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  • NJ A2164
  • Establishes standards regarding the disqualification of claimants for unemployment compensation for misconduct.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill amends the current provisions of R.S.43:21-5 regarding disqualification from unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for misconduct by claimants. The bill retains the provisions of P.L.2010, c.37 that bar UI benefits in cases of "severe misconduct" by claimants and increase periods of disqualification from and requalification for benefits, but amends the law to clearly define "simple misconduct" and "severe misconduct" in a manner that provides fair treatment to laid off workers and clear, consistent procedural standards for employers, as follows: 1. The bill adds a definition of "simple misconduct" which codifies into statute the definition of "minor" misconduct found in existing regulations. The current UI statute has no definition at all of any misconduct other than "gross" (criminal) misconduct. To be regarded under the bill as "simple misconduct," behavior would have to be: improper; intentional; work-connected; malicious; within the individual's control; not a good faith error; and either a deliberate violation of the employer's lawful, reasonable rules made known to the employee, or a disregard of reasonable standards of behavior. For example, for tardiness and absences to be regarded as simple misconduct under the bill, they must be repeated or chronic and without good cause, and unsatisfactory work performance must be deliberate and below reasonable standards. 2. The bill replaces the law's definition of "severe misconduct," which is currently only a list of examples, with a comprehensive definition of "severe misconduct" as work-connected misconduct other than gross misconduct which either: (1) is committed with malice and deliberate disregard for the property, safety or life of people at the worksite or consumers, and consists of violence, threats, theft, or other employee-caused, substantial property or monetary loss; or (2) is comprised of a pattern of instances of simple misconduct which are, after written employer warnings, repeated so frequently that they cause substantial property damage or disruption of employer operations. 3. The bill adds to the UI statute the requirement found in existing regulations that the burden of proof is on the employer to demonstrate that employee actions constitute misconduct, and adds a requirement not in the current or proposed regulations that the employer must provide written documentation.
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee  (on 1/27/2016)

Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified