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New York State DOL Orders Temporary Cancellation of Employer Unemployment Charges

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:

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The Order makes it clear that it may be rescinded or revoked by the Commissioner entirely at her discretion; however, the purpose behind the Order was to provide relief to employers with respect to UI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.

Our Firm has extensive experience counseling employers and businesses on employee and labor law issues, and preparing applicable employee policies, particularly relating to the evolving regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any questions related to this Legal Briefing or questions related to COVID-19 reopening rules and procedures, please contact any member of our Firm at 585-730-4773. Please note that any embedded links to other documents may expire in the future.


This Legal Briefing is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or counsel. The substance of this Legal Briefing is not intended to cover all legal issues or developments regarding the matter. Please consult with an attorney to ascertain how these new developments may relate to you or your business. © 2021 Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow PLLC.


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