Effective immediately, and retroactively to March 9, 2020, employers are no longer mandated to pay Unemployment Insurance (“UI”) contributions under Article 18 of the Labor Law due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) Commissioner Roberta Reardon signed an Order on January 14, 2021 that temporarily modifies the charges applied to employers for UI claims. All mandated employers will no longer be charged for UI contributions moving forward. Instead, future charges will be charged to the general UI account. The Order can be accessed here: https://dol.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/01/employer-experience-rating-order-final.v2.pdf
Applicability to Self-Insured Nonprofits, Government Agencies, & Native American Tribes
The Order specifies that only 50% reimbursement will be issued to self-insured nonprofits, government agencies, and Native American tribe employers who already received 50% relief based on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), for UI charges between March 13, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020 in order to provide an overall reimbursement of 100%.
Applicability to All Other Employers
All other employers who are mandated to contribute to UI contributions will receive full reimbursement dating back to March 13, 2020.
The Order makes it clear that it may be rescinded or revoked by the Commissioner entirely at her discretion; however, the purpose behind the Order was to provide relief to employers with respect to UI contributions for the duration of the state disaster emergency declared by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202, or when the emergency flexibility granted by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) expires, whichever occurs first.
Unfortunately, the Order does not explain the method of reimbursement it will provide to employers who paid UI contributions since March 9, 2020. However, we anticipate such reimbursement will be in the form of a credit against future UI charges.
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