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A Break For Employers on UI Benefits for Military Spouses

January 19, 2009

Just before the 2008 holidays, the Michigan Legislature passed two pieces of legislation regarding Unemployment Insurance benefits for individuals resigning from employment to follow family members who are reassigned geographically by the U.S. Armed Forces.

In House Bill Nos. 6426 and 6427 (passed by the Senate, as well, but Public Act information not yet available at this writing), the legislature approved an amendment to Section 29(1)(a) of the Employment Security Act that exempts a spouse of a full-time member of the armed forces who leaves work due to his or her spouse's reassignment from that Section's "voluntary leaving without good cause attributable to the employer" benefit disqualification. Under such circumstances, an otherwise eligible and qualified individual will not be disqualified from receiving UI benefits.

At the same time, the legislation also amends Section 20 of the Act by adding a new Subsection (j), which provides that benefits paid to individuals under these circumstances are to come from the Agency's nonchargeable benefits account and are not chargeable to the individual's separating or base period employers.

For additional information on unemployment insurance benefits, please contact Dick Hooker in Varnum's Labor and Employment Relations Practice Group at 248/567-7403.

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