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MAR

28

Arizona Legislature Adopts Law That Will Benefit Employers in Unemployment Matters

House Bill 2147, signed by Governor Jan Brewer on March 28, 2013, removes the initial burden away from the employer in unemployment claims and places the duty on the employee, who now must provide proof to the Arizona Department of Economic Security that the employee is entitled to unemployment insurance, e.g. that the individual was terminated by the employer or quit with good cause. DES must require the individual filing a claim for unemployment benefits to provide documents or information supporting their unemployment claim at the time they file the claim. If an individual is unwilling to provide documents or information that DES determines is sufficient to show they are entitled to benefits, DES may deny the claim for unemployment until the individual provides sufficient proof of eligibility. HB 2147 also provides that if an employer provides information to DES showing that the employee either voluntarily resigned or abandoned their employment, the burden shifts to the employee to prove that they are entitled to benefits. An employer’s documentation of an employee’s verbal resignation of information from the employer that the individual failed to report for assigned work is sufficient evidence to shift the burden of proof to the employee. This Bill also requires an employer to provide relevant documentation to DES upon request so that DES can determine an individual’s eligibility for unemployment benefits, and provides that any person who receives benefit to which they are not entitled must fully repay the benefits, interest and penalties before they can receive any additional unemployment benefits.