The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment announced that the unemployment taxable wage base is set to more than double by 2026 under legislation that also expanded the state shared-work program and unemployment benefit eligibility.
Under Senate Bill 207, signed into law by Governor Jared Polis on July 14th, the wage base is to remain at $13,600 in 2021, unchanged from 2020. Then, the wage base is then set to rise to $17,000 for 2022; $20,400 for 2023; 23,800 for 2024; and $27,200 for 2025. Effective Jan. 1, 2026, the wage base is to be $30,600 and will then be annually adjusted moving forward driven by the percentage change in the state’s average weekly wage.
Employers are not to be assessed a solvency surcharge for 2021 or 2022, regardless of the balance of the unemployment trust fund.
Among the measure’s other provisions, which took effect July 14, 2020:
- Negative-rated employers are no longer ineligible to participate in the state’s shared-work program.
- The amount of time within which an employer must respond to separation information requests was reduced to seven days from 12 days.
- Workers are entitled to unemployment benefits when they separate from work because an employer is noncompliant government guidelines concerning disease prevention, to care for a quarantined or ill family member, or to care for a child enrolled in a school that closed because of a public health emergency.
- Effective until Sept. 1, 2022, the amount of wages a worker may earn before unemployment benefits are reduced is increased. Wages exceeding 50% of a worker’s weekly benefit amount, up from 25%, are deducted from the weekly benefit.
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