. ((c) amended July 21, 1983, P.L.68, No.30)

(d)  (1)  (A)  Where an employer, subsequent to the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and forty-nine, transfers his or its organization, trade, business or work force, in whole or in part, to a successor-in-interest who continues essentially the same business activity of the whole or part transferred, such successor-in-interest may, prior to the end of the calendar year subsequent to the calendar year in which the transfer occurred, make application for transfer of the whole, or appropriate part, of the experience record and reserve account balance of the preceding employer to the successor-in-interest, including credit for the years during which contributions were paid by the preceding employer. The department shall transfer the whole or appropriate part of such experience record and reserve account balance of the preceding employer only if such preceding employer has joined in such application and has filed with the department such supporting schedules or other information with respect to such experience record and reserve account balance as the department may require, including the report required by section 315(a)(3); the application for such transfer is filed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the department; and all contributions, interest and penalties owing by the predecessor have been or are paid at the time such application is filed with the department. The department may not transfer the whole or appropriate part of the preceding employer's experience record and reserve account balance if the department determines that the successor-in-interest acquired all or part of the preceding employer's organization, trade, business or work force solely or primarily to obtain a lower rate of contribution.

(B)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (A) of this subsection, with respect to any transfer by an employer subject to the contribution provisions of this act of its organization, trade, business or work force, in whole or in part, whether such transfer was by merger, consolidation, sale or transfer, descent or otherwise, the department shall transfer the experience record and reserve account balance (whether positive or negative) of such employer to its successor-in-interest if it finds that (I) such employer was owned, controlled or managed by or owned, controlled or managed the successor-in-interest either directly or indirectly, by legally enforcible means or otherwise, or (II) both such employer and successor-in-interest were owned, controlled or managed either directly or indirectly, by legally enforcible means or otherwise, by the same interest or interests.

(B.1)  Paragraphs (A) and (B) of this subsection shall not apply to a transfer of a work force, in whole or in part, which is part of or results in an arrangement covered by section 4(j)(2.1) of this act.

(C)  In the event of a part transfer of an employer's organization, trade, business or work force under either paragraph (A) or paragraph (B) of this subsection, a portion of the experience record and reserve account balance of the preceding employer shall be transferred according to the following formula:

average of the number of

employes in the part of

the organization, trade,

business or work force

transferred for each

calendar quarter in the

three calendar years

preceding the transfer

percentage of preceding

employer's experience

------------------------ X 100 = record and reserve account

balance transferred to

the successor-in-interest

average of the number of

employes in the total of

the preceding employer's

organization, trade,

business or work force for

each calendar quarter in

the three calendar years

preceding the transfer

Provided, That if the part transferred has been in existence for a period of less than three calendar years preceding the transfer but more than one calendar year, then the period for which the part transferred has been in existence shall be used in the foregoing formula and credit shall be given to the successor-in-interest only for the years during which contributions were paid by the preceding employer with respect to that part of the organization, trade, business or work force transferred.

(2.1)  If the experience record and reserve account balance of a preceding employer is transferred, in whole or in part, to a successor-in-interest under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the following provisions shall apply:

(A)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, the experience record and reserve account balance transferred to the successor-in-interest shall be deemed to remain with the preceding employer for purposes of determining the rate of contribution of the preceding employer for the remainder of the calendar year in which the transfer of organization, trade, business or work force occurred.

(B)  In the event of a transfer of an experience record and reserve account balance under the provisions of paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection:

(i)  For purposes of determining the rate of contribution of the successor-in-interest for calendar years specified in the rules and regulations of the department, the experience record and reserve account balance acquired from the preceding employer shall be combined into the experience record and reserve account balance of the successor-in-interest.

(ii)  The rate of contribution of the preceding employer shall be determined without regard to the experience record and reserve account balance transferred to the successor-in-interest commencing with the earliest calendar year for which the rate of contribution of the successor-in-interest is determined under subparagraph (i).

(C)  In the event of a transfer of an experience record and reserve account balance under the provisions of paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection:

(i)  The rate of contribution of the preceding employer for calendar years following the year in which the transfer of organization, trade, business or work force occurred shall be determined without regard to the experience record and reserve account balance transferred to the successor-in-interest.

(ii)  The experience record and reserve account balance acquired from the preceding employer shall be combined into the experience record and reserve account balance of the successor-in-interest for purposes of determining the rate of contribution of the successor-in-interest for the remainder of the calendar year in which the transfer of organization, trade, business or work force occurred and subsequent calendar years.

(D)  In the event of a part transfer of an experience record and reserve account balance under the provisions of paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection, compensation paid after the date of the transfer of organization, trade, business or work force, based on wages paid by the preceding employer before the date of such transfer, shall be charged to the respective experience records and reserve accounts of the preceding employer and successor-in-interest. Compensation paid to individuals identified by the preceding employer in the report required by section 315(a)(3) of this act shall be charged to the successor-in-interest. The remaining compensation shall be charged to the preceding employer.

(E)  In the event of a part transfer of an experience record and reserve account balance under the provisions of paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, compensation paid after the date of the transfer of organization, trade, business or work force, based on wages paid by the preceding employer before the date of such transfer, shall be charged to the respective experience records and reserve accounts of the preceding employer and successor-in-interest in accordance with the following:

(i)  Compensation paid to individuals identified by the preceding employer in the report required by section 315(a)(3) of this act shall be charged to the successor-in-interest. The remaining compensation shall be charged to the preceding employer.

(ii)  If the preceding employer fails to furnish the report required by section 315(a)(3) of this act in accordance with section 315(b) of this act, the department shall determine, based on available information and within the department's discretion, whether the compensation shall be charged to the preceding employer, the successor-in-interest or both and, if the department determines that the compensation shall be charged to both the preceding employer and the successor-in-interest, what portion of the compensation shall be charged to each.

(3)  A successor-in-interest who acquires from a preceding employer the whole or a part of a reserve balance which has been adjusted to a negative balance equal to ten per centum (10%), or twenty per centum (20%) in 1987 and thereafter, of his average annual payroll under the provisions of section 302(c) of this act shall be liable for contributions at the maximum rate under the provisions of section 301.1(f) of this act and contributions under the provisions of sections 301.2 and 301.6 of this act in the same manner as the preceding employer with respect to the part of the organization, trade or business transferred. This provision shall not apply if the successor-in-interest as of any computation date has been subject to this act for fourteen or more consecutive calendar quarters, or has been subject to this act for a period as long as or longer than the preceding employer.

(4)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection and section 301.1(f), a successor-in-interest who acquires from a preceding employer the whole or a part of a reserve balance which has been adjusted to a negative balance under the provisions of section 302(c)(2), shall be liable for contributions at the rate determined under the provisions of sections 301.1, 301.2 and 301.6 in the same manner as the preceding employer with respect to the part of the organization, trade or business transferred. This provision shall not apply if the successor-in-interest, as of any computation date, has been subject to this act for fourteen or more consecutive calendar quarters or has been subject to this act for a period as long as or longer than the preceding employer.

((d) amended June 15, 2005, P.L.8, No.5)

(e)  (1)  With respect to benefits paid during benefit years which begin prior to July one, one thousand nine hundred sixty, the department at least once during each calendar quarter, shall furnish each employer with a notice showing the amount of compensation paid during the preceding calendar quarter and charged to such employer's account, including the names of the claimants, the weeks for which compensation was paid, and the amount of compensation charged. With respect to benefits paid during benefit years which commence on or after July one, one thousand nine hundred sixty, the department at least once during each calendar month, shall furnish each employer with a notice showing the amount of compensation paid during the preceding month and charged to such employer's account. Such notice shall include at least the name and social security account number of each claimant, the weeks for which compensation was paid to him, and the amount of compensation charged. All questions involving the eligibility of a claimant to receive compensation which have been resolved with notice to the employer as provided under the provisions of section five hundred one of this act shall remain final, and such eligibility may not be directly contested by an employer under the provisions of this section. However, any determination of eligibility or allowance of benefits as to which the employer was not furnished notice under the provisions of section five hundred one of this act shall become final, unless a protest contesting such determination is filed by the employer with the department within ninety (90) days from the date of the mailing of notice under the provisions of this subsection. Where such protest has been filed, the department shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of section five hundred one and furnish the employer with notice of its determination or allowance. The clerical accuracy of the notice provided under the provisions of this subsection may not be contested by an employer in connection with any future appeal by the employer from the rate of contribution assigned to him, unless within ninety days from the date of mailing of such notice, the employer files with the department a protest in writing contesting the clerical accuracy of such notice and setting forth in detail the item or items to which exception is taken and the reasons therefor. Such period of ninety days may be extended with the approval of the department upon written application by the employer filed prior to the expiration of such period. ((1) amended Dec. 17, 1959, P.L.1893, No.693)

(2)  The department shall promptly notify each employer of his rate of contribution for the calendar year, determined as provided in this section and sections 301.1, 301.2 and 301.6 of this act. The determination of the department of the employer's rate of contribution shall become conclusive and binding upon the employer, unless within ninety (90) days after the mailing of notice thereof to the employer's last known post office address the employer files an application for review, setting forth his reasons therefor: Provided, That if the department finds that because of an error of the department it has notified an employer that his rate of contribution is more than the rate to which he is entitled, the department shall, within one year from the date of such notice, adjust the rate of contribution. The department may, if it deems the reasons set forth by the employer insufficient to change the rate of contribution, deny the application, otherwise it shall grant the employer a fair hearing. The employer shall be promptly notified of the denial of his application or of the department's redetermination. In any application for review filed hereunder and in any further appeal taken thereafter, no questions shall be raised with respect to the employer's contribution rate, except such as pertains to the determination of the employer's Benefit Ratio Factor and Reserve Ratio Factor. ((2) amended July 21, 1983, P.L.68, No.30)

(f)  ((f) repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

(g)  Pending the determination of the correct rate of contribution payable by an employer when an application for redetermination has been filed with the department or when an appeal to court has been taken, the employer shall be liable to the payment of the contributions at the rate as determined by the department. But if the rate of contribution is changed by redetermination of the department or order of court then the department shall, without application by the employer, make an adjustment thereof in connection with subsequent contribution payments as provided in section three hundred eleven of this act, or the employer may apply for a refund in accordance with said action. ((g) amended June 22, 1964, Sp.Sess., P.L.112, No.7)

(h)  Each employer shall be given notice of the filing of valid applications for benefits by his former employes as provided in section five hundred one. Notice having been properly given as provided in such section, no employer shall have standing, in any proceeding involving his rate of contributions, to contest the chargeability to his account of any compensation paid to such employe on the grounds that he was not given sufficient or adequate notice or opportunity to be heard. ((h) amended May 26, 1949, P.L.1854, No.551)

(i)  For purposes of determining whether or not an employer has paid contributions in order to be eligible for consideration for an adjusted rate, an employer who shall have served in the active military or naval service of the United States, at any time after the sixteenth day of September, one thousand nine hundred and forty, and prior to the termination of World War II, and who shall have been discharged or released from active service under conditions other than dishonorable shall be deemed to have paid contributions under this act during any fiscal year ending on the thirtieth day of June, any part of which is included in such period of military or naval service: Provided, That he has actually paid contributions under this act for one or more quarters in either the fiscal year ending on the thirtieth day of June in which he entered such military service or in the immediately preceding fiscal year ending on the thirtieth day of June. The provisions of this section shall be operative insofar as applicable with respect to an employer who shall have served in the active military or naval service of the United States at any time after the twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and fifty, and prior to the termination of the present state of emergency. ((i) amended Sept. 29, 1951, P.L.1580, No.408)

(j)  If the department finds that it has erroneously notified an employer that his rate of contribution is less than the rate to which he is entitled, he shall be notified of the revision of his rate and he shall be required to make payment of additional contributions on the basis of the revised rate: Provided, That no such additional contribution shall be required unless the employer is notified of his revised rate not later than December thirty-first of the calendar year to which the rate is applicable, unless the department finds that the employer has directly or indirectly contributed to the error: Provided further, That no interest shall be required to be paid in connection with such additional contributions if they are paid within thirty (30) days from the date that the employer is notified of his revised rate, unless the department finds that the employer has directly or indirectly contributed to the error. ((j) amended June 15, 2005, P.L.8, No.5)

(k)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, additional contributions due as a result of the 1980 amendments to this act shall be payable within sixty (60) days from the date that the employer is notified of his revised contribution rate notice. No interest shall be required to be paid in connection with such additional contributions if they are paid within sixty (60) days from the date that the employer is notified of his revised contribution rate notice. ((k) added July 10, 1980, P.L.521, No.108)

 

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