A federal bill would require employers to pay their workers back money for their unemployment benefits.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Reps.
Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Raul Grijalva, D.C., would require companies that receive unemployment insurance to submit a statement of compensation, including wages and bonuses, as well as the amount they have paid to the federal government in unemployment insurance.
The requirement would take effect at the end of 2017.
The House passed its own version of the legislation in February.
But the Senate bill is expected to pass as soon as Monday, if the House passes it.
The new requirement would not apply to workers who have lost their jobs but who have received unemployment benefits through a job-seeker’s allowance program.
It would also not apply if an employee had been laid off from the same employer for more than two years.
Employers could be fined up to $2,000 for failing to comply with the new requirement.
It also does not apply for any employer that has more than 30 employees.
Under the Senate measure, employers would be required to pay back their workers a total of $1,400 in unemployment-related benefits each year.
Employees would also have to submit annual statements of compensation to the unemployment insurance program.
Employer groups had supported the Senate proposal to require employers pay back unemployment insurance as part of a program known as the job-seekers’ allowance program, which pays wages and benefits to job-seeking workers who do not qualify for a traditional job-based insurance program such as unemployment or food stamps.
The job-stamp program, however, has been challenged in court by unions and some conservatives.
Democrats have not proposed their own version.
The Sanders-Grijalvas bill does not include any new requirements for the program, and it has been opposed by many labor groups and some Republicans who have said the bill would be a boon for employers who have already made generous payments to workers for their lost wages.