8033 Excelsior Drive
Management: James Buchen, Bob Oyler, Daniel Petersen and Ed Lump
Labor: Dennis Penkalski, Robert Lyons (Phillip Neuenfeldt arrived during lunch)
Chair: Greg Frigo
Department staff present: Hal Bergan, Bob Whitaker, Dan LaRocque, Andrea Reid, Lutfi Shahrani, Carla Breber, Gretchen Mrozinski, Dick Tillema, Tom Smith, Richard Beal, Nadine Konrath, Melissa Montey, and Terese Wojick
Others present: James Pflasterer, John Exner, Larry Smith and Bob Anderson
Meeting began about 1/2 hour late. No quorum yet.
Daniel LaRocque introduced as new BOLA Director. Brian Bradley has retired.
Greg Frigo announced that most of the department’s law proposals have already been presented at prior meetings or will be at today’s meeting. James Buchen asked for financial information concerning employer solvency and employer accounts. Buchen would like the information today if possible, but understands if additional time is needed.
D05-14: Levy on Marital Property. Handout. Presented by Tom Smith. Gives the department the power to levy on the non-claimant spouse’s marital property. This power already exists in Wisconsin’s marital property law, but by including it in UI law, it is clearer to claimants and allows the department to use its levy power on marital property. No quorum-no action on this proposal.
D05-27: Proposal to allow benefits during weeks with partial leaves of absence. Carla Breber presented this proposal at the March 31st meeting. James Buchen does not see the logic in this proposal. Dick Tillema stated that the proposal has no significant fiscal effect.
D05-28: Proposal to Repeal the Food Processing Exclusion. Handout. Presented by Melissa Montey. This proposal was presented at prior bill cycles. Fiscal effect is an additional $200,000 in benefit payments. The department proposed this because the current law is not equitable and is difficult to administer. No quorum—no action on this proposal.
D05-33: Employer/Agent Fault Proposal. Handout. The proposal would allow for benefits to remain paid when an employer does not respond to a department request for information in a timely manner. The proposal would also suspend an agent’s right to represent an employer for UI purposes if the employer/agent fails to respond to requests for information on 10 occasions in a 12-month period. Currently, the department gives employers a minimum of 48 hours to respond to a request for information, although adjudicators will grant extensions when requested. Management raised concerns that 48 hours is not enough time and that if the employer has a good reason for not responding that employer should not be penalized. Labor responded that allowing more than 48 hours would delay benefit payment. Suspending an agent’s right to represent also has potential problems as the agent will likely challenge any suspension. The department will further evaluate this proposal to determine if the concerns can be addressed through language changes. One suggestion was to allow for redeterminations whenever the employer provides the requested determination. The downside to this suggestion is the increase in workload required for redeterminations.
D05-35: Assessing reimbursable nonprofits. Brian Bradley presented this proposal at the March 31st meeting. Andrea Reid provided additional information concerning who the nonprofits were and which ones would face assessment. The assessment is based on payroll. The large medical providers would face the largest assessments. There is the potential for assessing/taxing the nonprofits each year. But, if this happens nonprofits will likely want the benefit of non-charges if they are paying a yearly tax. Federal law allows for nonprofits to elect to be reimbursement employers. Andrea Reid will look into the potential for establishing a solvency fund for nonprofits. Gretchen Mrozinski will check with federal authorities to determine if these nonprofits can be assessed/taxed each year.
Break for lunch. Meeting resumed at 12:40 p.m.
We now have a quorum. Phillip Neuenfeldt arrived.
The minutes of the March 31st meeting were approved. Labor is ready to provide their proposals. Management is almost ready. We will finish the department proposals first and then move to closed caucus. After closed caucus, we will not return to open session. Unanimous approval for closed caucus after department proposals. June 2nd is the next meeting at WMC.
D05-38: Quit to take proposal. Handout. Presented by Carla Breber. This proposal will allow a claimant to qualify for benefit if he or she quits for 1 of 4 reasons. The proposal will eliminate the requalification requirement of earning 4 times the weekly benefit rate. The funds will come out of the balancing account. Larry Smith commented that reimbursable employers will end up paying more if this proposal passes.
Council has stated that they do not want to act on any proposals at this time.
D05-41: Levy Fee. New Proposal by Andrea Reid. Handout. The levy fee proposal discussed at the March 31st meeting is “off of the table” and this one will replace it. This proposal would increase the penalty to $15 on multiple payments. Council is not ready to act on this proposal.
D05-60: Expand employer electronic reporting requirements. Handout. Presented by Andrea Reid. This proposal seeks to require employers with 6 or more employees to report electronically. Currently the department requires employers with 100 or more employees to report electronically. This proposal would ease the administrative workload and stop employer agents from circumventing the current reporting requirements. Management would like to see evidence that employers with 6 to 15 employees have Internet access before passing this proposal. Management is also concerned why the proposal goes from 100 employees to 6 employees as the threshold requirement. Why not choose a larger number than 6 employees? Some states are in the process of mandating 100% electronic reporting. Andrea Reid will have further information for the next meeting.
D05-61: Hold until next meeting.
DWD 129: Hold until next meeting.
Meeting adjourned.Updated March 25, 2013