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H.R. 3479: Back to Work Bonus Act


The text of the bill below is as of May 25, 2021 (Introduced).


I

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3479

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 25, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means

A BILL

To incentivize American workers to seek and accept jobs, to aid the economic recovery by converting Federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation into back to work bonuses, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Back to Work Bonus Act.

2.

Back to work bonuses

(a)

In general

Section 2104(b) of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9023(b)) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and

(2)

by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:

(4)

Back-to-work bonuses

(A)

In general

Any agreement under this section may also provide that the State agency of the State may make a lump sum payment to each individual who—

(i)

was eligible for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation under paragraph (1) for—

(I)

any week beginning after the date of enactment of the Back to Work Bonus Act; and

(II)

at least 4 weeks immediately preceding the week under clause (I);

(ii)

is no longer eligible for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation under paragraph (1) (as determined by the State), as a result of earnings due to commencing employment with an employer by whom the individual has not been employed during the preceding 6 months; and

(iii)

as verified by the individual’s employer pursuant to subparagraph (E)—

(I)

has been employed by a non-governmental employer throughout the qualifying period; and

(II)

remains employed with an intent to continue such employment.

(B)

Amount

A payment made to an individual under this paragraph shall be paid in a lump sum $900.

(C)

Qualifying period

For purposes of this paragraph, the term qualifying period means, with respect to an individual, a period—

(i)

beginning on the date the individual commenced employment as described in subparagraph (A)(ii); and

(ii)

extending at least 4 consecutive weeks from such date.

(D)

Duration

A lump-sum payment may not be made to any individual under this paragraph with respect to a qualifying period beginning on or after August 14, 2021.

(E)

Employer verification required for lump-sum payment

Before making a lump-sum payment to an individual pursuant to this paragraph, a State agency shall require verification from the individual’s employer—

(i)

of the individual’s employment status;

(ii)

of the wages paid to the individual during the applicable qualifying period; and

(iii)

of the hours worked by the individual during the qualifying period.

(F)

Limitation

A State may not provide more than 1 lump-sum payment under this paragraph to an individual.

(G)

Special rule

A payment made pursuant to an agreement under this paragraph shall not be considered to violate the withdrawal requirements of section 303(a)(5) or section 3304(a)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

.

(b)

Conforming amendments

Section 2104 of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9023) is amended—

(1)

in subsections (d) and (f), by inserting , payments under subsection (b)(4) after Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation each place it appears; and

(2)

in subsection (g)—

(A)

in paragraph (1), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(3)

the purposes of the preceding provisions of this section, as such provisions apply with respect to payments under subsection (b)(4), shall be applied with respect to unemployment benefits described in subsection (i)(2) to the same extent and in the same manner as if those benefits were regular compensation.

.

3.

Sunsetting Federal pandemic unemployment compensation

Section 2104(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9023(b)(3)(A)(ii)) is amended by striking September 6, 2021 and inserting the date of enactment of the Back to Work Bonus Act.

4.

Strengthening work search requirements

(a)

Modifying pandemic unemployment assistance

Section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I) of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9021(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)) is amended by striking items (aa) through (kk) and inserting the following:

(aa)

the individual has an active infection with COVID–19;

(bb)

the individual received an order from a physician to quarantine due to exposure to COVID–19; or

(cc)

the individual is caring for a family member or a member of the individual’s household described in items (aa) or (bb); or

.

(b)

Conforming amendments

Section 2102(c) of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9021(c)) is amended by—

(1)

inserting at the end of paragraph (6) the following: A State shall require proof of active infection or quarantine order required by subsection (a)(3)(A)(ii)(I).; and

(2)

by redesignating paragraphs (5) and (6) as paragraphs (4) and (5), respectively.

(c)

Modifying Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Section 2107(a)(7) of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9025(a)(7)) is amended by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following:

(B)

Flexibility

(i)

Notwithstanding the requirements under subparagraph (A) and paragraph (2)(D), a State may provide flexibility in meeting such requirements in case of individuals unable to search for work because—

(I)

the individual has an active infection with COVID–19;

(II)

the individual received an order from a physician to quarantine due to exposure to COVID–19; or

(III)

the individual is caring for a family member or a member of the individual’s household described in subclause (I) or (II).

(ii)

Prior to providing flexibility under this subparagraph, a State shall require proof of active infection or quarantine order required by subclause (I) or (II).

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