Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 60.2. Unemployment Compensation
Chapter 1. General Provisions and Administration
3/4/2021

Article 2. Administration.

§ 60.2-108. The Commission; appointment, term of office and compensation of Commissioner.

The Virginia Employment Commission shall consist of one Commissioner, who shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, if in session when such appointment is made, and if not in session, then at its next succeeding session. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be for the unexpired terms. The Commissioner may be suspended or removed by the Governor at his pleasure, and he shall receive such compensation as may be provided in accordance with law.

Code 1950, § 60-26; 1960, c. 136; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-31; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-109. Bond of Commissioner.

The Commissioner shall, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, give bond payable to the Commonwealth, in a form approved by the Attorney General, in such penalty as shall be fixed by the Governor, with some surety or guaranty company duly authorized to do business in this Commonwealth. The bond shall be approved by the Governor as security and conditioned upon the faithful discharge of his duties. The premium of such bond shall be paid by the Commission, and the bond shall be filed with and preserved by the Comptroller.

Code 1950, § 60-27; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-32; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-110. State Job Service and Unemployment Insurance Services Division.

The Commission may establish two coordinate divisions: the Virginia State Job Service, created pursuant to § 60.2-400, and the Unemployment Insurance Services Division. Each division shall be responsible for the discharge of its distinctive functions. Each division shall be a separate administrative unit, with respect to personnel, budget, and duties, except insofar as the Commission may find that such separation is impracticable. In lieu, however, of establishing the two divisions the Commission may cooperate with and utilize the personnel and services of employment offices or services operated by the United States or any of its authorized agencies but only to the extent necessary for the federal employment offices or services to perform the functions imposed upon employment offices by § 60.2-601 and subdivision 5 of § 60.2-612.

Code 1950, § 60-28; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-33; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-111. Duties and powers of Commission.

A. It shall be the duty of the Commission to administer this title. 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.

B. 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.

Code 1950, § 60-29; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-34; 1977, c. 445; 1984, c. 734; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-112. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1999, cc. 840 and 855.

§ 60.2-113. Employment stabilization.

The Commission shall take all necessary steps through its appropriate divisions and with the advice of such advisory boards and committees as it may have to:

1. Establish a viable labor exchange system to promote maximum employment for the Commonwealth of Virginia with priority given to those workers drawing unemployment benefits;

2. Provide Virginia State Job Service services, as described in this title, according to the provisions of the Wagner-Peyser Act (29 U.S.C. 49f), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act;

3. Maintain a solvent trust fund financed through equitable employer taxes that provide temporary partial income replacement to involuntarily unemployed covered workers;

4. Coordinate and conduct labor market information research studies, programs and operations, including the development, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information on the social and economic aspects of the Commonwealth and publish data needed by employers, economic development, education and training entities, government and other users in the public and private sectors;

5. Encourage and assist in the adoption of practical methods of vocational guidance, training and retraining; and

6. Establish the Interagency Migrant Worker Policy Committee, comprised of representatives from appropriate state agencies, including the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, whose services and jurisdictions involve migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their employees. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall be required to cooperate with the Committee upon request.

Code 1950, § 60-34; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-39; 1986, c. 480; 1989, c. 108; 1999, c. 357; 2004, cc. 14, 154, 592; 2008, cc. 98, 222; 2011, cc. 594, 681; 2014, c. 815; 2015, cc. 275, 292; 2017, c. 20; 2018, c. 225.

§ 60.2-113.1. Veterans Skills Database.

A. The Commission, in cooperation with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the Department of Veterans Services, shall establish the Veterans Skills Database (the database), an Internet-accessible database of veterans and their workforce skills, for the purpose of marketing and promoting the workforce skills of veterans to potential employers.

B. The Commission may contract with one or more third parties to develop, implement, and maintain the database. The database provider shall (i) maintain the database and (ii) take all actions to ensure the protection of the confidentiality and security of the information contained in the database in accordance with the requirements established by the Commission.

C. The following provisions shall apply to the database:

1. Any veteran may register to create a free profile on the database and supply information relating to his workforce skills and experience.

2. Potential employers may register to create a free profile and access the database to identify potential employees with relevant workforce skills and experience.

2010, c. 277.

§ 60.2-114. Records and reports.

A. Each employing unit shall keep true and accurate work records, containing such information as the Commission may prescribe. Such records shall be open to inspection and be subject to being copied by the Commission or its authorized representatives at any reasonable time and as often as may be necessary. The Commission may require from any employing unit any sworn or unsworn reports, with respect to persons employed by it, which the Commission deems necessary for the effective administration of this title. Information thus obtained shall not be published or be open to public inspection, other than to public employees in the performance of their public duties, in any manner revealing the employing unit's identity, except as the Commissioner or his delegates deem appropriate, nor shall such information be used in any judicial or administrative proceeding other than one arising out of the provisions of this title; however, the Commission shall make its records about a claimant available to the Workers' Compensation Commission if it requests such records. However, any claimant at a hearing before an appeal tribunal or the Commission shall be supplied with information from such records to the extent necessary for the proper presentation of his claim. Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the Commissioner, or his delegate, may, in his discretion, reveal information when such communication is not inconsistent with the proper administration of this title.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the Commission shall, on a reimbursable basis, furnish wage and unemployment compensation information contained in its records to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Division of Child Support Enforcement of the Department of Social Services for their use as necessary for the purposes of the National Directory of New Hires established under § 453(i) of the Social Security Act.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the Commission shall, upon written request, furnish:

1. Any agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or its designated agent, such information as it may require for the purpose of collecting fines, penalties, and costs owed to the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. Such information shall not be published or used in any administrative or judicial proceeding, except in matters arising out of the collection of fines, penalties, and costs owed to the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions; and

2. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority such information as it may require to facilitate the administration and enforcement by the Authority of performance agreements with businesses that have received incentive awards. Any information provided to the Authority under this subdivision shall be confidential pursuant to 20 C.F.R. Part 603 and shall only be disclosed to members of the Authority who are public officials or employees of the Authority for the performance of their official duties. No public official or employee shall redisclose any confidential information obtained pursuant to this subdivision to nonlegislative citizen members of the Authority or to the public. Any information so provided shall be used by the Authority solely for the purpose of verifying employment and wage claims of those businesses that have received incentive awards.

D. Each employing unit shall report to the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center the employment of any newly hired employee in compliance with § 63.2-1946.

E. Any member or employee of the Commission and any member, employee, or agent of any agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 60-35; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-40; 1972, c. 764; 1986, c. 480; 1988, c. 766; 1993, cc. 246, 806; 1996, c. 220; 1997, c. 385; 1998, cc. 91, 108, 745; 2003, c. 721; 2013, c. 329; 2017, cc. 804, 824.

§ 60.2-114.01. Furnishing information to consumer reporting agencies.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 60.2-114, the Commission shall be authorized to enter into agreements with any consumer reporting agency pursuant to which the consumer reporting agency is provided secure electronic access to information contained in quarterly wage reports submitted to the Commission by employing units, as set forth in this section.

B. The Commission shall:

1. Establish minimum audit, security, net worth, and liability insurance standards, technological requirements, and any other terms and conditions deemed necessary in the discretion of the Commission to safeguard the confidentiality of the information and to otherwise serve the public interest;

2. Require a contracting consumer reporting agency to pay all costs associated with the establishment or maintenance of the access to information provided for by this section, including but not limited to the costs of any audits of the consumer reporting agency or users by the Commission;

3. Be authorized to cancel any contract authorized by this section if the consumer reporting agency fails to comply with any requirement of this section or of the contract;

4. Be authorized to provide to a consumer reporting agency only information regarding the amount of wages for an individual reported by each employing unit, with the employing unit's name and address, as may be further specified in the terms of the contract; and

5. Deposit any fees received by the Commission from a consumer reporting agency pursuant to this section into the state treasury for credit to the Special Unemployment Compensation Administration Fund pursuant to § 60.2-314.

C. The consumer reporting agency shall:

1. Require that any user of the information shall, prior to obtaining the wage report information, obtain a written consent from the individual to whom that wage report information pertains. The written consent shall prominently contain language specifying the following:

a. The individual's consent to the Commission's disclosure of the wage report information is voluntary, and the individual's refusal to consent to the disclosure of wage information shall not be the basis for the denial of credit;

b. If the consent is granted, the information shall be released to specified parties;

c. Authorization by the individual is necessary for the release of wage and employment history information;

d. The specific application or transaction that constitutes the sole purpose for which the release is made;

e. That Commission files containing wage and employment history information submitted by employers may be accessed; and

f. The identity and address of parties authorized to receive the released information.

2. Require the use of the information only for purposes permitted under § 604 of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681b; and

3. Require that the information released shall be used only to verify the accuracy of the wage or employment information previously provided by an individual in connection with a specific transaction, to satisfy the user's standard underwriting requirements or those imposed upon the user, and to satisfy the user's obligations under applicable state or federal fair credit reporting laws.

D. In addition to any limitation on the use or release of the wage reporting information set forth in this section, release and use of the information shall be subject to the privacy laws of the Commonwealth and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

E. Except in cases of willful and malicious misconduct, the Commission and its employees shall be immune from any liability in connection with information provided under this section, including but not limited to liability with regard to the accuracy or use of the information.

F. An annual audit of a contracted consumer reporting agency shall be conducted by an independent certified public accountant to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section, and such audit shall be reviewed by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

G. For the purposes of this section, "consumer reporting agency" has the meaning assigned by § 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681a (f).

2005, c. 944.

§ 60.2-114.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Act 2018, c. 457, cl. 1.

§ 60.2-115. State-federal cooperation.

A. In the administration of this title, the Commission shall cooperate with the United States Department of Labor to the fullest extent consistent with the provisions of this title. The Commission shall make such reports, in such form and containing such information as the United States Department of Labor may require, and shall comply with such provisions as the United States Department of Labor may find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports. The Commission shall take such action, through the adoption of appropriate rules, regulations, administrative methods and standards, as may be necessary to secure to this Commonwealth and its citizens all advantages available under the provisions of the Social Security Act that relate to unemployment compensation, the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act (29 U.S.C. § 49 et seq.), and the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act (See notes following 26 U.S.C. § 3304).

B. In the administration of the provisions in §§ 60.2-610 and 60.2-611, which are enacted to conform with the requirements of the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act (See notes following 26 U.S.C. § 3304), the Commission shall take such action as may be necessary (i) to ensure that the provisions are so interpreted and applied as to meet the requirements of such federal act as interpreted by the United States Department of Labor, and (ii) to secure to this Commonwealth the full reimbursement of the federal share of extended benefits paid under this title that are reimbursable under the federal act.

C. The Commission shall further make its records available to the Railroad Retirement Board and shall furnish to the Railroad Retirement Board at the expense of the Railroad Retirement Board, such copies thereof as the Board shall deem necessary for its purposes in accordance with the provisions of § 303 (c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 503 (c)).

D. The Commission shall afford reasonable cooperation with every agency of the United States charged with the administration of any unemployment insurance law.

E. Upon request therefor, the Commission shall furnish to any agency of the United States charged with the administration of public works or assistance through public employment, the name, address, ordinary occupation, and employment status of each recipient of benefits and such recipient's rights to further benefits under this title.

Code 1950, § 60-39; 1956, c. 440; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-44; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 235; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-116. Reciprocal agreements.

A. Subject to the approval of the Governor, the Commission is hereby authorized to enter into arrangements with the appropriate agencies of other states or the federal government whereby individuals performing services in this and other states for a single employing unit under circumstances not specifically provided for in §§ 60.2-212 through 60.2-219, or under similar provisions in the unemployment compensation laws of such other states, shall be deemed to be engaged in employment performed entirely within this Commonwealth or within one of such other states. Such arrangements may set forth terms whereby the potential right to benefits accumulated under the unemployment compensation laws of one or more states or under such a law of the federal government, or both, may constitute the basis for the payment of benefits through a single appropriate agency of any state under terms which the Commission finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests and will not result in any substantial loss to the fund.

B. Subject to the approval of the Governor, the Commission is also authorized to enter into arrangements with the appropriate agencies of other states or of the federal government:

1. a. Whereby wages or services, upon the basis of which an individual may become entitled to benefits under the unemployment compensation law of another state or of the federal government, shall be deemed to be wages for employment by employers for the purposes of §§ 60.2-602, 60.2-606, 60.2-607, 60.2-609, 60.2-610, 60.2-611, subdivision 1 of § 60.2-612 and §§ 60.2-614 through 60.2-617, provided such other state agency or agency of the federal government has agreed to reimburse the fund for such portion of benefits paid under this title upon the basis of such wages or services as the Commission finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests; and

b. Whereby the Commission will reimburse other state or federal agencies charged with the administration of unemployment compensation laws with such reasonable portion of benefits, paid under the law of any such other states or of the federal government upon the basis of employment or wages for employment by employers, as the Commission finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests.

2. Reimbursements so payable under subdivision 1 b of this subsection shall be deemed to be benefits for the purposes of §§ 60.2-300 through 60.2-304, but no reimbursement so payable shall be charged against any employer's account for the purposes of §§ 60.2-526 through 60.2-531. The Commission is hereby authorized to make to other state or federal agencies and receive from such other state or federal agencies, reimbursements from or to the fund, in accordance with arrangements pursuant to this section.

C. Subject to the approval of the Governor, the Commission is also authorized to enter into arrangements with the appropriate agencies of other states or of the federal government:

1. Whereby the Commission may deduct, in accordance with the provisions of § 60.2-633, from unemployment benefits otherwise payable to an individual an amount equal to any overpayment made to such individual under an unemployment benefit program of the United States or of any other state, and not previously recovered. The amount so deducted shall be paid to the jurisdiction under whose program such overpayment was made and in accordance with the arrangement between the Commission and the jurisdiction.

2. Whereby the United States agrees to allow the Commission to recover from unemployment benefits otherwise payable to an individual under an unemployment benefit program of the United States any overpayments made by the Commission to such individual under this title and not previously recovered, in accordance with the same procedures that apply under subdivision 1 of this subsection.

3. The amendments made by this subsection shall apply to recoveries made on or after July 1, 1987, and shall apply with respect to overpayments made before, on, or after such date.

Code 1950, § 60-40; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-45; 1986, c. 480; 1987, c. 113.

§ 60.2-117. Use of collections in financing administrative expenditures.

If § 303 (a) (5) of Title III of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 503 (a) (5)) and § 3304 (a) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.) are amended to permit a state agency to use, in partial or complete substitution for grants under such Title III, for financing administrative expenditures incurred in carrying out its employment security functions, some part of the moneys collected or to be collected under the state unemployment compensation law, this title shall, by Commission proclamation and rules to be issued with the Governor's approval, be modified in the manner and to the extent and within the limits necessary to permit such use by the Commission under this title. Such modifications shall become effective on the same date as such use becomes permissible under such federal amendments.

Code 1950, § 60-64; 1956, c. 440; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-76; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-118. Civil action to enforce title; actions on behalf of other states.

A. In any civil action to enforce the provisions of this title the Commission and the Commonwealth may be represented by the Office of the Attorney General.

B. The Office of the Attorney General may commence actions in this Commonwealth as agent for, or on behalf of, any other state:

1. To enforce judgments and liability for unemployment insurance taxes due such other state; or

2. To collect unemployment benefit overpayments of such state if such state extends like comity to this Commonwealth.

C. Venue for such actions shall be the same as for actions to enforce the provisions of this title.

Code 1950, § 60-109; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-126; 1972, c. 764; 1977, c. 445; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-119. Criminal cases.

All criminal actions for violation of any provision of this title, or of any rules or regulations issued pursuant to this title, shall be prosecuted by the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which the offense, or a part thereof, was committed, except that the offense set out in § 60.2-518 or 60.2-632 shall be deemed to be committed and venue for the prosecution shall lie in the county or city wherein the statement, representation, or nondisclosure is received by the Commission. However, if a defendant resides in this Commonwealth and the courthouse of the county or city in which he resides is more than 100 miles from the City of Richmond, venue for such prosecution shall lie in the city or county where he resides, and the offense shall be prosecuted by the attorney for the Commonwealth for the city or county where the defendant resides. If, in the opinion of the Commission, the prosecution should be conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, that office, upon the request of the Commission, shall have authority to conduct or supervise such prosecution.

Code 1950, § 60-110; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-127; 1972, c. 764; 1980, c. 674; 1986, c. 480; 2005, c. 105.

§ 60.2-120. Reimbursement of expenses of Office of Attorney General.

The compensation of the assistant attorneys general, together with their proper expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, shall be chargeable as administrative expense of the Commission and paid in the manner in which the compensation and expenses of employees of the Commission are paid.

Code 1950, § 60-111; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-128; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-121. Violation of title or rule or regulation.

Any person who willfully violates any provision of this title or any valid rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to it, for which a penalty is not provided, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Each day that such violation continues shall be deemed to be a separate offense.

Code 1950, § 60-114; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-131; 1986, c. 480.