UI Child Care (A. 6989/S.1410)

Date: 2017

A.6989 Jaffee/S.1410 Avella

MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION

Unshackle Upstate, a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up of business and trade organizations from Upstate New York opposes the enactment of this legislation. 

If enacted, this bill would specifically include the need for the individual to provide child care as a “compelling family reason” for the purposes of receiving unemployment benefits.  While Unshackle Upstate recognizes and understands the need to provide assistance and flexibility to families with regard to child care issues, it is premature to make any changes to the state’s unemployment insurance program.   

We are concerned that this legislation would adversely impact businesses, especially small businesses.  The legislation would put in place a vague standard – “reasonable efforts to secure alternative child care” – that will be extremely difficult for employers to apply to the their employees.  As the sponsor notes, the courts and Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board have not even been able to determine exactly what standard should constitute a “compelling family reason” for purposes of unemployment insurance

We are sympathetic to working parents who are unable to find affordable child care.  However, the real world impact of this bill is that employers may find themselves unable to terminate (and thus replace) employees who are unable to secure child care because it will increase their unemployment insurance costs.

For these reasons, Unshackle Upstate opposes the enactment of this legislation.