78R1028 JMM-D

By:  Chavez                                                       H.B. No. 105

relating to the eligibility of certain victims of family violence for unemployment compensation. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Section 204.022, Labor Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c) to read as follows: (a) Benefits computed on benefit wage credits of an employee or former employee may not be charged to the account of an employer if the employee's last separation from the employer's employment before the employee's benefit year: (1) was required by a federal statute; (2) was required by a statute of this state or an ordinance of a municipality of this state; (3) would have disqualified the employee under Section 207.044, 207.045, 207.051, or 207.053 if the employment had been the employee's last work; (4) imposes a disqualification under Section 207.044, 207.045, 207.051, or 207.053; (5) was caused by a medically verifiable illness of the employee or the employee's minor child; (6) was based on a natural disaster that results in a disaster declaration by the president of the United States under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Section 5121 et seq.), if the employee would have been entitled to unemployment assistance benefits under Section 410 of that act (42 U.S.C. Section 5177) had the employee not received state unemployment compensation benefits; (7) was caused by a natural disaster, fire, flood, or explosion that causes employees to be separated from one employer's employment; [or] (8) resulted from the employee's resigning from partial employment to accept other employment that the employee reasonably believed would increase the employee's weekly wage; or (9) resulted from the employee's reasonable belief that the employee was required to leave the employee's workplace to protect the employee from family violence or stalking. (c) For purposes of Subsection (a)(9): (1) "Family violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004, Family Code; and (2) "Stalking" means conduct described by Section 42.072, Penal Code. SECTION 2. Section 207.045(d), Labor Code, is amended to read as follows: (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an individual who is available to work may not be disqualified for benefits because the individual left work because of: (1) a medically verified illness of the individual or the individual's minor child; (2) injury; (3) disability; [or] (4) pregnancy; or (5) an involuntary separation as described by Section 207.046. SECTION 3. Section 207.046, Labor Code, is amended to read as follows: Sec. 207.046. INVOLUNTARY SEPARATION. (a) An individual is not disqualified for benefits under this subchapter if: (1) the work-related reason for the individual's separation from employment was urgent, compelling, and necessary so as to make the separation involuntary; or (2) the individual leaves the workplace because the individual reasonably believes that the individual must leave the workplace to protect the individual from family violence or stalking. (b) In this section: (1) "Family violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004, Family Code; and (2) "Stalking" means conduct described by Section 42.072, Penal Code. SECTION 4. This Act applies only to eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits based on an unemployment compensation claim that is filed with the Texas Workforce Commission on or after the effective date of this Act. A claim filed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the claim was filed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. SECTION 5. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2003.