House Bill No. 115
Introduced By grimes, shea
By Request of the Department of Labor
A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act providing for voluntary withholding of taxes from unemployment insurance benefits; providing for deductions from unemployment benefits to repay overissuance of food stamp coupons; adding partners in a limited liability partnership to the types of employing entities subject to penalties for unpaid taxes; changing the criteria for disqualifying an individual for unemployment benefits; amending sections 39-51-201, 39-51-204, 39-51-403, 39-51-1213, 39-51-1303, 39-51-1304, 39-51-2302, 39-51-3105, and 39-51-3201, MCA; and providing effective dates and a retroactive applicability date.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Voluntary and other withholding of taxes from benefits -- procedures. (1) The department shall advise an individual at the time the individual files a new claim for unemployment compensation that:
(a) unemployment compensation is subject to federal income tax;
(b) requirements exist pertaining to estimated tax payments;
(c) the individual may elect to have federal income tax deducted and withheld from the individual's unemployment compensation at the rate or amount specified in the Internal Revenue Code; and
(d) the individual may change a previously elected withholding status in a manner and at a frequency prescribed by the department.
(2) Funds deducted and withheld from unemployment compensation must remain in the unemployment insurance fund provided for in 39-51-401 until the funds are transferred as income tax payments to the internal revenue service.
(3) The department shall:
(a) follow all procedures specified by the United States department of labor and the internal revenue service pertaining to the voluntary deduction and withholding of income tax from unemployment compensation; and
(b) deduct and withhold from unemployment compensation amounts of federal income tax other than those specified in subsection (1)(c) in accordance with the priorities established by the department by rule.
Section 2. Deduction and withholding of unemployment benefits to repay overissuance of food stamps -- definitions. (1) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(a) "State food stamp agency" means any agency of a state or a political subdivision of a state that is responsible for enforcing the repayment of an obligation for overissuance of food stamp coupons.
(b) "Unemployment benefits" means benefits payable under the Montana unemployment insurance law, including amounts payable by the department pursuant to an agreement under any federal law that provides for benefits, assistance, or allowances with respect to unemployment.
(2) An individual filing a new claim for unemployment benefits shall disclose at the time of filing the claim whether or not the individual owes for an uncollected overissuance of food stamp coupons as defined in section 13(c)(1) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2022(c)(1)). If an individual discloses that the individual has an uncollected obligation for overissuance of food stamp coupons and if the department finds that the individual is eligible for unemployment benefits, the department shall notify the state food stamp agency that the individual is eligible for unemployment benefits.
(3) The department shall deduct and withhold from any unemployment benefits payable to an individual who has an obligation for an uncollected overissuance of food stamp coupons:
(a) the amount specified by the individual to the department to be deducted and withheld, in which case subsections (3)(b) and (3)(c) are not applicable;
(b) the amount, if any, determined by a state food stamp agency for enforcing obligations for overissuance of food stamp coupons, pursuant to an agreement submitted to the department under section 13(c)(3)(A) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2022(c)(3)(A)), unless subsection (3)(c) is applicable; or
(c) any amount otherwise required to be deducted and withheld from unemployment benefits pursuant to section 13(c)(3)(B) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2022 (c)(3)(B)).
(4) The department shall pay any amount deducted and withheld under subsection (3) to the appropriate state food stamp agency responsible for enforcing an obligation for overissuance of food stamp coupons.
(5) Deductions may be made pursuant to this section only if appropriate arrangements have been made for reimbursement by the state food stamp agency for the administrative costs incurred by the department under this section.
(6) Any amount deducted and withheld under subsection (3) must be treated as if it were paid to the individual as unemployment benefits and then paid by the individual to the state food stamp agency in satisfaction of the individual's uncollected overissuance of food stamp coupons.
Section 3. Section 39-51-201, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-201. General definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Annual payroll" means the total amount of wages paid by an employer, regardless of the time of payment, for employment during a calendar year.
(2) "Base period" means the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an individual's benefit year. However, in the case of a combined-wage claim pursuant to the arrangement approved by the secretary of labor of the United States, the base period is the period applicable under the unemployment law of the paying state. For an individual who fails to meet the qualifications of 39-51-2105 or a similar statute of another state because of a temporary total disability, as defined in 39-71-116, or a similar statute of another state or the United States, the base period means the first 4 quarters of the last 5 completed calendar quarters preceding the disability if a claim for unemployment benefits is filed within 24 months of the date on which the individual's disability was incurred.
(3) "Benefits" means the money payments payable to an individual, as provided in this chapter, with respect to the individual's unemployment.
(4) "Benefit year", with respect to any individual, means the 52-consecutive-week period beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which the individual files a valid claim for benefits, except that the benefit year is 53 weeks if filing a new valid claim would result in overlapping any quarter of the base year of a previously filed new claim. A subsequent benefit year may not be established until the expiration of the current benefit year. However, in the case of a combined-wage claim pursuant to the arrangement approved by the secretary of labor of the United States, the base period is the period applicable under the unemployment law of the paying state.
(5) "Board" means the board of labor appeals provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 17.
(6) "Calendar quarter" means the period of 3 consecutive calendar months ending on March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31.
(7) "Contributions" means the money payments to the state unemployment insurance fund required by this chapter but does not include assessments under 39-51-404(4).
(8) "Department" means the department of labor and industry provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 17.
(9) "Employing unit" means any individual or organization (including the state government and any of its political
subdivisions or instrumentalities), partnership, association, trust, estate, joint-stock company, insurance company, limited
liability company or limited liability partnership that has filed with the secretary of state, or corporation, whether domestic
or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or the trustee's successor, or legal representative of a deceased
person that has or had in its employ one or more individuals performing services for it within this state, except as provided
under 39-51-204(1)(a) and (1)(b). All individuals performing services within this state for any employing unit that
maintains two or more separate establishments within this state are considered to be employed by a single employing unit
all the purposes of this chapter. Each individual employed to perform or assist in performing the work of any agent or
employee of an employing unit is considered to be employed by the employing unit for the purposes of this chapter,
whether the individual was hired or paid directly by the employing unit or by the agent or employee, provided that the
employing unit has actual or constructive knowledge of the work.
(10) "Employment office" means a free public employment office or branch of an office operated by this state or
maintained as a part of a state-controlled system of public employment offices or
such other free public employment offices
operated and maintained by the United States government or its instrumentalities as the department may approve.
(11) "Fund" means the unemployment insurance fund established by this chapter to which all contributions and payments in lieu of contributions are required to be paid and from which all benefits provided under this chapter must be paid.
(12) "Gross misconduct" means a criminal act, other than a violation of a motor vehicle traffic law, for which an individual has been convicted in a criminal court or has admitted or conduct that demonstrates a flagrant and wanton disregard of and for the rights or title or interest of a fellow employee or the employer.
(13) "Hospital" means an institution that has been licensed, certified, or approved by the state as a hospital.
(14) "Independent contractor" means an individual who renders service in the course of an occupation and:
(a) has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of the services, both under a contract and in fact; and
(b) is engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business.
(15) (a) "Institution of higher education", for the purposes of this part, means an educational institution that:
(i) admits as regular students only individuals having a certificate of graduation from a high school or the recognized equivalent of a certificate;
(ii) is legally authorized in this state to provide a program of education beyond high school;
(iii) provides an educational program for which it awards a bachelor's or higher degree or provides a program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's or higher degree, a program of postgraduate or postdoctoral studies, or a program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; and
(iv) is a public or other nonprofit institution.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (15)(a), all universities in this state are institutions of higher education for purposes of this part.
(16) "State" includes, in addition to the states of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands, and
the Dominion of Canada.
(17) "Taxes" means contributions and assessments required under this chapter but does not include penalties or interest for past-due or unpaid contributions or assessments.
(18) "Unemployment insurance administration fund" means the unemployment insurance administration fund established by this chapter from which administrative expenses under this chapter must be paid.
(19) (a) "Wages" means all remuneration payable for personal services, including commissions and bonuses, the cash value of all remuneration payable in any medium other than cash, and backpay received pursuant to a dispute related to employment. The reasonable cash value of remuneration payable in any medium other than cash must be estimated and determined pursuant to rules prescribed by the department.
(b) The term "wages" does not include:
(i) the amount of any payment made by the employer, if the payment was made under a plan established for the employees in general or for a specific class or classes of employees, to or on behalf of the employee for:
(B) sickness or accident disability under a workers' compensation law;
(C) medical and hospitalization expenses in connection with sickness or accident disability; or
(ii) remuneration paid by a county welfare office from public assistance funds for services performed at the direction and request of the county welfare office; or
(iii) employee expense reimbursements or allowances for meals, lodging, travel, subsistence, or other expenses, as set forth in department rules.
(20) "Week" means a period of 7 consecutive calendar days ending at midnight on Saturday.
(21) An individual's "weekly benefit amount" means the amount of benefits that the individual would be entitled to receive for 1 week of total unemployment."
Section 4. Section 39-51-204, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-204. Exclusions from definition of employment. (1) The term "employment" does not include:
(a) agricultural labor, except as provided in 39-51-202(2). If an employer is otherwise subject to this chapter and has agricultural employment, all employees engaged in agricultural labor must be excluded from coverage under this chapter if the employer:
(i) in any quarter or calendar year, as applicable, does not meet either of the tests relating to the monetary amount or number of employees and days worked, for the subject wages attributable to agricultural labor; and
(ii) keeps separate books and records to account for the employment of persons in agricultural labor.
(b) household and domestic service in a private home, local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority, except as provided in 39-51-202(3). If an employer is otherwise subject to this chapter and has domestic service employment, all employees engaged in domestic service must be excluded from coverage under this chapter if the employer:
(i) does not meet the monetary payment test in any quarter or calendar year, as applicable, for the subject wages attributable to domestic service; and
(ii) keeps separate books and records to account for the employment of persons in domestic service.
(c) service performed as an officer or member of the crew of a vessel on the navigable waters of the United States;
(d) service performed by an individual in the employ of that individual's son, daughter, or spouse and service performed by a child under the age of 21 in the employ of the child's father or mother;
(e) service performed in the employ of any other state or its political subdivisions or of the United States government or of an instrumentality of any other state or states or their political subdivisions or of the United States, except that national banks organized under the national banking law may not be entitled to exemption under this subsection and are subject to this chapter the same as state banks, provided that the service is excluded from employment as defined in section 3306(c)(7) of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (26 U.S.C. 3306(c)(7));
(f) service in which unemployment insurance is payable under an unemployment insurance system established by an act of congress if the department enters into agreements with the proper agencies under an act of congress and those agreements become effective in the manner prescribed in the Montana Administrative Procedure Act for the adoption of rules, to provide reciprocal treatment to individuals who have, after acquiring potential rights to benefits under this chapter, acquired rights to unemployment insurance under an act of congress or who have, after acquiring potential rights to unemployment insurance under the act of congress, acquired rights to benefits under this chapter;
(g) services performed as a newspaper carrier or free-lance correspondent if the person performing the services or a parent or guardian of the person performing the services in the case of a minor has acknowledged in writing that the person performing the services and the services are not covered. As used in this subsection:
(i) "free-lance correspondent" is a person who submits articles or photographs for publication and is paid by the article or by the photograph; and
(ii) "newspaper carrier" means a person who provides a newspaper with the service of delivering newspapers singly or in bundles. The term does not include an employee of the paper who, incidentally to the employee's main duties, carries or delivers papers.
(h) services performed by real estate, securities, and insurance salespeople paid solely by commissions and without guarantee of minimum earnings;
(i) service performed in the employ of a school or university if the service is performed by a student who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes at a school or university or by the spouse of a student if the spouse is advised, at the time that the spouse commences to perform the service, that the employment of the spouse to perform the service is provided under a program to provide financial assistance to the student by the school or university and that the employment will not be covered by any program of unemployment insurance;
(j) service performed by an individual who is enrolled at a nonprofit or public educational institution, which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on, as a student in a full-time program taken for credit at an institution that combines academic instruction with work experience if the service is an integral part of the program and the institution has certified that fact to the employer, except that this subsection does not apply to service performed in a program established for or on behalf of an employer or group of employers;
(k) service performed in the employ of a hospital if the service is performed by a patient of the hospital;
(l) services performed by a cosmetologist who is licensed under Title 37, chapter 31, or a barber who is licensed under Title 37, chapter 30, and:
(i) who has acknowledged in writing that the cosmetologist or barber is not covered by unemployment insurance and workers' compensation;
(ii) who contracts with a cosmetology salon, as defined in 37-31-101, or a barbershop, as defined in 37-30-101, which contract must show that the cosmetologist or barber:
(A) is free from all control and direction of the owner in the contract;
(B) receives payment for services from individual clientele; and
(C) leases, rents, or furnishes all of the cosmetologist's or barber's own equipment, skills, or knowledge; and
(iii) whose contract gives rise to an action for breach of contract in the event of contract termination (the existence of a single license for the cosmetology salon or barbershop may not be construed as a lack of freedom from control or direction under this subsection);
(m) casual labor not in the course of an employer's trade or business performed in any calendar quarter, unless the cash remuneration paid for the service is $50 or more and the service is performed by an individual who is regularly employed by the employer to perform the service. "Regularly employed" means that the services are performed during at least 24 days in the same quarter.
(n) employment of sole proprietors, working members of a partnership,
or members of a member-managed limited liability
company that has filed with the secretary of state, or partners in a limited liability partnership that has filed with the
secretary of state;
(o) services performed for the installation of floor coverings if the installer:
(i) bids or negotiates a contract price based upon work performed by the yard or by the job;
(ii) is paid upon completion of an agreed-upon portion of the job or after the job is completed;
(iii) may perform services for anyone without limitation;
(iv) may accept or reject any job;
(v) furnishes substantially all tools and equipment necessary to provide the services; and
(vi) works under a written contract that:
(A) gives rise to a breach of contract action if the installer or any other party fails to perform the contract obligations;
(B) states that the installer is not covered by unemployment insurance; and
(C) requires the installer to provide a current workers' compensation policy or to obtain an exemption from workers' compensation requirements;
(p) employment of a direct seller as defined in 26 U.S.C. 3508;
(q) services performed by a petroleum land professional. As used in this subsection, "petroleum land professional" means a person who:
(i) is engaged primarily in negotiating for the acquisition or divestiture of mineral rights or in negotiating a business agreement for the exploration or development of minerals;
(ii) is paid for services that are directly related to the completion of a contracted specific task rather than on an hourly wage basis; and
(iii) performs all services as an independent contractor pursuant to a written contract.
(2) Employment does not include elected public officials.
(3) For the purposes of 39-51-203(6), the term "employment" does not apply to service performed:
(a) in the employ of a church or convention or association of churches or an organization that is operated primarily for religious purposes and that is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches;
(b) by an ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of the church's ministry or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties required by the order;
(c) in a facility conducted for the purpose of carrying out a program of rehabilitation for individuals whose earning capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury or providing remunerative work for individuals who, because of impaired physical or mental capacity, cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market by an individual receiving rehabilitation or remunerative work;
(d) as part of an unemployment work-relief or work-training program assisted or financed in whole or in part by a federal agency or any agency of a state or political subdivision of the state by an individual receiving work relief or work training; or
(e) for a state prison or other state correctional or custodial institution by an inmate of that institution.
(4) An individual found to be an independent contractor by the department under the terms of 39-71-401(3) is considered an independent contractor for the purposes of this chapter. An independent contractor is not precluded from filing a claim for benefits and receiving a determination pursuant to 39-51-2402.
(5) This section does not apply to a state or local governmental entity or a nonprofit organization defined under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code unless the service is excluded from employment as defined in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act."
Section 5. Section 39-51-403, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-403. Money to be requisitioned from unemployment trust fund solely for payment of benefits -- exception.
shall may be requisitioned from this state's account in the unemployment trust fund solely for the payment of
benefits and in accordance with regulations prescribed by the department, except that money credited to this state's account
pursuant to section 903 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1103), as amended, may also be withdrawn for the payment
of expenses for the administration of this chapter and of public employment offices, as provided by this chapter. Money
withheld by the department from a benefits payment at the request of an individual or in accordance with the department's
rules pertaining to deductions and withholding for federal income tax purposes pursuant to [section 1] or money withheld
for repayment of an overissuance of food stamp coupons pursuant to [section 2] must be considered benefits for the
purposes of this subsection.
(2) The department shall from time to time requisition from the unemployment trust fund
such the amounts, not exceeding
the amounts standing to in this state account therein in the fund, as it deems considers necessary for the payment of benefits
for a reasonable future period. Upon receipt thereof of a requisition, the treasurer shall deposit such the money in the
benefit account and shall issue his warrants for the payment of benefits solely from such the benefit account.
(3) Expenditures of
such money in the benefit account and refunds from the clearing account shall are not be subject to any
provisions of law requiring specific appropriations or other formal release by state officers of money in their custody.
(4) Any balance of money requisitioned from the unemployment trust fund
which that remains unclaimed or unpaid in the
benefit account after the expiration of the period for which such the sums were requisitioned shall must either be deducted
from estimates for and may be utilized used for the payment of benefits during succeeding periods or, in the discretion of
the department, shall must be redeposited with the secretary of the treasury of the United States to the credit of this state's
account in the unemployment trust fund, as provided in 39-51-402."
Section 6. Section 39-51-1213, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-1213. Classification of employers for experience rating purposes. (1) The department shall for each calendar
year classify employers in accordance with their actual experience in the payment of contributions and with respect to
benefits charged against their accounts, with contribution rates reflecting benefit experience. Each employer's rate for a
shall must be determined on the basis of the employer's record as of October 1 of the preceding calendar year.
(2) In making the classification, each eligible and deficit employer's contribution rate is determined in the manner set forth below:
(a) Each employer is given an "experience factor", which is contributions paid since October 1, 1981, minus benefits
charged on each employer's account since October 1, 1981, divided by the employer's average annual taxable payroll
rounded to the next lower dollar amount for the 3 fiscal years immediately preceding the computation date. The
computation of the "experience factor"
shall must be to six decimal places.
shall must be prepared listing all eligible and deficit employers in inverse numerical order of their
experience factors. There shall must be listed on such the schedules for each employer in addition to the experience factor:
(i) the amount of the employer's taxable payroll for the fiscal year ending on the computation date; and
(ii) the cumulative total consisting of the sum of the employer's taxable payroll for the fiscal year ending on the computation date and the corresponding taxable payrolls for all other employers preceding that employer on the schedules.
(3) The cumulative taxable payroll amounts listed on the schedules provided for in 39-51-1218
shall must be segregated
into groups that will yield approximately the average tax rate according to the tax schedule assigned for that particular
taxable year. Each group shall must be identified by the rate class number listed in the table which that represents the
percentage limits of each group. Each employer on the schedules is assigned that contribution rate opposite that employer's
rate class for the tax schedule in effect for the taxable year.
(4) (a) If the grouping of rate classes requires the inclusion of exactly one-half of an employer's taxable payroll, the
employer is assigned the lower of the two rates designated for the two classes in which the halves of that employer's taxable
(b) If the group of rate classes requires the inclusion of a portion other than exactly one-half of an employer's taxable
payroll, the employer is assigned the rate designated for the class in which the greater part of that employer's taxable
(c) If one or more employers on the schedules have experience factors identical to that of the last employer included in a
particular rate class, all such employers are included in and assigned the contribution rate specified for
such the class,
notwithstanding the provisions of 39-51-1214.
(5) If the taxable payroll amount,
or the experience factor, or both such taxable payroll amount and experience factor of
any eligible or deficit employer listed on the schedules is changed, the employer is placed in that position on the schedules
which that the employer would have occupied had that employer's taxable payroll amount or experience factor as changed
been used in determining that employer's position in the first instance , but such. However, the change does not affect the
position or rate classification of any other employer listed on the schedules and does not affect the rate determination for
(6) An employer who has not filed all required payroll reports or paid all taxes, penalties, and interest due by the cutoff
date must be assigned
the maximum a contribution rate in effect for the taxable year for his the employer's classification as
an eligible, deficit, or new employer, plus an additional assessment of 50% of the employer's assigned contribution rate,
rounded to the nearest 1/10 of 1%."
Section 7. Section 39-51-1303, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-1303. Collection of unpaid taxes by civil action. (1) If, after due notice, any employer, liable corporate officer or
or liable member or manager of a limited liability company referred to in 39-51-1105, or partner in a limited
liability partnership defaults in any payment of taxes, penalties, or interest on the taxes and penalties, the department may
initiate a civil action in the name of the department to collect the amount due and the employer, liable corporate officer, or
liable member or manager of a limited liability company referred to in 39-51-1105, or partner in a limited liability
partnership adjudged in default shall pay the costs of the action.
(2) An action for the collection of taxes due must be brought within 5 years after the due date of the taxes or it is barred.
(3) The department may pursue its remedy under
either 39-51-1304, or this section, or both."
Section 8. Section 39-51-1304, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-1304. Lien for payment of unpaid taxes -- levy and execution. (1) Unpaid taxes, including penalties and
interest assessed on unpaid taxes, have the effect of a judgment against the employer,
or the liable corporate officer or
employee or liable member or manager of a limited liability company referred to in 39-51-1105, or a partner in a limited
liability partnership, arising at the time that the payments are due. The department may issue a certificate stating the
amount of payments due and directing the clerk of the district court of any county of the state to enter the certificate as a
judgment in the docket pursuant to 25-9-301. From the time that the judgment is docketed, it becomes a lien upon all real
and personal property of the employer. After the due process requirements of 39-51-1109 and 39-51-2403 have been
satisfied, the department may enforce the judgment through the sheriff or agent authorized to collect the tax in the same
manner as prescribed for execution upon a judgment. A notice of levy may be made by means of a certified letter by an
agent authorized to collect the tax. The department may enforce the judgment at any time within 10 years of the creation of
the lien or the effective date of the lien, whichever is later.
(2) A judgment lien filed pursuant to this section may be renewed for another 10-year period pursuant to the provisions of 25-13-102.
(3) The lien provided for in subsection (1) is not valid against any third party owning an interest in real or personal property against which the judgment is enforced if:
(a) the third party's interest is recorded prior to the entrance of the certificate as a judgment; and
(b) the third party receives from the most recent grantor of the interest a signed affidavit stating that all taxes, penalties, and interest due from the grantor have been paid.
(4) A grantor who signs and delivers an affidavit is subject to the penalties imposed by 39-51-3204 if any part of it is
untrue. Notwithstanding the provisions of 39-51-3204, the department may proceed
against the employer, liable corporate
officer or employee, or liable member or manager of a limited liability company referred to in 39-51-1105 under
39-51-1303, or this section, or both, to collect the delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest from the:
(b) liable corporate officer or employee;
(c) liable member or manager of a limited liability company referred to in 39-51-1105; or
(d) partner in a limited liability partnership.
(5) The lien provided for in subsection (1) must be released upon payment in full of the unpaid taxes, penalties, and accumulated interest. The department may release or may partially release the lien upon partial payment or whenever the department determines that the release or partial release of the lien will facilitate the collection of unpaid taxes, penalties, or interest. The department may release the lien if it determines that the lien is unenforceable."
Section 9. Section 39-51-2302, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-2302. Disqualification for leaving work without good cause. (1) An individual
shall must be disqualified for
benefits if he the individual has left work without good cause attributable to his the individual's employment.
He The individual may not be disqualified if the individual department finds that he left his leaves:
(a) employment because of personal illness or injury not associated with misconduct upon the advice of a licensed and
practicing physician and, after recovering from
his the illness or injury when recovery is certified by a licensed and
practicing physician, he the individual returned to his and offered service to the individual's employer and offered his
service and his the individual's regular or comparable suitable work was not available, if so found as determined by the
department, provided he the individual is otherwise eligible; or
(b) temporary work accepted during a period of unemployment caused by a lack of work with the individual's regular employer if upon leaving the temporary work the individual returned immediately to work for the individual's regular employer, provided that the individual is unemployed for nondisqualifying reasons.
(3) To requalify for benefits, an individual
must shall perform services other than self-employment for which remuneration
is received equal to or in excess of six times his the individual's weekly benefit amount subsequent to the week in which the
act causing the disqualification occurred unless he the individual has been in regular attendance at an educational institution
accredited by the state of Montana for at least 3 consecutive months from the date of his the individual's enrollment."
Section 10. Section 39-51-3105, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-3105. Assignment, pledge, or encumbrance of right to benefits void -- benefits exempt from levy, execution,
attachment, or other remedy for collection of debt -- exception. Any assignment, pledge, or encumbrance of any right to
benefits that are or may become due or payable under this chapter is void, and the rights to benefits are exempt from levy,
execution, attachment, or any other remedy provided for the collection of debt
, and benefits. Benefits received by any an
individual, so as long as they are not mingled with other funds of the recipient, are exempt from any remedy for the
collection of all debts except as provided in 39-51-3106, [section 1], [section 2], and 39-51-3206. Any waiver of any an
exemption provided for in this section is void."
Section 11. Section 39-51-3201, MCA, is amended to read:
"39-51-3201. Making false statement or representation or failing to disclose material fact in order to obtain or
increase benefits -- administrative penalty and remedy. (1) A person who makes a false statement or representation
knowing it to be false or who knowingly fails to disclose a material fact in order to obtain or increase any benefit or other
payment under this chapter or under an employment security law of any other state or territory or the federal government,
himself the individual or for any other person, is:
(a) disqualified for benefits
thereafter for a period of not more than 52 weeks, beginning with the first compensable week
following the date of such determination by the department , the, with the length of time of the disqualification as herein
described to be determined by the department in accordance with the severity of each case; and
(b) required to repay to the department, either directly or as authorized by the department, by offset of future benefits to
he the individual may be entitled, or by a combination of both such methods, a sum equal to the amount wrongfully
received by him the individual, plus the department may assess a penalty not to exceed 100% of the fraudulently obtained
benefits ,. except that future Future benefits may not be used to offset the penalty due. However, he the individual is not
required to repay any amount wrongfully obtained more than 5 years prior to the date of the department's determination that
he the individual made false statements, willful nondisclosure, or misrepresentation.
(2) An individual, other than a person with a bona fide disability that prevents the individual from making or filing a claim for benefits on the individual's own behalf, who allows or authorizes another person to make or file a claim for benefits on the individual's behalf is subject to the penalties prescribed in subsection (1).
(3) All money accruing from the penalty under subsection (1)(b) must be deposited in the federal special revenue account. Money deposited in that account may be appropriated to the department to be used to detect and collect unpaid taxes and overpayments of benefits to the extent that federal grant revenues are inadequate for these purposes. Money in the account not appropriated for these purposes must be transferred by the department to the unemployment insurance trust fund at the end of each fiscal year."
Section 12. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 and 2] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 39, chapter 51, and the provisions of Title 39, chapter 51, apply to [sections 1 and 2].
Section 13. Retroactive applicability. [Sections 1, 5, and 10] apply retroactively, within the meaning of 1-2-109, to January 1, 1997, in order to comply with federal requirements.
Section 14. Effective dates. (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3), [this act] is effective on passage and approval.
(2) [Section 2] is effective October 1, 1997.
(3) [Section 6] is effective January 1, 1998.