HOUSE BILL NO. 5553
"Michigan employment security act,"
by amending sections 32 and 33 (MCL 421.32 and 421.33), section 32 as amended by 2020 PA 258 and section 33 as amended by 2011 PA 269, and by adding section 32g.
the people of the state of michigan enact:
Sec. 32. (a) Claims for benefits shall be made pursuant to regulations prescribed by the unemployment agency. The unemployment agency shall designate representatives who shall promptly examine claims and make a determination on the facts within the time period prescribed in section 32g. The unemployment agency may establish rules providing for the examination of claims, the determination of the validity of the claims, and the amount and duration of benefits to be paid. The claimant and other interested parties shall be promptly notified of the determination and the reasons for the determination.
(b) The unemployment agency shall mail to the claimant, to each base period employer or employing unit, and to the separating employer or employing unit, a monetary determination. The monetary determination shall notify each of these employers or employing units that the claimant has filed an application for benefits and of the amount the claimant reported as earned with the separating employer or employing unit, and shall state the name of each employer or employing unit in the base period and the name of the separating employer or employing unit. The monetary determination shall also state the claimant's weekly benefit rate, the amount of base period wages paid by each base period employer, the maximum benefit amount that could be charged to each employer's account or experience account, and the reason for separation reported by the claimant. The monetary determination shall also state whether the claimant is monetarily eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Except for separations under section 29(1)(a), no further reconsideration of a separation from any base period employer will be made unless the base period employer notifies the unemployment agency of a possible disqualifying separation within 30 days of the separation in accordance with this subsection. Charges to the employer and payments to the claimant shall be as described in section 20(a). New, additional, or corrected information received by the unemployment agency more than 10 days after mailing the monetary determination shall be considered a request for reconsideration by the employer of the monetary determination and shall be reviewed as provided in section 32a.
(c) For the purpose of determining a claimant's nonmonetary eligibility and qualification for benefits, if the claimant's most recent base period or benefit year separation was for a reason other than the lack of work, then a determination shall be issued concerning that separation to the claimant and to the separating employer. If a claimant is not disqualified based on his or her most recent separation from employment and has satisfied the requirements of section 29, the unemployment agency shall issue a nonmonetary determination as to that separation only. If a claimant is not disqualified based on his or her most recent separation from employment and has not satisfied the requirements of section 29, the unemployment agency shall issue 1 or more nonmonetary determinations necessary to establish the claimant's qualification for benefits based on any prior separation in inverse chronological order. The unemployment agency shall consider all base period separations involving disqualifications under section 29(1)(h), (i), (j), (k), (m), or (n) in determining a claimant's nonmonetary eligibility and qualification for benefits. An employer may designate in writing to the unemployment agency an individual or another employer or an employing unit to receive any notice required to be given by the unemployment agency to that employer or to represent that employer in any proceeding before the unemployment agency as provided in section 31. Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, beginning May 1, 2020, and until the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection, October 20, 2020, in determining a claimant's nonmonetary eligibility to qualify for benefits, the unemployment agency shall not issue a determination with respect to the claimant's separation from a base period or benefit year employer other than the separating employer, and the unemployment agency shall consider the claimant to have satisfied the requirements of section 29(2) and (3).
(d) If the unemployment agency requests additional monetary or nonmonetary information from an employer or employing unit and the unemployment agency fails to receive a written response from the employer or employing unit within 10 calendar days after the date of mailing the request for information, the unemployment agency shall make a determination based upon the available information at the time the determination is made. Charges to the employer and payments to the claimant shall be as described in section 20(a).
(e) The claimant or interested party may file an application with an office of the unemployment agency for a redetermination in accordance with section 32a.
(f) The issuance of each benefit check shall be considered a determination by the unemployment agency that the claimant receiving the check was covered during the compensable period, and eligible and qualified for benefits. A chargeable employer, upon receipt of a listing of the check as provided in section 21(a), may protest by requesting a redetermination of the claimant's eligibility or qualification as to that period and a determination as to later weeks and benefits still unpaid that are affected by the protest. Upon receipt of the protest or request, the unemployment agency shall investigate and redetermine whether the claimant is eligible and qualified as to that period. If, upon the redetermination, the claimant is found ineligible or not qualified, the unemployment agency shall proceed as described in section 62. In addition, the unemployment agency shall investigate and determine whether the claimant obtained benefits for 1 or more preceding weeks within the series of consecutive weeks that includes the week covered by the redetermination and, if so, shall proceed as described in section 62 as to those weeks. Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, for benefits charged after March 15, 2020 but before April 1, 2021, an employer has 1 year after the date a benefit payment is charged against the employer's account to protest that charge.
(g) If a claimant commences to file continued claims through a different state claim office in this state or elsewhere, the unemployment agency promptly shall issue written notice of that fact to the chargeable employer.
(h) If a claimant refuses an offer of work, or fails to apply for work of which the claimant has been notified, as provided in section 29(1)(c) or (e), the unemployment agency shall promptly make a written determination as to whether or not the refusal or failure requires disqualification under section 29. Notice of the determination, specifying the name and address of the employing unit offering or giving notice of the work and of the chargeable employer, shall be sent to the claimant, the employing unit offering or giving notice of the work, and the chargeable employer.
(i) The unemployment agency shall issue a notification to the claimant of claimant rights and responsibilities within 2 weeks after the initial benefit payment on a claim and 6 months after the initial benefit payment on the claim. If the claimant selected a preferred form of communication, the notification must be conveyed by that form. Issuing the notification must not delay or interfere with the claimant's benefit payment. The notification must contain clear and understandable information pertaining to all of the following:
(i) Determinations as provided in section 62.
(ii) Penalties and other sanctions as provided in this act.
(iii) Legal right to protest the determination and the right to appeal through the administrative hearing system.
(iv) Other information needed to understand and comply with agency rules and regulations not specified in this section.
Sec. 32g. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, and except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), the unemployment agency shall examine a claim for benefits and make a determination on the facts not later than 15 calendar days after it receives the claim for benefits.
(2) For a claim for benefits received during an exigent period, the unemployment agency shall examine the claim for benefits and make a determination on the facts not later than 20 calendar days after it receives the claim for benefits.
(3) If the unemployment agency is unable to make a determination within the time period prescribed in subsection (1) or (2) because the claimant or employer did not provide the unemployment agency with the necessary information as required under this act, the unemployment agency shall immediately notify the claimant that it was unable to make a determination and of the reasons why it was unable to make a determination.
(4) As used in this section:
(a) "Exigent period" means a group of 1 or more consecutive calendar weeks that immediately follows a measuring week if the total number of claims for benefits received by the unemployment agency in each calendar week in the group is at least 50% greater than the total number of claims for benefits received by the unemployment agency in the measuring week.
(b) "Measuring week" means a calendar week in which the total number of claims for benefits received by the unemployment agency is less than 50% of the total number of claims for benefits received by the unemployment agency in the immediately following calendar week.
Sec. 33. (1) An appeal from a redetermination issued by the agency in accordance with section 32a or a matter transferred for hearing and decision in accordance with section 32a shall be referred to the Michigan administrative hearing system for assignment to an administrative law judge. If the agency transfers a matter, or an interested party requests a hearing before an administrative law judge on a redetermination, all matters pertinent to the claimant's benefit rights or to the liability of the employing unit under this act shall be referred to the administrative law judge. The administrative law judge shall afford all interested parties a reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing and, unless the appeal is withdrawn, the administrative law judge shall decide the rights of the interested parties and shall notify the interested parties of the decision, setting forth the findings of fact upon which the decision is based, together with the reasons for the decision. With respect to an appeal from a denial of redetermination, if the administrative law judge finds that there was good cause for the issuance of a redetermination, the denial shall be a redetermination affirming the determination and the appeal from the denial shall be an appeal from that affirmance. Unless an interested party would be unduly prejudiced, an administrative law judge may consolidate cases involving the same or substantially similar evidence or issues, hear the consolidated cases at the same date and time, create a single record of proceedings, and consider evidence introduced in 1 of those cases in the other cases. If the appellant fails to appear or prosecute the appeal, the administrative law judge may dismiss the proceedings or take other action considered advisable. An administrative law judge may, either upon application for rehearing by an interested party or on his or her own motion, proceed to rehear, affirm, modify, set aside, or reverse a prior decision on the basis of the evidence previously submitted in the case, or on the basis of additional evidence. The application or motion shall be made within 30 days after the date of mailing of the decision. The administrative law judge may, for good cause, reopen and review a prior decision and issue a new decision after the 30-day appeal period has expired. A request for review shall be made within 1 year after the date of mailing of the prior decision. An administrative law judge shall not participate in a case in which he or she has a direct or indirect interest.
(2) Within 30 days after the mailing of a copy of a decision of the administrative law judge or of a denial of a motion for rehearing, an interested party may file an appeal to the Michigan compensation appellate commission, and unless such an appeal is filed, the decision or denial by the administrative law judge is final.
(3) When an administrative law judge provides notice of a hearing to the interested parties in a matter, the administrative law judge shall also provide to the interested parties the items the administrative law judge received under section 32e regarding the matter. If the administrative law judge receives a new item or an updated item, the administrative law judge shall immediately provide the new item or updated item to all interested parties.