Unemployment Taxes Projected to Decrease in 2018, Thanks to Reforms Pushed by the Chamber

Good News! Michigan businesses are expected to see an unemployment insurance (UI) tax reduction in 2018, thanks to comprehensive reforms pushed by the Michigan Chamber in 2011. The state estimates unemployment insurance tax rates will decrease by an average of 4.5 percent in 2018. Further tax relief is expected in July of 2020.  

Governor Signs Chamber Bills Targeting Unemployment Identity Theft

Good news! Governor Snyder has signed a series of bills being pushed by the Michigan Chamber to overhaul operations at the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) and head off identity theft.

The seven-bill package was supported by business and labor and passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. House Bills 5165-5172, now Public Acts 225-232 of 2017, would:

Chamber Supported Bills to Reform Unemployment Agency, Address UI Identity Theft, Clear House

Last week, the Michigan House unanimously passed a seven-bill package supported by the Michigan Chamber to address key issues facing Michigan’s 100-percent employer-financed unemployment insurance (UI) program.  While the legislation has many components, it works to address the critical issues that have been plaguing the UI system in recent years, including UI identity theft, or so-called imposter claims. 

Legislation Introduced to Clean Up Unemployment Insurance Processes at Urging of MI Chamber

For years, the unemployment insurance agency (UIA) has been plagued with problems. From wrongly accusing over 40,000 individuals of unemployment insurance (UI) fraud to the growing problem of identity theft claims to a compromise of their database this past winter, no one can deny the UIA is facing many challenges and needs to clean up its act. 

Senate Dems Propose Massive UI Benefit Increases; Chamber Strongly Opposed

Legislation introduced last week would massively increase the 100 percent employer-financed unemployment insurance (UI) weekly maximum benefit amount and dependent allowance. It would also compensate those harmed by false fraud allegations. These changes could more than double an employer’s maximum exposure for a former employee, increasing potential benefit charges from $7,840 to $14,060 per claimant. While not contemplated by the legislation, there is no doubt that this legislation would lead to sharp UI tax increases on employers.

Trump Budget Calls for Paid Leave Time; Chamber Opposed to Using Employer UI Taxes as Funding Source

President Trump’s federal budget proposal calls for up to six weeks of paid leave for employees after the birth or adoption of a child. The Michigan Chamber is opposed to this proposal because it would be funded entirely by states’ 100 percent employer-financed unemployment insurance (UI) programs and lead to large UI tax increases on job providers.

Take These Steps to Help Detect and Prevent UI Fraud

Fraud affects everyone – employers, claimants and taxpayers – and drives up the cost of doing business. As employers, you can help save millions of dollars in fraudulent payments that might otherwise go undetected by identifying suspected fraud. In many fraud cases – such as an employee claiming benefits while still working – the employer is on the front line and may be the first to have information that fraud is occurring.

As an employer, you can help detect and prevent fraud by: