Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Building
501 E. Washington Ave.
Management: James Buchen, Bob Oyler, Daniel Petersen and Ed Lump
Labor: Phillip Neuenfeldt, Dennis Penkalski, Robert Lyons, Michael Bolton and Red Platz
Chair: Greg Frigo
Department staff present: Hal Bergan, Bob Whitaker, Dan LaRocque, Andrea Reid, Lutfi Shahrani, Ben Peirce, Carla Breber, Gretchen Mrozinski, Dick Tillema, Tom Smith, Tom McHugh, Terese Wojick and Rick Holzbauer
Others present: State Representative Towns, John Metcalf, Larry Smith, Bob Anderson, Bill Smith, Susan Hain, and Bill Savage
Bill Savage, Aid to Rep. Pridemore introduced a draft of a bill that would require religious organizations who are considered exempt employers under UI law (Wis. Stat. § 108.02(15)(h)1, 2 and 3) to notify new employees that UI benefits are not payable based on such employment. Greg Frigo stated that even though such churches are exempt under UI law, he does not believe that it would be problematic to require such entities to provide such notice to its workers. Ed Lump would like a definite answer from the Department whether we can require such organizations to notify its employees that such employees would not receive UI benefits based upon work for the employer. Phillip Nuenfeldt went on record supporting this proposal. Greg Frigo advised that we will get back to the Council with an answer.
Representative Towns asked that the Council consider including college attendance (and/or classes taken towards a 4-year degree) as Approved Training. Rep. Towns understood that when a college student attends classes during first-shift hours, that college student is likely not able and available for work and would be denied benefits. But, Approved Training provides an exception and workers taking classes accepted under Approved Training do not have to meet the able and available requirement. Greg Frigo explained the history behind Approved Training which was meant to provide short-term training and get claimants back to work as soon as possible—that was why college attendance was not included. Greg also explained that we have Trust Fund solvency problems and expanding Approved Training would further drain the Trust Fund. Neuenfeldt would like to pursue this proposed law change. The department will begin working on it.
The Minutes of the last Council meeting were approved except that one correction is needed: D05-27 should read that the financial impact is less than $50,000, so no significant financial effect.
The department has nothing more to present on department proposals D05-27 and 28. Waiting for Council action on these proposals.
D05-33; Department proposal concerning Employer/Agent Fault. This proposal was presented at the last Council meeting and the Council had concerns. The Council expressed interest in a “good cause” provision and clearer wording on the UCB-16. The department made changes and the proposal now includes a “good cause” provision and the UCB-16 included tentative changes. Oyler expressed concern that the “good cause” provision would not cover the small employer who went on vacation and did not answer its mail. Oyler believes that such situations should not be penalized as this is the nature of some small businesses. The department would not consider such situations to be “good cause.” Larry Smith recommended that the “complete and correct” information language be changed to “substantially complete and correct.” Larry Smith thought that the suspension of the agent’s right to represent was also too strict and the reasons for failing to produce information should be taken into account. Greg emphasized that the proposed law change was concerned with “repeaters” and would not be used arbitrarily.
Council went into closed caucus; motion approved (11 a.m.).
1:30 p.m., Public Session resumed.
D05-42 and 63 are new department law change proposals.
Labor and Management are ready to vote on various department proposals. But first, Tom McHugh will present the “Overview of the UI Financial System and Fund Balance.” See Handout. Buchen asked whether we can affirmatively choose to spend Reed Act money first before other benefit money. Greg Frigo responded that he was unsure. The Council was pleased with this presentation. The Council has already approved the SUTA dumping law change proposal, which was part of the above presentation.
The next UIAC meeting will be on June 16th, 10 a.m. at a location in Madison to be determined.
Council voted on various department proposals.
Meeting adjourned.Updated March 25, 2013