February 23, 2024 Less than a minute read

Missouri Chamber backs bill to clarify wage payments

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supported a common-sense bill this week that would protect the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund.

HB 2098 is sponsored by Rep. Terry Thompson (R-Lexington), chair of the House Special Committee on Public Policy. Similar legislation has passed both the House and Senate in previous years and is supported by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Currently, vacation and holiday pay count toward an employee’s wages for purposes of unemployment insurance payment determinations, but money received from a termination or severance agreement does not. Rep. Thompson said this means that individuals “can get a sizeable severance and receive UI payments at the same time.”

Thirty-five states have already made this adjustment and count severance/termination pay as wages.

“The objective of unemployment pay is to see employees through to their next position,” Rep. Thompson said. “This will save the UI Trust Fund a lot of money over time.”

Phillip Arnzen, director of legislative affairs for the Missouri Chamber, added, “This will ensure there is clarity in the law and allow Missouri to continue to have a solvent UI Trust Fund.”

For more information, contact Arnzen at parnzen@mochamber.com or call 573-634-3511.


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