HOUSE BILL 584
47th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2006
RELATING TO UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION; ELIMINATING THE WAITING PERIOD FOR BENEFIT PAYMENTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
Section 1. Section 51-1-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2003, Chapter 47, Section 9, as amended) is amended to read:
"51-1-5. BENEFIT ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS.--
A. An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week only if the individual:
(1) has made a claim for benefits with respect to such week in accordance with such rules as the secretary may prescribe;
(2) has registered for work at, and thereafter continued to report at, an employment office in accordance with such rules as the secretary may prescribe, except that the secretary may, by rule, waive or alter either or both of the requirements of this paragraph as to individuals attached to regular jobs and as to such other types of cases or situations with respect to which the secretary finds that compliance with such requirements would be oppressive or would be inconsistent with the purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Law. No such rule shall conflict with Subsection A of Section 51-1-4 NMSA 1978;
(3) is able to work and is available for work and is actively seeking permanent full-time work or part-time work in accordance with Subsection I of Section 51-1-42 NMSA 1978 and in accordance with the terms, conditions and hours common in the occupation or business in which the individual is seeking work, except that the secretary may, by rule, waive this requirement for individuals who are on temporary layoff status from their regular employment with an assurance from their employers that the layoff shall not exceed four weeks or who have an express offer in writing of substantially full-time work that will begin within a period not exceeding four weeks;
[(4) has been unemployed for a waiting period of one week. A week shall not be counted as a week of unemployment for the purposes of this paragraph:
(a) unless it occurs within the benefit year that includes the week with respect to which the individual claims payment of benefits;
(b) if benefits have been paid with respect thereto; and
(c) unless the individual was eligible for benefits with respect thereto as provided in this section and Section 51-1-7 NMSA 1978, except for the requirements of this subsection and of Subsection D of Section 51-1-7 NMSA 1978;
(5)] (4) has been paid wages in at least two quarters of the individual's base period;
[(6)] (5) has reported to an office of the division in accordance with the rules of the secretary for the purpose of an examination and review of the individual's availability for and search for work, for employment counseling, referral and placement and for participation in a job finding or employability training and development program. An individual shall not be denied benefits under this section for any week that the individual is participating in a job finding or employability training and development program; and
[(7)] (6) participates in reemployment services, such as job search assistance services, if the division determines that the individual is likely to exhaust regular benefits and [need] needs reemployment services pursuant to a profiling system established by the division, unless the division determines that:
(a) the individual has completed such services; or
(b) there is justifiable cause for the individual's failure to participate in the services.
B. A benefit year as provided in Section 51-1-4 NMSA 1978 and Subsection P of Section 51-1-42 NMSA 1978 may be established; provided an individual may not receive benefits in a benefit year unless, subsequent to the beginning of the immediately preceding benefit year during which the individual received benefits, the individual performed service in "employment", as defined in Subsection F of Section 51-1-42 NMSA 1978, and earned remuneration for such service in an amount equal to at least five times the individual's weekly benefit amount.
C. Benefits based on service in employment defined in Paragraph (8) of Subsection F of Section 51-1-42 and Section 51-1-43 NMSA 1978 are to be paid in the same amount, on the same terms and subject to the same conditions as compensation payable on the basis of other services subject to the Unemployment Compensation Law; except that:
(1) benefits based on services performed in an instructional, research or principal administrative capacity for an educational institution shall not be paid for any week of unemployment commencing during the period between two successive academic years or terms or, when an agreement provides for a similar period between two regular but not successive terms, during such period or during a period of paid sabbatical leave provided for in the individual's contract, to any individual if the individual performs such services in the first of such academic years or terms and if there is a contract or a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform services in any such capacity for any educational institution in the second of such academic years or terms;
(2) benefits based on services performed for an educational institution other than in an instructional, research or principal administrative capacity shall not be paid for any week of unemployment commencing during a period between two successive academic years or terms if the services are performed in the first of such academic years or terms and there is a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform services for any educational institution in the second of such academic years or terms. If compensation is denied to an individual under this paragraph and the individual was not offered an opportunity to perform such services for the educational institution for the second of such academic years or terms, the individual shall be entitled to a retroactive payment of benefits for each week for which the individual filed a claim and certified for benefits in accordance with the rules of the division and for which benefits were denied solely by reason of this paragraph;
(3) benefits shall be denied to any individual for any week that commences during an established and customary vacation period or holiday recess if the individual performs any services described in Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection in the period immediately before such period of vacation or holiday recess and there is a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform any such services in the period immediately following such vacation period or holiday recess;
(4) benefits shall not be payable on the basis of services specified in Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection during the periods specified in Paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) of this subsection to any individual who performed such services in or to or on behalf of an educational institution while in the employ of a state or local governmental educational service agency or other governmental entity or nonprofit organization; and
(5) for the purpose of this subsection, to the extent permitted by federal law, "reasonable assurance" means a reasonable expectation of employment in a similar capacity in the second of such academic years or terms based upon a consideration of all relevant factors, including the historical pattern of reemployment in such capacity, a reasonable anticipation that such employment will be available and a reasonable notice or understanding that the individual will be eligible for and offered employment in a similar capacity.
D. Paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of Subsection C of this section shall apply to services performed for all educational institutions, public or private, for profit or nonprofit, which are operated in this state or subject to an agreement for coverage under the Unemployment Compensation Law of this state, unless otherwise exempt by law.
E. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section or Section 51-1-7 NMSA 1978, no otherwise eligible individual is to be denied benefits for any week because the individual is in training or attending school on a full-time basis with the approval of the division nor is the individual to be denied benefits by reason of application of provisions in Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of this section or Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of Section 51-1-7 NMSA 1978 with respect to any week in which the individual is in training or attending school on a full-time basis with the approval of the division. The secretary shall provide, by rule, standards for approved training and the conditions for approving training for claimants, including any training approved or authorized for approval pursuant to Section 236(a)(1) and (2) of the federal Trade Act of 1974, as amended, or required to be approved as a condition for certification of the state's Unemployment Compensation Law by the United States secretary of labor.
F. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, benefits shall not be payable on the basis of services performed by an alien unless such alien is an individual who was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time the services were performed, was lawfully present for the purposes of performing the services or was permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time the services were performed, including an alien who was lawfully present in the United States as a result of the application of the provisions of Section 212(d)(5) of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act; provided that:
(1) any information required of individuals applying for benefits to determine their eligibility for benefits under this subsection shall be uniformly required from all applicants for benefits; and
(2) an individual shall not be denied benefits because of the individual's alien status except upon a preponderance of the evidence.
G. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, benefits shall not be paid to any individual on the basis of any services substantially all of which consist of participating in sports or athletic events or training or preparing to so participate for any week that commences during the period between two successive sport seasons, or similar periods, if the individual performed the services in the first of such seasons, or similar periods, and there is a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform the services in the latter of such seasons or similar periods.
H. As used in this subsection, "seasonal ski employee" means an employee who has not worked for a ski area operator for more than six consecutive months of the previous twelve months or nine of the previous twelve months. An employee of a ski area operator who has worked for a ski area operator for six consecutive months of the previous twelve months or nine of the previous twelve months shall not be considered a seasonal ski employee. The following benefit eligibility conditions apply to a seasonal ski employee:
(1) except as provided in Paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, a seasonal ski employee employed by a ski area operator on a regular seasonal basis shall be ineligible for a week of unemployment benefits that commences during a period between two successive ski seasons unless the individual establishes to the satisfaction of the secretary that the individual is available for and is making an active search for permanent full-time work;
(2) a seasonal ski employee who has been employed by a ski area operator during two successive ski seasons shall be presumed to be unavailable for permanent new work during a period after the second successive ski season that the individual was employed as a seasonal ski employee; and
(3) the presumption described in Paragraph (2) of this subsection shall not arise as to any seasonal ski employee who has been employed by the same ski area operator during two successive ski seasons and has resided continuously for at least twelve successive months and continues to reside in the county in which the ski area facility is located.
I. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an otherwise eligible individual shall not be denied benefits for any week by reason of the application of Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of this section because the individual is before any court of the United States or any state pursuant to a lawfully issued summons to appear for jury duty."
Section 2. Section 51-1-8 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1936 (S.S.), Chapter 1, Section 6, as amended) is amended to read:
"51-1-8. CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS.--
A. Claims for benefits shall be made in accordance with such regulations as the secretary may prescribe. Each employer shall post and maintain printed notices, in places readily accessible to employees, concerning their rights to file claims for unemployment benefits upon termination of their employment. Such notices shall be supplied by the division to each employer without cost to the employer.
B. A representative designated by the secretary as a claims examiner shall promptly examine the application and each weekly claim and, on the basis of the facts found, shall determine whether the claimant is unemployed, the week with respect to which benefits shall commence, the weekly benefit amount payable, the maximum duration of benefits, whether the claimant is eligible for benefits pursuant to Section 51-1-5 NMSA 1978 and whether the claimant shall be disqualified pursuant to Section 51-1-7 NMSA 1978. With the approval of the secretary, the claims examiner may refer, without determination, claims or any specified issues involved therein that raise complex questions of fact or law to a hearing officer for the division for a fair hearing and decision in accordance with the procedure described in Subsection D of this section. The claims examiner shall promptly notify the claimant and any other interested party of the determination and the reasons therefor. Unless the claimant or interested party, within fifteen calendar days after the date of notification or mailing of the determination, files an appeal from the determination, the determination shall be the final decision of the division; provided that the claims examiner may reconsider a nonmonetary determination if additional information not previously available is provided or obtained or whenever the claims examiner finds an error in the application of law has occurred, but no redetermination shall be made more than twenty days from the date of the initial nonmonetary determination. Notice of a nonmonetary redetermination shall be given to all interested parties and shall be subject to appeal in the same manner as the original nonmonetary determination. If an appeal is pending at the time a redetermination is issued, the appeal, unless withdrawn, shall be treated as an appeal from the redetermination.
C. In the case of a claim for [waiting period credit or] benefits, "interested party", for purposes of determinations and adjudication proceedings and notices thereof, means:
(1) in the event of an issue concerning a separation from work for reasons other than lack of work, the claimant's most recent employer or most recent employing unit;
(2) in the event of an issue concerning a separation from work for lack of work, the employer or employing unit from whom the claimant separated for reasons other than lack of work if the claimant has not worked and earned wages in insured work or bona fide employment other than self-employment in an amount equal to or exceeding five times the claimant's weekly benefit amount; or
(3) in all other cases involving the allowance or disallowance of a claim, the secretary, the claimant and any employing unit directly involved in the facts at issue.
D. Upon appeal by any party, a hearing officer designated by the secretary shall afford the parties reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing to be held de novo, and the hearing officer shall issue findings of fact and a decision which affirms, modifies or reverses the determination of the claims examiner or tax representative on the facts or the law, based upon the evidence introduced at such hearing, including the documents and statements in the claim or tax records of the division. All hearings shall be held in accordance with regulations of the secretary and decisions issued promptly in accordance with time lapse standards promulgated by the secretary of the United States department of labor. The parties shall be duly notified of the decision, together with the reasons therefor, which shall be deemed to be the final decision of the department, unless within fifteen days after the date of notification or mailing of the decision further appeal is initiated pursuant to Subsection H of this section.
E. Except with the consent of the parties, no hearing officer or members of the board of review, established in Subsection F of this section, or secretary shall sit in any administrative or adjudicatory proceeding in which:
(1) either of the parties is related to the hearing officer, member of the board of review or secretary by affinity or consanguinity within the degree of first cousin;
(2) the hearing officer, member of the board of review or secretary was counsel for either party in that action; or
(3) the hearing officer, member of the board of review or secretary has an interest [which] that would prejudice the rendering of an impartial decision.
The secretary, any member of the board of review or appeal tribunal hearing officer shall withdraw from any proceeding in which the hearing officer, member of the board of review or secretary cannot accord a fair and impartial hearing or when a reasonable person would seriously doubt whether the hearing officer, board member or secretary could be fair and impartial. Any party may request a disqualification of any appeal tribunal hearing officer or board of review member by filing an affidavit with the board of review or appeal tribunal promptly upon discovery of the alleged grounds for disqualification, stating with particularity the grounds upon which it is claimed that the person cannot be fair and impartial. The disqualification shall be mandatory if sufficient factual basis is set forth in the affidavit of disqualification. If a member of the board of review is disqualified or withdraws from any proceeding, the remaining members of the board of review may appoint an appeal tribunal hearing officer to sit on the board of review for the proceeding involved.
F. There is established within the department, for the purpose of providing higher level administrative appeal and review of determinations of a claims examiner or decisions issued by a hearing officer pursuant to Subsection B or D of this section, a "board of review" consisting of three members. Two members shall be appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate. The members so appointed shall hold office at the pleasure of the governor for terms of four years. One member appointed by the governor shall be a person who, on account of previous vocation, employment or affiliation, can be classed as a representative of employers, and the other member appointed by the governor shall be a person who, on account of previous vocation, employment or affiliation, can be classed as a representative of employees. The third member shall be an employee of the department appointed by the secretary who shall serve as [chairman] chair of the board. Either member of the board of review appointed by the governor who has missed two consecutive meetings of the board may be removed from the board by the governor. Actions of the board shall be taken by majority vote. If a vacancy on the board in a position appointed by the governor occurs between sessions of the legislature, the position shall be filled by the governor until the next regular legislative session. The board shall meet at the call of the secretary. Members of the board appointed by the governor shall be paid per diem and mileage in accordance with the Per Diem and Mileage Act for necessary travel to attend regularly scheduled meetings of the board of review for the purpose of conducting the board's appellate and review duties.
G. The board of review shall hear and review all cases appealed in accordance with Subsection H of this section. The board of review may modify, affirm or reverse the decision of the hearing officer or remand any matter to the claims examiner, tax representative or hearing officer for further proceedings. Each member appointed by the governor shall be compensated at the rate of fifteen dollars ($15.00) for each case reviewed up to a maximum compensation of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) in any one fiscal year.
H. Any party aggrieved by a final decision of a hearing officer may file, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the secretary, an application for appeal and review of the decision with the secretary. The secretary shall review the application and shall, within fifteen days after receipt of the application, either affirm the decision of the hearing officer, reverse the decision of the hearing officer, modify the decision of the hearing officer, remand the matter to the hearing officer, tax representative or claims examiner for an additional hearing or refer the decision to the board of review for further review and decision on the merits of the appeal. If the secretary affirms, reverses or modifies the decision of the hearing officer, that decision shall be the final administrative decision of the department and any appeal therefrom shall be taken to the district court in accordance with the provisions of Subsections M and N of this section. If the secretary remands a matter to a hearing officer, tax representative or claims examiner for an additional hearing, judicial review shall be permitted only after issuance of a final administrative decision. If the secretary refers the decision of the hearing officer to the board of review for further review, the board's decision on the merits of the appeal shall be the final administrative decision of the department, which may be appealed to the district court in accordance with the provisions of Subsections M and N of this section. If the secretary takes no action within fifteen days of receipt of the application for appeal and review, the decision shall be promptly scheduled for review by the board of review as though it had been referred by the secretary. The secretary may request the board of review to review a decision of a hearing officer that the secretary believes to be inconsistent with the law or with applicable rules of interpretation or that is not supported by the evidence, and the board of review shall grant the request if it is filed within fifteen days of the issuance of the decision of the hearing officer. The secretary may also direct that any pending determination or adjudicatory proceeding be removed to the board of review for a final decision. If the board of review holds a hearing on any matter, the hearing shall be conducted by a quorum of the board of review in accordance with regulations prescribed by the secretary for hearing appeals. The board of review shall promptly notify the interested parties of its findings of fact and decision. A decision of the board of review on any disputed matter reviewed and decided by it shall be based upon the law and the lawful rules of interpretation issued by the secretary, and it shall be the final administrative decision of the department, except in cases of remand. If the board of review remands a matter to a hearing officer, claims examiner or tax representative, judicial review shall be permitted only after issuance of a final administrative decision.
I. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section granting any party the right to appeal, benefits shall be paid promptly in accordance with a determination or a decision of a claims examiner, hearing officer, secretary, board of review or reviewing court, regardless of the pendency of the period to file an appeal or petition for judicial review that is provided with respect thereto in Subsection D or M of this section or the pendency of any such filing or petition until such determination or decision has been modified or reversed by a subsequent decision. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all claims for benefits pending on the date of its enactment.
J. If a prior determination or decision allowing benefits is affirmed by a decision of the department, including the board of review or a reviewing court, the benefits shall be paid promptly regardless of any further appeal which may thereafter be available to the parties, and no injunction, supersedeas, stay or other writ or process suspending the payment of benefits shall be issued by the secretary or board of review or any court, and no action to recover benefits paid to a claimant shall be taken. If a determination or decision allowing benefits is finally modified or reversed, the appropriate contributing employer's account will be relieved of benefit charges in accordance with Subsection B of Section 51-1-11 NMSA 1978.
K. The manner in which disputed claims shall be presented, the reports thereon required from the claimant and from employers and the conduct of hearings and appeals shall be in accordance with rules prescribed by the secretary for determining the rights of the parties, whether or not the rules conform to common law or statutory rules of evidence and other technical rules of procedure. A hearing officer or the board of review may refer to the secretary for interpretation any question of controlling legal significance, and the secretary shall issue a declaratory interpretation, which shall be binding upon the decision of the hearing officer and the board of review. A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings in connection with a disputed claim. All testimony at any hearing upon a disputed claim shall be recorded but need not be transcribed unless the disputed claim is appealed to the district court.
L. Witnesses subpoenaed pursuant to this section shall be allowed fees at a rate fixed by the secretary. Such fees and all administrative expenses of proceedings involving disputed claims shall be deemed a part of the expense of administering the Unemployment Compensation Law.
M. Any determination or decision of a claims examiner or hearing officer or by a representative of the tax section of the department in the absence of an appeal therefrom as provided by this section shall become final fifteen days after the date of notification or mailing thereof, and judicial review thereof shall be permitted only after any party claiming to be aggrieved thereby has exhausted the remedies as provided in Subsection H of this section. The division and any employer or claimant who is affected by the decision shall be joined as a party in any judicial action involving the decision. All parties shall be served with an endorsed copy of the petition within thirty days from the date of filing and an endorsed copy of the order granting the petition within fifteen days from entry of the order. Service on the department shall be made on the secretary or [his] the secretary's designated legal representative either by mail with accompanying certification of service or by personal service. The division may be represented in a judicial action by an attorney employed by the department or, when requested by the secretary, by the attorney general or any district attorney.
N. The final decision of the secretary or board of review upon any disputed matter may be reviewed both upon the law, including the lawful rules of interpretation issued by the secretary, and the facts by the district court of the county wherein the person seeking the review resides upon certiorari, unless it is determined by the district court where the petition is filed that, as a matter of equity and due process, venue should be in a different county. For the purpose of the review, the division shall return on certiorari the reports and all of the evidence heard by it on the reports and all the papers and documents in its files affecting the matters and things involved in such certiorari. The district court shall render its judgment after hearing, and either the department or any other party affected may appeal from the judgment to the court of appeals in accordance with the rules of appellate procedure. Certiorari shall not be granted unless applied for within thirty days from the date of the final decision of the secretary or board of review. Certiorari shall be heard in a summary manner and shall be given precedence over all other civil cases except cases arising under the Workers' Compensation Act. It is not necessary in any proceedings before the division to enter exceptions to the rulings, and no bond shall be required in obtaining certiorari from the district court, but certiorari shall be granted as a matter of right to the party applying therefor."
Section 3. Section 51-1-38 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1936 (S.S.), Chapter 1, Section 16, as amended) is amended to read:
"51-1-38. PENALTIES--LIABILITY FOR BENEFIT
A. Whoever makes a false statement or representation knowing it to be false or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, to obtain or increase any benefit or other payment under the Unemployment Compensation Law either for himself or for any other person, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) or by imprisonment for not longer than thirty days or by both such fine and imprisonment, and each such false statement or
misrepresentation or failure to disclose a material fact shall constitute a separate offense. In any case where, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, any person is found by the secretary to have so obtained or increased the amount of any benefit for himself, he shall, in addition to other penalties provided herein, forfeit all benefit rights under the Unemployment Compensation Law for a period of not more than one year from and after such determination.
B. Any employing unit or any officer or agent of an employing unit or any other person who makes a false statement or representation knowing it to be false or who knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, to prevent or reduce the payment of benefits to any individual entitled thereto, or to avoid becoming or remaining subject hereto or to avoid or reduce any contribution or other payment required from an employing unit under the Unemployment Compensation Law or who willfully fails or refuses to make any such contributions or other payment or to furnish any reports required hereunder or to produce or permit the inspection or copying of records as required hereunder, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) or by imprisonment for not longer than thirty days or by both such fine and imprisonment, and each such false statement or representation or failure to disclose a material fact and each day of such failure or refusal shall constitute a separate offense.
C. Any person who shall willfully violate any provision of the Unemployment Compensation Law or any rule or regulation thereunder, the violation of which is made unlawful or the observance of which is required under the terms of the Unemployment Compensation Law and for which a penalty is neither prescribed herein nor provided by any other applicable statute, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) or by imprisonment for not longer than thirty days or by both such fine and imprisonment, and each day such violation continues shall be deemed to be a separate offense.
D. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Unemployment Compensation Law, including the provisions of Subsection J of Section 51-1-8 NMSA 1978, if any individual claiming benefits [or waiting period credits] shall, in connection with such claim, make any false statement or representation, in writing or otherwise, knowing it to be false or shall knowingly fail to disclose any material fact in order to obtain or increase the amount of a benefit payment, such claim shall not constitute a valid claim for benefits in any amount [or for waiting period credits] but shall be void and of no effect for all purposes. The entire amount of the benefits obtained by means of such claim shall be, in addition to any other penalties provided herein, subject to recoupment by deduction from the claimant's future benefits or they may be recovered as provided for the collection of past due contributions in Subsection B of Section 51-1-36 NMSA 1978.
E. Any person who, by reason of the nondisclosure or misrepresentation by him or by another of a material fact, irrespective of whether such nondisclosure or misrepresentation was known or fraudulent, has received any sum as benefits under the Unemployment Compensation Law, while any conditions for the receipt of benefits imposed by the Unemployment Compensation Law were not fulfilled in his case and any person who receives any sum as benefits while he knows or should know that he is not entitled to such benefits because he has received a notice of denial or disqualification or has received a monetary eligibility notice showing erroneous base period employers and wages, shall, in the discretion of the secretary and notwithstanding any action brought pursuant to Subsection A of this section, either be liable to have such sum deducted from any future benefits payable to him under the Unemployment Compensation Law or be liable to repay to the department for the unemployment compensation fund a sum equal to the amount so received by him, and such sum shall be collectible in the manner provided in Subsection B of Section 51-1-36 NMSA 1978 for the collection of past-due contributions.
F. Except as provided in Subsection J of Section
51-1-8 NMSA 1978, any person who has received benefits as a result of a determination or decision of the department or any court that he was eligible and not disqualified for such benefits and such determination or decision is subsequently modified or reversed by a final decision as provided in Section 51-1-8 NMSA 1978, or who has received benefits as a result of administrative error or for any other reason while conditions for the receipt of benefits imposed by the Unemployment Compensation Law were not fulfilled in his case or while he was disqualified from receiving benefits, irrespective of whether such overpayment of benefits was due to any fault of the person claiming benefits, shall, as determined by the secretary or his authorized delegate, either be liable to have such sum deducted from any future benefits payable to him under the Unemployment Compensation Law at a rate to be determined by the secretary but not less than fifty percent of the weekly benefit amount payable to him, or be liable to repay to the department, for the unemployment compensation fund or for credit to the appropriate reimbursable account, a sum equal to the amount of benefits received by him for which he was not eligible or for which he was disqualified or that was otherwise overpaid to him; provided that for the purposes of this subsection, no determination or decision establishing an overpayment of benefits shall be issued by the department against any person for failure to meet the eligibility conditions of Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of Section 51-1-5 NMSA 1978 more than one year after payment of benefits has been made, unless such condition of eligibility has been appealed or otherwise contested within such year.
G. Any amount of benefits for which a person is determined to be overpaid pursuant to this section may be collected in the manner provided in Subsection B of Section 51-1-36 NMSA 1978 for the collection of past-due contributions, notwithstanding that the person from whom the overpayment is to be collected has been assessed a penalty pursuant to Subsections A, B and C of this section.
H. An individual shall be liable to repay the amount of benefits received for any period for which he also received an award or settlement of back pay resulting from an action or grievance concerning a discharge unless the amount of the back pay award or settlement was reduced by the amount of benefits received during the period. The individual shall furnish the division with a signed copy of the award or settlement agreement [which] that sets forth his name, the name of the employer, the period of time covered by the award or settlement, and the amount by which the award or settlement was so reduced."
Section 4. Section 51-1-42 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2003, Chapter 47, Section 12, as amended) is amended to read:
"51-1-42. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Unemployment Compensation Law:
A. "base period" means the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an individual's benefit year, except that "base period" means for benefit years beginning on or after January 1, 2005 for an individual who does not have sufficient wages in the base period as defined to qualify for benefits pursuant to Section 51-1-5 NMSA 1978, the individual's base period shall be the last four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of the individual's benefit year if that period qualifies the individual for benefits pursuant to Section 51-1-5 NMSA 1978; provided that:
(1) wages that fall within the base period of claims established pursuant to this subsection are not available for reuse in qualifying for a subsequent benefit year; and
(2) in the case of a combined-wage claim pursuant to the arrangement approved by the federal secretary of labor, the base period is that base period applicable under the unemployment compensation law of the paying state;
B. "benefits" means the cash unemployment compensation payments payable to an eligible individual pursuant to Section 51-1-4 NMSA 1978 with respect to the individual's weeks of unemployment;
C. "contributions" means the money payments required by Section 51-1-9 NMSA 1978 to be made into the fund by an employer on account of having individuals performing services for the employer;
D. "employing unit" means any individual or type of organization, including any partnership, association, cooperative, trust, estate, joint-stock company, agricultural enterprise, insurance company or corporation, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, household, fraternity or club, the legal representative of a deceased person or any state or local government entity to the extent required by law to be covered as an employer, which has in its employ one or more individuals performing services for it within this state. An individual performing services for an employing unit that maintains two or more separate establishments within this state shall be deemed to be employed by a single employing unit for all the purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Law. An individual performing services for a contractor, subcontractor or agent that is performing work or services for an employing unit, as described in this subsection, which is within the scope of the employing unit's usual trade, occupation, profession or business, shall be deemed to be in the employ of the employing unit for all purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Law unless the contractor, subcontractor or agent is itself an employer within the provisions of Subsection E of this section;
E. "employer" includes:
(1) an employing unit that:
(a) unless otherwise provided in this section, paid for service in employment as defined in Subsection F of this section wages of four hundred fifty dollars ($450) or more in any calendar quarter in either the current or preceding calendar year or had in employment, as defined in Subsection F of this section, for some portion of a day in each of twenty different calendar weeks during either the current or the preceding calendar year, and irrespective of whether the same individual was in employment in each such day, at least one individual;
(b) for the purposes of Subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, if any week includes both December 31 and January 1, the days of that week up to January 1 shall be deemed one calendar week and the days beginning January 1, another such week; and
(c) for purposes of defining an "employer" under Subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, the wages or remuneration paid to individuals performing services in employment in agricultural labor or domestic services as provided in Paragraphs (6) and (7) of Subsection F of this section shall not be taken into account; except that any employing unit determined to be an employer of agricultural labor under Paragraph (6) of Subsection F of this section shall be an employer under Subparagraph (a) of this paragraph so long as the employing unit is paying wages or remuneration for services other than agricultural services;
(2) any individual or type of organization that acquired the trade or business, or substantially all of the assets thereof, of an employing unit that at the time of the acquisition was an employer subject to the Unemployment Compensation Law; provided that where such an acquisition takes place, the secretary may postpone activating the separate account pursuant to Subsection A of Section 51-1-11 NMSA 1978 until such time as the successor employer has employment as defined in Subsection F of this section;
(3) an employing unit that acquired all or part of the organization, trade, business or assets of another employing unit and that, if treated as a single unit with the other employing unit or part thereof, would be an employer under Paragraph (1) of this subsection;
(4) an employing unit not an employer by reason of any other paragraph of this subsection:
(a) for which, within either the current or preceding calendar year, service is or was performed with respect to which such employing unit is liable for any federal tax against which credit may be taken for contributions required to be paid into a state unemployment fund; or
(b) that, as a condition for approval of the Unemployment Compensation Law for full tax credit against the tax imposed by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, is required, pursuant to that act, to be an "employer" under the Unemployment Compensation Law;
(5) an employing unit that, having become an employer under Paragraph (1), (2), (3) or (4) of this subsection, has not, under Section 51-1-18 NMSA 1978, ceased to be an employer subject to the Unemployment Compensation Law;
(6) for the effective period of its election pursuant to Section 51-1-18 NMSA 1978, any other employing unit that has elected to become fully subject to the provisions of the Unemployment Compensation Law;
(7) an employing unit for which any services performed in its employ are deemed to be performed in this state pursuant to an election under an arrangement entered into in accordance with Subsection A of Section 51-1-50 NMSA 1978; and
(8) an Indian tribe as defined in 26 USCA Section 3306(u) for which service in employment is performed;
(1) means any service, including service in interstate commerce, performed for wages or under any contract of hire, written or oral, express or implied;
(2) means an individual's entire service, performed within or both within and without this state if:
(a) the service is primarily localized in this state with services performed outside the state being only incidental thereto; or
(b) the service is not localized in any state but some of the service is performed in this state and: 1) the base of operations or, if there is no base of operations, the place from which such service is directed or controlled, is in this state; or 2) the base of operations or place from which such service is directed or controlled is not in any state in which some part of the service is performed but the individual's residence is in this state;
(3) means services performed within this state but not covered under Paragraph (2) of this subsection if contributions or payments in lieu of contributions are not required and paid with respect to such services under an unemployment compensation law of any other state, the federal government or Canada;
(4) means services covered by an election pursuant to Section 51-1-18 NMSA 1978 and services covered by an election duly approved by the secretary in accordance with an arrangement pursuant to Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of Section 51-1-50 NMSA 1978 shall be deemed to be employment during the effective period of the election;
(5) means services performed by an individual for an employer for wages or other remuneration unless and until it is established by a preponderance of evidence that:
(a) the individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of the services both under the individual's contract of service and in fact;
(b) the service is either outside the usual course of business for which the service is performed or that such service is performed outside of all the places of business of the enterprise for which such service is performed; and
(c) the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the contract of service;
(6) means service performed after December 31, 1977 by an individual in agricultural labor as defined in Subsection Q of this section if:
(a) the service is performed for an employing unit that: 1) paid remuneration in cash of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or more to individuals in that employment during any calendar quarter in either the current or the preceding calendar year; or 2) employed in agricultural labor ten or more individuals for some portion of a day in each of twenty different calendar weeks in either the current or preceding calendar year, whether or not the weeks were consecutive, and regardless of whether the individuals were employed at the same time;
(b) the service is not performed before January 1, 1980 by an individual who is an alien admitted to the United States to perform service in agricultural labor pursuant to Sections 214(c) and 101(15)(H) of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act; and
(c) for purposes of this paragraph, an individual who is a member of a crew furnished by a crew leader to perform service in agricultural labor for a farm operator or other person shall be treated as an employee of the crew leader: 1) if the crew leader meets the requirements of a crew leader as defined in Subsection L of this section; or 2) substantially all the members of the crew operate or maintain mechanized agricultural equipment that is provided by the crew leader; and 3) the individuals performing the services are not, by written agreement or in fact, within the meaning of Paragraph (5) of this subsection, performing services in employment for the farm operator or other person;
(7) means service performed after December 31, 1977 by an individual in domestic service in a private home, local college club or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority for a person or organization that paid cash remuneration of one thousand dollars ($1,000) in any calendar quarter in the current or preceding calendar year to individuals performing such services;
(8) means service performed after December 31, 1971 by an individual in the employ of a religious, charitable, educational or other organization but only if the following conditions are met:
(a) the service is excluded from "employment" as defined in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act solely by reason of Section 3306(c)(8) of that act; and
(b) the organization meets the requirements of "employer" as provided in Subparagraph (a) of Paragraph (1) of Subsection E of this section;
(9) means service of an individual who is a citizen of the United States, performed outside the United States, except in Canada, after December 31, 1971 in the employ of an American employer, other than service that is deemed "employment" under the provisions of Paragraph (2) of this subsection or the parallel provisions of another state's law, if:
(a) the employer's principal place of business in the United States is located in this state;
(b) the employer has no place of business in the United States, but: 1) the employer is an individual who is a resident of this state; 2) the employer is a corporation organized under the laws of this state; or 3) the employer is a partnership or a trust and the number of the partners or trustees who are residents of this state is greater than the number who are residents of any one other state; or
(c) none of the criteria of Subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this paragraph are met, but the employer has elected coverage in this state or, the employer having failed to elect coverage in any state, the individual has filed a claim for benefits, based on such service, under the law of this state.
"American employer" for the purposes of this paragraph means a person who is: 1) an individual who is a resident of the United States; 2) a partnership if two-thirds or more of the partners are residents of the United States; 3) a trust if all of the trustees are residents of the United States; or 4) a corporation organized under the laws of the United States or of any state. For the purposes of this paragraph, "United States" includes the United States, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands;
(10) means, notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection, service with respect to which a tax is required to be paid under any federal law imposing a tax against which credit may be taken for contributions required to be paid into a state unemployment fund or which as a condition for full tax credit against the tax imposed by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act is required to be covered under the Unemployment Compensation Law;
(11) means service performed in the employ of an Indian tribe if:
(a) the service is excluded from "employment" as defined in 26 USCA Section 3306(c) solely by reason of 26 USCA Section 3306(c)(7); and
(b) the service is not otherwise excluded from employment pursuant to the Unemployment Compensation Law;
(12) does not include:
(a) service performed in the employ of: 1) a church or convention or association of churches; or 2) an organization that is operated primarily for religious purposes and that is operated, supervised, controlled or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches;
(b) service performed by a duly ordained, commissioned or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of [his] such ministry or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties required by such order;
(c) service performed by an individual in the employ of [his] the individual's son, daughter or spouse, and service performed by a child under the age of majority in the employ of [his] the child's father or mother;
(d) service performed in the employ of the United States government or an instrumentality of the United States immune under the constitution of the United States from the contributions imposed by the Unemployment Compensation Law except that to the extent that the congress of the United States shall permit states to require any instrumentalities of the United States to make payments into an unemployment fund under a state unemployment compensation act, all of the provisions of the Unemployment Compensation Law shall be applicable to such instrumentalities, and to service performed for such instrumentalities in the same manner, to the same extent and on the same terms as to all other employers, employing units, individuals and services; provided that if this state shall not be certified for any year by the secretary of labor of the United States under Section 3304 of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C. Section 3304, the payments required of such instrumentalities with respect to such year shall be refunded by the department from the fund in the same manner and within the same period as is provided in Subsection D of Section 51-1-36 NMSA 1978 with respect to contributions erroneously collected;
(e) service performed in a facility conducted for the purpose of carrying out a program of rehabilitation for individuals whose earning capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury or providing remunerative work for individuals who because of their impaired physical or mental capacity cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market, by an individual receiving that rehabilitation or remunerative work;
(f) service with respect to which unemployment compensation is payable under an unemployment compensation system established by an act of congress;
(g) service performed in the employ of a foreign government, including service as a consular or other officer or employee or a nondiplomatic representative;
(h) service performed by an individual for a person as an insurance agent or as an insurance solicitor, if all such service performed by the individual for the person is performed for remuneration solely by way of commission;
(i) service performed by an individual under the age of eighteen in the delivery or distribution of newspapers or shopping news, not including delivery or distribution to any point for subsequent delivery or distribution;
(j) service covered by an election duly approved by the agency charged with the administration of any other state or federal unemployment compensation law, in accordance with an arrangement pursuant to Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of Section 51-1-50 NMSA 1978 during the effective period of the election;
(k) service performed, as part of an unemployment work-relief or work-training program assisted or financed in whole or part by any federal agency or an agency of a state or political subdivision thereof, by an individual receiving the work relief or work training;
(l) service performed by an individual who is enrolled at a nonprofit or public educational institution that normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on as a student in a full-time program, taken for credit at the institution that combines academic instruction with work experience, if the service is an integral part of such program and the institution has so certified to the employer, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to service performed in a program established for or on behalf of an employer or group of employers;
(m) service performed in the employ of a hospital, if the service is performed by a patient of the hospital, or services performed by an inmate of a custodial or penal institution for any employer;
(n) service performed by real estate [salesmen] salespersons for others when the services are performed for remuneration solely by way of commission;
(o) service performed in the employ of a school, college or university if the service is performed by a student who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes at the school, college or university;
(p) service performed by an individual for a fixed or contract fee officiating at a sporting event that is conducted by or under the auspices of a nonprofit or governmental entity if that person is not otherwise an employee of the entity conducting the sporting event;
(q) service performed for a private, for-profit person or entity by an individual as a product demonstrator or product merchandiser if the service is performed pursuant to a written contract between that individual and a person or entity whose principal business is obtaining the services of product demonstrators and product merchandisers for third parties, for demonstration and merchandising purposes and the individual: 1) is compensated for each job or the compensation is based on factors related to the work performed; 2) provides the equipment used to perform the service, unless special equipment is required and provided by the manufacturer through an agency; 3) is responsible for completion of a specific job and for any failure to complete the job; 4) pays all expenses, and the opportunity for profit or loss rests solely with the individual; and 5) is responsible for operating costs, fuel, repairs and motor vehicle insurance. For the purpose of this subparagraph, "product demonstrator" means an individual who, on a temporary, part-time basis, demonstrates or gives away samples of a food or other product as part of an advertising or sales promotion for the product and who is not otherwise employed directly by the manufacturer, distributor or retailer, and "product merchandiser" means an individual who, on a temporary, part-time basis builds or resets a product display and who is not otherwise directly employed by the manufacturer, distributor or retailer; or
(r) service performed for a private, for-profit person or entity by an individual as a landman if substantially all remuneration paid in cash or otherwise for the performance of the services is directly related to the completion by the individual of the specific tasks contracted for rather than to the number of hours worked by the individual. For the purposes of this subparagraph, "landman" means a land professional who has been engaged primarily in: 1) negotiating for the acquisition or divestiture of mineral rights; 2) negotiating business agreements that provide for the exploration for or development of minerals; 3) determining ownership of minerals through the research of public and private records; and 4) reviewing the status of title, curing title defects and otherwise reducing title risk associated with ownership of minerals; managing rights or obligations derived from ownership of interests and minerals; or utilizing or pooling of interest in minerals; and
(13) for the purposes of this subsection, if the services performed during one-half or more of any pay period by an individual for the person employing the individual constitute employment, all the services of the individual for the period shall be deemed to be employment but, if the services performed during more than one-half of any such pay period by an individual for the person employing the individual do not constitute employment, then none of the services of the individual for the period shall be deemed to be employment. As used in this paragraph, the term "pay period" means a period, of not more than thirty-one consecutive days, for which a payment of remuneration is ordinarily made to the individual by the person employing the individual. This paragraph shall not be applicable with respect to services performed in a pay period by an individual for the person employing the individual where any of such service is excepted by Subparagraph (f) of Paragraph (12) of this subsection;
G. "employment office" means a free public employment office, or branch thereof, operated by this state or maintained as a part of a state-controlled system of public employment offices;
H. "fund" means the unemployment compensation fund established by the Unemployment Compensation Law to which all contributions and payments in lieu of contributions required under the Unemployment Compensation Law and from which all benefits provided under the Unemployment Compensation Law shall be paid;
I. "unemployment" means, with respect to an individual, any week during which the individual performs no services and with respect to which no wages are payable to the individual and during which the individual is not engaged in self-employment or receives an award of back pay for loss of employment. The secretary shall prescribe by rule what constitutes part-time and intermittent employment, partial employment and the conditions under which individuals engaged in such employment are eligible for partial unemployment benefits, but no individual who is otherwise eligible shall be deemed ineligible for benefits solely for the reason that the individual seeks, applies for or accepts only part-time work, instead of full-time work, if the part-time work is for at least twenty hours per week;
J. "state", when used in reference to [any] a state other than New Mexico, includes, in addition to the states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands;
K. "unemployment compensation administration fund" means the fund established by Subsection A of Section 51-1-34 NMSA 1978 from which administrative expenses under the Unemployment Compensation Law shall be paid. "Employment security department fund" means the fund established by Subsection B of Section 51-1-34 NMSA 1978 from which certain administrative expenses under the Unemployment Compensation Law shall be paid;
L. "crew leader" means a person who:
(1) holds a valid certificate of registration as a crew leader or farm labor contractor under the federal Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act;
(2) furnishes individuals to perform services in agricultural labor for any other person;
(3) pays, either on the crew leader's own behalf or on behalf of such other person, the individuals so furnished by the crew leader for service in agricultural labor; and
(4) has not entered into a written agreement with the other person for whom the crew leader furnishes individuals in agricultural labor that the individuals will be the employees of the other person;
M. "week" means such period of seven consecutive days, as the secretary may by rule prescribe. The secretary may by rule prescribe that a week shall be deemed to be "in", "within" or "during" the benefit year that includes the greater part of such week;
N. "calendar quarter" means the period of three consecutive calendar months ending on March 31, June 30, September 30 or December 31;
O. "insured work" means services performed for employers who are covered under the Unemployment Compensation Law;
P. "benefit year" with respect to an individual means the one-year period beginning with the first day of the first week of unemployment with respect to which the individual first files a claim for benefits in accordance with Subsection A of Section 51-1-8 NMSA 1978 and thereafter the one-year period beginning with the first day of the first week of unemployment with respect to which the individual next files such a claim for benefits after the termination of the individual's last preceding benefit year; provided that at the time of filing such a claim the individual has been paid the wage required under Paragraph [(5)] (4) of Subsection A of Section 51-1-5 NMSA 1978;
Q. "agricultural labor" includes all services performed:
(1) on a farm, in the employ of a person, in connection with cultivating the soil or in connection with raising or harvesting an agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training and management of livestock, bees, poultry and fur-bearing animals and wildlife;
(2) in the employ of the owner or tenant or other operator of a farm, in connection with the operation, management, conservation or maintenance of the farm and its tools and equipment, if the major part of the service is performed on a farm;
(3) in connection with the operation or maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs or waterways used exclusively for supplying and storing water for farming purposes when such ditches, canals, reservoirs or waterways are owned and operated by the farmers using the water stored or carried therein; and
(4) in handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing or delivery to storage or to market or to a carrier for transportation to market any agricultural or horticultural commodity but only if the service is performed as an incident to ordinary farming operations. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be deemed to be applicable with respect to service performed in connection with commercial canning or commercial freezing or in connection with any agricultural or horticultural commodity after its delivery to a terminal market for distribution for consumption.
As used in this subsection, the term "farm" includes stock, dairy, poultry, fruit, fur-bearing animal and truck farms, plantations, ranches, nurseries, greenhouses, ranges and orchards;
R. "payments in lieu of contributions" means the money payments made into the fund by an employer pursuant to the provisions of Subsection B of Section 51-1-13 NMSA 1978 or Subsection E of Section 51-1-59 NMSA 1978;
S. "department" means the labor department; and
T. "wages" means all remuneration for services, including commissions and bonuses and the cash value of all remuneration in any medium other than cash. The reasonable cash value of remuneration in any medium other than cash shall be established and determined in accordance with rules prescribed by the secretary; provided that the term "wages" shall not include:
(1) subsequent to December 31, 1977, that part of the remuneration in excess of the base wage as determined by the secretary for each calendar year. The base wage upon which contribution shall be paid during any calendar year shall be sixty percent of the state's average annual earnings computed by the division by dividing total wages reported to the division by contributing employers for the second preceding calendar year before the calendar year the computed base wage becomes effective by the average annual employment reported by contributing employers for the same period rounded to the next higher multiple of one hundred dollars ($100); provided that the base wage so computed for any calendar year shall not be less than seven thousand dollars ($7,000). Wages paid by an employer to an individual in [his] the employer's employ during any calendar year in excess of the base wage in effect for that calendar year shall be reported to the department but shall be exempt from the payment of contributions unless such wages paid in excess of the base wage become subject to tax under a federal law imposing a tax against which credit may be taken for contributions required to be paid into a state unemployment fund;
(2) the amount of any payment with respect to services performed after June 30, 1941 to or on behalf of an individual in the employ of an employing unit under a plan or system established by the employing unit that makes provision for individuals in its employ generally or for a class or classes of individuals, including any amount paid by an employing unit for insurance or annuities, or into a fund, to provide for any payment, on account of:
(a) retirement if the payments are made by an employer to or on behalf of an employee under a simplified employee pension plan that provides for payments by an employer in addition to the salary or other remuneration normally payable to the employee or class of employees and does not include any payments that represent deferred compensation or other reduction of an employee's normal taxable wages or remuneration or any payments made to a third party on behalf of an employee as part of an agreement of deferred remuneration;
(b) sickness or accident disability if the payments are received under a workers' compensation or occupational disease disablement law;
(c) medical and hospitalization expenses in connection with sickness or accident disability; or
(d) death; provided that the individual in its employ has not the option to receive, instead of provision for the death benefit, any part of such payment, or, if such death benefit is insured, any part of the premiums or contributions to premiums paid by the individual's employing unit and has not the right under the provisions of the plan or system or policy of insurance providing for the death benefit to assign the benefit, or to receive a cash consideration in lieu of the benefit either upon the individual's withdrawal from the plan or system providing for the benefit or upon termination of the plan or system or policy of insurance or of the individual's service with the employing unit;
(3) remuneration for agricultural labor paid in any medium other than cash;
(4) a payment made to, or on behalf of, an employee or an employee's beneficiary under a cafeteria plan within the meaning of Section 125 of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
(5) a payment made, or benefit furnished to or for the benefit of an employee if at the time of the payment or such furnishing it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be able to exclude the payment or benefit from income under Section 129 of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
(6) a payment made by an employer to a survivor or the estate of a former employee after the calendar year in which the employee died;
(7) a payment made to, or on behalf of, an employee or the employee's beneficiary under an arrangement to which Section 408(p) of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986 applies, other than any elective contributions under Paragraph (2)(A)(i) of that section;
(8) a payment made to or for the benefit of an employee if at the time of the payment it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be able to exclude the payment from income under Section 106 of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
(9) the value of any meals or lodging furnished by or on behalf of the employer if at the time the benefit is provided it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be able to exclude such items from income under Section 119 of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986."
Section 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2006.
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