employers’ compliance with the state’s labor laws. The Department of Labor employs four child labor inspectors.
Work Sharing Unemployment Compensation Benefits: The bill allows for the development of a job sharing plan by a business with the approval of the Department of Workforce Development. The plan would list the individuals involved in the job sharing, and the plan would be limited to a duration of not more than six months. During that time an individual could receive partial unemployment benefits. The benefit would equal the benefit the individual would be eligible for times the percentage reduction in working hours due to the job sharing. The fiscal impact is unknown. The bill would give businesses an option during economic slowdowns.
Elimination of One-Week Waiting Period: The elimination of the one-week waiting period for unemployment compensation will have an impact on the total amount of Unemployment Insurance Benefit Trust Fund benefits paid. For the period of October 2000 to September 2001, there were 122,000 claims that did not exhaust their benefits and the average weekly benefits were $236. Assuming the individuals would have received one additional week of benefits, the impact is estimated to be $28.8 M (($236*1 week)*122,000 claims).
Increase in Maximum Unemployment Benefits: The current earnings base used for the computation of weekly benefits is $7,900 per quarter for a maximum weekly benefit of $336 for FY 2003. The bill increases the earnings base to $8,500 per quarter and increases the maximum weekly benefit to $360, an increase of $24 (7.1%) for FY 2004.
This provision will impact the amount of benefits available to an individual from the Unemployment Benefit Trust Fund. Based on the amount paid in unemployment benefits in FY 2001, this bill would increase expenditures from the Unemployment Benefit Trust Fund by approximately $32.8 M in FY 2004.
Note: The Unemployment Benefit Trust Fund is funded by quarterly contributions made by employers. The amount of each employer’s contribution is based on each employer’s individual unemployment account history and the past year’s statewide unemployment rate. Other factors, including benefits paid to former employees, voluntary payments made, and the partial selling and purchasing of other businesses by the employer also impact each employer’s rate. The potential impact of the provisions of this bill will change as the state’s economy changes. For example, if the state’s unemployment rate increases, the amount of unemployment benefits paid from the Fund will increase, and an employer’s contribution rate to the Fund will change.
The State of Indiana is self-insured for unemployment benefits and pays claims as they occur. Each agency is responsible for paying its unemployment claims. For FY 2001 the state paid $1.7 M in benefits: $913,794 from the General Fund and $810,984 from dedicated funds. The maximum impact to state agencies is about $123,000 for FY 2004 ($65,000 from the General Fund and $58,000 from dedicated funds) and $277,000 for FY 2005.
Worker’ Compensation Benefits for Terrorist Attacks: The bill provides Worker’s Compensation benefits to an employee in certain situations when the employee was traveling to work and the employee was killed or injured by the attack. The impact is unknown, but would probably be minimal.
Worker’s Compensation Benefits for Failure to Use Safety Appliance: The bill provides for a 15% reduction in compensation to an employee whose injury or death was caused by the employee’s intentional failure to