Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 60.2. Unemployment Compensation
Chapter 1. General Provisions and Administration

§ 60.2-111. Duties and powers of Commission; reporting requirements.

A. It shall be the duty of the Commission to administer this title. The Commission may establish separate divisions as necessary to carry out the duties and powers prescribed by this section. It shall have power and authority to adopt, amend, or rescind such rules and regulations, to employ such persons, make such expenditures, require such reports, make such investigations, and take such other action, including the appointment of advisory groups, as it deems necessary or suitable to that end. Such rules and regulations shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2, except as to the subject matter of subdivisions 2 and 3 of § 60.2-515, which shall become effective in the manner prescribed by § 2.2-4103. The Commission shall determine its own organization and methods of procedure in accordance with provisions of this title, and shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed. In the discharge of the duties imposed by this title, the Commissioner shall have the authority to authorize any attorney employed by the Commission to have the power to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records deemed necessary as evidence in connection with the investigation or adjudication of any disputed claim or the administration of this title. Any party who disputes such subpoena may file a motion to quash any subpoena issued pursuant to this section prior to the date production is required in a miscellaneous action in a circuit court for which such motion shall be given priority on the docket.

B. The Commission shall take all necessary steps to maintain a solvent trust fund financed through equitable employer taxes that provides temporary partial income replacement to involuntarily unemployed covered workers.

C. The Commission shall prepare an annual balance sheet of the moneys in the fund and in the Unemployment Trust Fund to the credit of the Commonwealth in which there shall be provided, if possible, a reserve against the liability in future years to pay benefits in excess of the then-current taxes. That reserve shall be set up by the Commission in accordance with accepted actuarial principles on the basis of statistics of employment, business activity, and other relevant factors for the longest possible period. Whenever the Commission believes that a change in tax or benefit rates is necessary to protect the solvency of the Fund, it shall promptly so inform the Governor and the General Assembly and make recommendations with respect thereto.

D. In preparing the annual balance sheet required by subsection C, the Commission shall regularly track metrics related to unemployment insurance benefits, establish a mechanism to help assess the adequacy of benefits, and examine metrics related to recipiency, average benefit levels, and benefit income replacement ratios. The annual balance sheet shall include the following calculations: (i) the average unemployment insurance benefit levels, (ii) the average income replacement of unemployment insurance benefits, and (iii) the recipiency rate for unemployment insurance benefits in the Commonwealth.

E. The Commission, as part of its biennial strategic plan submitted to the Department of Planning and Budget, shall develop and maintain a comprehensive unemployment insurance Resiliency Plan that describes specific actions the Commission will take, depending on the level of increase in unemployment insurance (UI) claims, to address staffing, communications, and other relevant aspects of operations to ensure continued efficient and effective administration of the UI program. The Resiliency Plan shall include proposed actions consistent with the following objectives to effectively prepare for periods of high unemployment:

1. Develop specific strategies or steps the Commission will take to modify staffing levels in response to incidents that increase UI program demand. These strategies or steps shall (i) include a staffing plan for varying levels of UI workload volume, (ii) cover several scenarios that may affect UI assistance services, (iii) explain how existing staff would be reallocated to high-priority functions in response to high demand, and (iv) describe how the Commission's hiring process will be streamlined to fill key vacant positions such as adjudication and appeals staff.

2. Develop specific strategies or steps the Commission will take to modify policies, procedures, or processes in response to high demands on its services.

3. Outline a strategy for clearly communicating key UI program changes to customers. This strategy shall indicate which staff will be responsible for different types of communications and include several communications goals, such as clearly conveying UI program and policy changes.

4. Outline a strategy for clearly communicating important UI information to Commission staff, the public, and the General Assembly.

5. Formalize a policy for prioritizing and assigning claims for adjudication during periods of high claims volume. This policy shall detail how prioritization may change in response to claims volume and state that the policy of the Commission is to generally prioritize resolving older claims before newer claims.

6. Identify other tactical actions to be taken to ensure the continuity of UI claims processing and customer service.

Code 1950, § 60-29; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-34; 1977, c. 445; 1984, c. 734; 1986, c. 480; 2022, cc. 716, 754; 2023, cc. 102, 103, 624, 625.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.