House Bill 184 was introduced on February 1, 2007 and was referred to the Committee on Labor Relations on that date.  Representative Solobay is the primary sponsor.  Representative Belfanti, the secondary sponsor, also serves as the chairman of the Committee on Labor Relations.  This summary of House Bill 184 is based on my review of the legislation as well as my conversation with Representative Solobay.  A copy of House Bill 184 is attached.

Pursuant to Representative Solobay, in the past, non-educational workers who were not covered by an annual salary contract were eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits.  At one point, teachers attempted to claim unemployment compensation benefits, which resulted in the passing of legislation which exempted all school employees from eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits.  The basis for the legislation is to provide the opportunity to employees who perform services “in an ancillary administrative capacity” to claim unemployment compensation benefits during holidays and summer breaks.

House Bill 184 provides that employees who perform services in an ancillary administrative capacity are eligible to apply for and receive unemployment compensation benefits.  The term “service performed in an ancillary administrative capacity” is defined as follows:

(iii)  For purposes of clause (2) and this clause, the term “service performed in an ancillary administrative capacity” means service rendered by a substitute teacher who does not have a contract with an educational institution for an academic year, semester or specific portion thereof, and service involving primarily, noneducational or nonprofessional, administrative duties that are subject to supervision or control by instructional, research or principal administrative personnel, including, but not limited to, service as a cafeteria worker, school bus operator, janitor or security guard.

Representative Solobay was not aware that in the event certain services listed in this definition are not subcontracted out to other parties, in most cases the workers performing the listed services were in a collective bargaining unit.  Employees in a collective bargaining unit or other employment agreement are not eligible to apply for and receive unemployment compensation benefits for holiday breaks and summer breaks pursuant to House Bill 184.  The complexities involving substitutes who are placed out of a pool by an intermediate unit or other type of consortium were also discussed.  Representative Solobay acknowledged that the concept of including substitute teachers was a new one, and that he would have to discuss the matter with the Department of Labor & Industry to come to an understanding as to how the charges associated with an unemployment compensation claim would be allocated in that type of situation.

House Bill 184 is in committee at this time.  In the event the bill comes out of committee, passes and House and Senate, and becomes law, it may result in additional costs to a school district, depending on the types of employees employed by the school district.

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Alfred C. Maiello
Alfred Maiello

Alfred C. Maiello is the founding member of MBM and has represented area school districts as solicitor for 50 years. He counsels school districts and educational institutions on leading developments in school law and guiding them through their day-to-day and long-term challenges.