Section 62A. (a) The division of unemployment assistance shall provide a minimum level of in-person assistance at the following regional offices: Worcester, Milford, Dudley, Springfield, Gardner, Greenfield, Pittsfield, North Adams, New Bedford, Northampton, Taunton, Brockton, Boston, Lawrence and Framingham.
[ Paragraph added in subsection (a) by 2014, 144, Sec. 69 effective March 24, 2015. See 2014, 144, Sec. 81.]
The department shall conduct at least 1 public hearing each year to seek the input of employers in the commonwealth. The hearing shall be held at a time and location designated to maximize employer participation. Not fewer than 20 days prior to a public hearing the commissioner shall conspicuously post notice of the time and location of the hearing on the official website of the department and send notice, electronically or otherwise, to: members of the general court; every employer with an account with the department; the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Inc., the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Inc.; and the National Federation of Independent Business.
(b) In addition to such access by telephone to offices of the division, the deputy director shall maintain walk-in service, including the provision of general information, application assistance, claims information and orientation.
(c) The division shall provide an orientation to individuals who have applied for unemployment compensation within 15 days from the date upon which said application was made. At the orientation the claimant shall be informed of the determination process, eligibility criteria and requirements, including those mandated by worker profiling, and the address and telephone number to report to for division services. The division shall also provide claimants with information relative to the medical security plan and training benefit extensions established pursuant to section 30. The orientation may be provided through multilingual audio-visual methods, but the claimant shall have the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with division staff.
(d) The deputy director shall take any such actions as may be necessary to ensure that any notice to an individual issued by the division:
(i) is written in simple and clear language;
(ii) includes the address and telephone number of the regional office of the division which serves the recipient and the statewide toll free telephone number; and
(iii) that not later that January 1, 1998 the division shall issue all notices and materials explaining the provisions of this section in English, Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Italian, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Khmer, Russian and any other language that is the primary language of at least 10,000 or 1/2 of 1% of all residents of the commonwealth. If the division fails to issue a bilingual notice in the claimant's primary language and such omission results in the claimant's failure to meet a deadline or requirement, the division's omission shall constitute good cause for the claimant's failure.
[ There is no subsection (e).]
(f) A claimant shall be deemed to have initiated a claim for unemployment compensation benefits on the first day that the claimant contacts or attempts to contact the division, whether or not such employee is able to speak with a division representative at the time.
(g) Each employer shall post at each site operated by the employer, in a conspicuous place, accessible to employees, the following information: the name and mailing address of the employer, the identification number assigned to the employer by said division, instructions on how to file a claim for unemployment compensation, the address and telephone number of the regional office of said division located nearest the work site, and the telephone number of the teleclaim information line. Each failure to post the information described herein shall result in a written warning by said division to the employer for a first violation, and thereafter shall result in the assessment of a civil fine of $100 for a second violation, $250 for a third violation, and $500 for a fourth and subsequent violations. Said division shall collect all fines assessed for violations of this subsection for deposit into the General Fund.
Each employer shall issue to every separated employee, as soon as practicable, but not to exceed 30 days from the last day said employee performed compensable work, written information furnished or approved by said division which shall contain the name and mailing address of the employer, the identification number assigned to the employer by said division, instructions on how to file a claim for unemployment compensation, the address and telephone number of the regional office which serves the recipient, and the telephone number of the teleclaim information line. Delivery is made when an employer provides such information to an employee in person or by mail to the employee's last known address. The waiting period under section 23 for an employee who did not receive the information required by this paragraph and who failed to file timely for benefits, shall be the Sunday of the initial week such employee would have been eligible to receive unemployment compensation. Each employer shall have the burden of demonstrating compliance with the provisions required herein.