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Finding Information About State Unemployment Laws

It's a fact,  State Unemployment Laws vary state to state.  Even if at first glance, they seem quite similar.

Interesting to me, is the reason we have UI laws at all today, dates back to the Social Security Act of 1935, which included a mandate for each state  to have an unemployment insurance program after the Great Depression ravaged the American economy.

Each state's program is in fact, a federal/state partnership meaning each state's unemployment law, also referred to as Employment Security Act, must comply with federal law and operate within w-i-d-e federal guidelines.

Not to worry .. I'm about to get to those resources I promised, but before I do, I believe it is important all employees know that unemployment eligibility and being disqualified from unemployment benefits, takes up a relatively small section in state laws.  

Much of the rest of laws cover how an employer would be charged a higher state unemployment tax rate on current and future employee wages, if benefits are paid to former employees.  And then of course we should forget the federal unemployment tax they must pay for operational cost for the individual state programs.

I tell you this, only as one explanation for why many employers fight unemployment benefits, whether their cause is right, wrong, or indifferent to the facts you may not be able to prove .. or rebut.

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Alabama | Alaska | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Illinois | Iowa | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Mississippi | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Mexico | North Dakota |Ohio Oregon | Pennsylvania | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | Wyoming

Each United State is administratively sovereign. Therefore, state laws may be responsible for politicizing some concepts of what constitutes fault being that of an employee .. or employer.

So .. thank goodness  DOLETA (Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration) thought it might be a good idea to update us each year on the more common issues affecting unemployment eligibility and disqualifications with the State Unemployment Law Comparison Charts.

Of course, if the charts make you want to dig deeper, I've included links to additional resources I've found for some states.  

Links to Precedent Decision Manuals, Decision Digests, sometimes even called an Interpretive Index with the links to unemployment statutes.

PS   Please be kind enough to let me know if a link below is broken .. chasing broken links on state websites .. is a chore, but I do attempt to fix them .. when I become aware a state, or the federal government is moving things around  .. maybe so we know less about what we need to know to get benefts???

2016 Unemployment Law Comparison Charts ..

I noticed 2017's charts are now available here .. I will be downloading them soon, but don't let me stop you from staying current and up to date to any potential for sustantive changes to state unemployment laws.

State Unemployment Laws (Aka Employment Security Acts) 

I need help with these links.  They move them around as often as I pick up clutter of my bathroom counter.

I recently called (3/28/17) the NY board,  and asked where the heck they moved their  "interpreservice page".  

Please, if you find a broken link please email me.

I'm more than willing to be the PITA for  you with any state who might wish you couldn't find information.

And by the way .. if you find any other official resources you thought was helpful, let me know .. I'll add it. 



The state of Alabama is not forthcoming with any sort of information I call useful .. at least not to an unemployed person .. but here's where I found Alabama's UI statutes.

Alabama Unemployment Statutes


Alaska is one of the three states in the country that when an employee tell me they didn't get benefits they had to pay an unemployment tax for .. I know they are correct. 

This may also be the reason, Alaska unemployment recipiency rate, is consistently higher than most other states.

Alaska Unemployment Statues


Arizona unemployment is indicative of what has happened in many states to reduce recipients of benefits to the lowest levels ever.  Arizona, has one of the lowest maximum weekly unemployment benefits amount in the country as well.

It's also one of a handful of states that makes finding affordable representation at an unemployment appeal hearing, a bigger challenge, that is..  if you're the claimant in the matter.


AZ Administrative Code 


Arkansas Unemployment Statutes

 Precedent Decisions
California UIBDG (good one)

CDLE Reference Library


Delaware - Do you know where





Illinois Unemployment Law Handbook


Iowa Adjudication Guide





Maryland                                                                Decision Digest

Massachusetts                                                DUA Service Rep Manual

Decision Digest







New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico                                         Precedents

New York                                                 

North Carolina Statues

NC Precedent Manual

North Dakota

Ohio Statutes                             Precedent  Abstract

Oklahoma                                   Precedent Manual



Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota


Texas                                                 Precedents



Precedent Manual

Washington State

Washington DC

West Virginia

Wisconsin                                    Precedents


Many discussions in the  Q&A's  link to specific pages  in many of the resources to help explain the reasoning behind any answer or question I might of asked.

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