MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

1998 Regular Session

To: Labor

By: Representative Perkins

House Bill 104

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 71-5-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT CERTAIN NONPROFIT FACILITIES FROM THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAWS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 71-5-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

71-5-11. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

A. "Base period" means the first four (4) of the last five (5) completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an individual's benefit year.

B. "Benefits" means the money payments payable to an individual, as provided in this chapter, with respect to his unemployment.

C. "Benefit year" with respect to any individual means the period beginning with the first day of the first week with respect to which he first files a valid claim for benefits, and ending with the day preceding the same day of the same month in the next calendar year; and, thereafter, the period beginning with the first day of the first week with respect to which he next files his valid claim for benefits, and ending with the day preceding the same day of the same month in the next calendar year. Any claim for benefits made in accordance with Section 71-5-515 shall be deemed to be a "valid claim" for purposes of this subsection if the individual has been paid the wages for insured work required under Section 71-5-511(e).

D. "Contributions" means the money payments to the State Unemployment Compensation Fund required by this chapter.

E. "Calendar quarter" means the period of three (3) consecutive calendar months ending on March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31.

F. "Commission" means the Mississippi Employment Security Commission.

G. "Employing unit" means this state or another state or any instrumentalities or any political subdivisions thereof or any of their instrumentalities or any instrumentality of more than one (1) of the foregoing or any instrumentality of any of the foregoing and one or more other states or political subdivisions, any individual or type of organization, including any partnership, association, trust, estate, joint stock company, insurance company, or corporation, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, or the legal representative of a deceased person, which has or had in its employ one or more individuals performing services for it within this state. All individuals performing services within this state for any employing unit which maintains two (2) or more separate establishments within this state shall be deemed to be employed by a single employing unit for all the purposes of this chapter. Each individual employed to perform or to assist in performing the work of any agent or employee of an employing unit shall be deemed to be employed by such employing unit for all purposes of this chapter, whether such individual was hired or paid directly by such employing unit or by such agent or employee, provided the employing unit had actual or constructive knowledge of the work. All individuals performing services in the employ of an elected fee-paid county official, other than those related by blood or marriage within the third degree computed by the rule of the civil law to such fee-paid county official, shall be deemed to be employed by such county as the employing unit for all the purposes of this chapter. For purposes of defining an "employing unit" which shall pay contributions on remuneration paid to individuals, if two (2) or more related corporations concurrently employ the same individual and compensate such individual through a common paymaster which is one of such corporations, then each such corporation shall be considered to have paid as remuneration to such individual only the amounts actually disbursed by it to such individual and shall not be considered to have paid as remuneration to such individual such amounts actually disbursed to such individual by another of such corporations.

H. "Employer" means:

(1) Any employing unit which, after December 31, 1971,

(a) In any calendar quarter in either the current or preceding calendar year paid for service in employment wages of One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00) or more, except as provided in paragraph (9) of this subsection, or

(b) For some portion of a day in each of twenty (20) different calendar weeks, whether or not such weeks were consecutive, in either the current or the preceding calendar year had in employment at least one (1) individual (irrespective of whether the same individual was in employment in each such day), except as provided in paragraph (9) of this subsection;

(2) Any employing unit for which service in employment, as defined in subsection I(3) of this section, is performed;

(3) Any employing unit for which service in employment, as defined in subsection I(4) of this section, is performed;

(4) (a) Any employing unit for which agricultural labor, as defined in subsection I(6) of this section, is performed after December 31, 1977;

(b) Any employing unit for which domestic service in employment, as defined in subsection I(7) of this section, is performed after December 31, 1977;

(5) Any individual or employing unit which acquired the organization, trade, business, or substantially all the assets thereof, of another which at the time of such acquisition was an employer subject to this chapter.

(6) Any individual or employing unit which acquired its organization, trade, business, or substantially all the assets thereof, from another employing unit, if the employment record of the acquiring individual or employing unit subsequent to such acquisition, together with the employment record of the acquired organization, trade, or business prior to such acquisition, both within the same calendar year, would be sufficient to constitute an employing unit an employer subject to this chapter under paragraphs (1) or (3) of this subsection;

(7) Any employing unit which, having become an employer under paragraph (1), (3), (5) or (6) of this subsection or under any other provisions of this chapter, has not, under Section 71-5-361, ceased to be an employer subject to this chapter; or

(8) For the effective period of its election pursuant to Section 71-5-361(3), any other employing unit which has elected to become subject to this chapter.

(9) (a) In determining whether or not an employing unit for which service other than domestic service is also performed is an employer under paragraph (1) or (4)(a) of this subsection, the wages earned or the employment of an employee performing domestic service after December 31, 1977, shall not be taken into account.

(b) In determining whether or not an employing unit for which service other than agricultural labor is also performed is an employer under paragraph (1) or (4)(b) of this subsection, the wages earned or the employment of an employee performing services in agricultural labor after December 31, 1977, shall not be taken into account. If an employing unit is determined an employer of agricultural labor, such employing unit shall be determined an employer for purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

I. "Employment" means and includes:

(1) Any service performed prior to January 1, 1978, which was employment as defined in this section prior to such date and, subject to the other provisions of this subsection, service performed after December 31, 1977, including service in interstate commerce, performed for wages or under any contract of hire, written or oral, express or implied.

(2) Services performed for remuneration for a principal:

(a) As an agent-driver or commission-driver engaged in distributing meat products, vegetable products, fruit products, bakery products, beverages (other than milk), or laundry or dry cleaning services;

(b) As a traveling or city salesman, other than as an agent-driver or commission-driver, engaged upon a full-time basis in the solicitation on behalf of, and the transmission to, a principal (except for sideline sales activities on behalf of some other person) of orders from wholesalers, retailers, contractors, or operator of hotels, restaurants, or other similar establishments for merchandise for resale or supplies for use in their business operations.

Provided, that for purposes of this subsection, the term "employment" shall include services described in subsections I(2)(a) and (b) of this section, only if:

(i) The contract of service contemplates that substantially all of the services are to be performed personally by such individual;

(ii) The individual does not have a substantial investment in facilities used in connection with the performance of the services (other than in facilities for transportation); and

(iii) The services are not in the nature of a single transaction that is not part of a continuing relationship with the person for whom the services are performed.

(3) (a) Service performed prior to January 1, 1978, in the employ of this state or any of its instrumentalities (or in the employ of this state and one or more other states or their instrumentalities) for a hospital or institution of higher learning located in this state, provided:

(i) Such service is excluded from "employment" as defined in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, 26 USCA Sec. 3306(c)(7), and

(ii) Is not excluded from "employment" under subsection I(5) of this section.

(b) Service performed after December 31, 1977, in the employ of this state or any of its instrumentalities or any political subdivision thereof or any of its instrumentalities or any instrumentality of more than one (1) of the foregoing or any instrumentality of any of the foregoing and one or more other states or political subdivisions; provided that such service is excluded from "employment" as defined in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act by Section 3306(c)(7) of that act and is not excluded from "employment" under subsection I(5) of this section.

(4) (a) Services performed in the employ of a religious, charitable, educational, or other organization, but only if the service is excluded from "employment" as defined in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, 26 USCA Sec. 3306(c)(8), and

(b) The organization had four (4) or more individuals in employment for some portion of a day in each of twenty (20) different weeks, whether or not such weeks were consecutive, within the current or preceding calendar year, regardless of whether they were employed at the same moment of time.

(5) For the purposes of subsections I(3) and (4) of this section, the term "employment" does not apply to service performed:

(a) In the employ of:

(i) A church or convention or association of churches; or

(ii) An organization which is operated primarily for religious purposes and which is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches; or

(b) By a duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of his ministry, or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties required by such order; or

(c) Prior to January 1, 1978, in the employ of a school which is not an institution of higher learning; after December 31, 1977, in the employ of a governmental entity referred to in subsection I(3)(b), if such service is performed by an individual in the exercise of duties:

(i) As an elected official;

(ii) As a member of a legislative body, or a member of the judiciary, of a state or political subdivision;

(iii) As a member of the State National Guard or Air National Guard;

(iv) As an employee serving on a temporary basis in case of fire, storm, snow, earthquake, flood or similar emergency;

(v) In a position which, under or pursuant to the laws of this state, is designated as:

1. A major nontenured policy-making or advisory position, or

2. A policy-making or advisory position the performance of the duties of which ordinarily does not require more than eight (8) hours per week; or

(d) In a facility conducted for the purpose of carrying out a program of rehabilitation for individuals whose earning capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury, or providing remunerative work for individuals who because of their impaired physical or mental capacity cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market, by an individual receiving such rehabilitation or remunerative work; or

(e) Prior to January 1, 1978, for a hospital in a state prison or other state correctional institution by an inmate of the prison or correctional institution, and after December 31, 1977, by an inmate of a custodial or penal institution; or

(f) As part of an unemployment work-relief or work-training program assisted or financed in whole or in part by any federal agency or agency of a state or political subdivision thereof, by an individual receiving such work relief or work training, unless coverage of such service is required by federal law or regulation; or

(g) In a public nonprofit facility conducted for the care of children if the employees of such facility are retired teachers or college students or other individuals who are not eligible for unemployment benefits under this chapter.

(6) Service performed after December 31, 1977, by an individual in agricultural labor as defined in paragraph (15)(a) of this subsection when:

(a) Such service is performed for a person who:

(i) During any calendar quarter in either the current or the preceding calendar year paid remuneration in cash of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) or more to individuals employed in agricultural labor (not taking into account service in agricultural labor performed before January 1, 1980, by an alien referred to in paragraph (6)(b) of this subsection), or

(ii) For some portion of a day in each of twenty (20) different calendar weeks, whether or not such weeks were consecutive, in either the current or the preceding calendar year, employed in agricultural labor (not taking into account service in agricultural labor performed before January 1, 1980, by an alien referred to in paragraph (6)(b) of this subsection) ten (10) or more individuals, regardless of whether they were employed at the same moment of time.

(b) Such service is not performed in agricultural labor if performed before January 1, 1980, by an individual who is an alien admitted to the United States to perform service in agricultural labor pursuant to Sections 214(c) and 101(a)(15)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(c) For the purposes of subsection I(6) any individual who is a member of a crew furnished by a crew leader to perform service in agricultural labor for any other person shall be treated as an employee of such crew leader:

(i) If such crew leader holds a valid certificate of registration under the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act of 1963; or substantially all the members of such crew operate or maintain tractors, mechanized harvesting or crop dusting equipment, or any other mechanized equipment, which is provided by such crew leader; and

(ii) If such individual is not an employee of such other person within the meaning of subsection I(1).

(d) For the purpose of subsection I(6), in the case of any individual who is furnished by a crew leader to perform service in agricultural labor for any other person and who is not treated as an employee of such crew leader under paragraph (6)(c) of this subsection:

(i) Such other person and not the crew leader shall be treated as the employer of such individual; and

(ii) Such other person shall be treated as having paid cash remuneration to such individual in an amount equal to the amount of cash remuneration paid to such individual by the crew leader (either on his own behalf or on behalf of such other person) for the service in agricultural labor performed for such other person.

(e) For the purposes of subsection I(6) the term "crew leader" means an individual who:

(i) Furnishes individuals to perform service in agricultural labor for any other person;

(ii) Pays (either on his own behalf or on behalf of such other person) the individuals so furnished by him for the service in agricultural labor performed by them; and

(iii) Has not entered into a written agreement with such other person under which such individual is designated as an employee of such other person.

(7) The term "employment" shall include domestic service after December 31, 1977, in a private home, local college club or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority performed for an employing unit which paid cash remuneration of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or more in any calendar quarter in the current or the preceding calendar year to individuals employed in such domestic service. For the purpose of this subsection, the term "employment" does not apply to service performed as a "sitter" at a hospital in the employ of an individual.

(8) An individual's entire service, performed within or both within and without this state, if:

(a) The service is localized in this state; or

(b) The service is not localized in any state but some of the service is performed in this state, and

(i) The base of operations or, if there is no base of operations, the place from which such service is directed or controlled is in this state; or

(ii) The base of operations or place from which such service is directed or controlled is not in any state in which some part of the service is performed, but the individual's residence is in this state.

(9) Services not covered under paragraph (8) of this subsection and performed entirely without this state, with respect to no part of which contributions are required and paid under an unemployment compensation law of any other state or of the Federal Government, shall be deemed to be employment subject to this chapter if the individual performing such services is a resident of this state and the commission approves the election of the employing unit for whom such services are performed that the entire service of such individual shall be deemed to be employment subject to this chapter.

(10) Service shall be deemed to be localized within a state if:

(a) The service is performed entirely within such state; or

(b) The service is performed both within and without such state, but the service performed without such state is incidental to the individual's service within the state; for example, is temporary or transitory in nature or consists of isolated transactions.

(11) The services of an individual who is a citizen of the United States, performed outside the United States after December 31, 1971 (except in Canada, and in the case of the Virgin Islands after December 31, 1971, and prior to January 1 of the year following the year in which the United States Secretary of Labor approves the unemployment compensation law of the Virgin Islands under Section 3304(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954), in the employ of an American employer (other than service which is deemed "employment" under the provisions of paragraph (8), (9), or (10) of this subsection or the parallel provisions of another state's law), if:

(a) The employer's principal place of business in the United States is located in this state; or

(b) The employer has no place of business in the United States, but

(i) The employer is an individual who is a resident of this state; or

(ii) The employer is a corporation which is organized under the laws of this state; or

(iii) The employer is a partnership or a trust and the number of the partners or trustees who are residents of this state is greater than the number who are residents of any one (1) other state; or

(c) None of the criteria of subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this paragraph are met but the employer has elected coverage in this state or, the employer having failed to elect coverage in any state, the individual has filed a claim for benefits, based on such service, under the law of this state; or

(d) An "American employer," for purposes of this paragraph, means a person who is:

(i) An individual who is a resident of the United States; or

(ii) A partnership if two-thirds (2/3) or more of the partners are residents of the United States; or

(iii) A trust, if all of the trustees are residents of the United States; or

(iv) A corporation organized under the laws of the United States or of any state.

(12) All services performed by an officer or member of the crew of an American vessel on or in connection with such vessel, if the operating office from which the operations of such vessel operating on navigable waters within, or within and without, the United States are ordinarily and regularly supervised, managed, directed, and controlled is within this state; notwithstanding the provisions of subsection I(8).

(13) Service with respect to which a tax is required to be paid under any federal law imposing a tax against which credit may be taken for contributions required to be paid into a state unemployment fund, or which as a condition for full tax credit against the tax imposed by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, 26 USCA Sec. 3301 et seq., is required to be covered under this chapter, notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection.

(14) Services performed by an individual for wages shall be deemed to be employment subject to this chapter unless and until it is shown to the satisfaction of the commission that such individual has been and will continue to be free from control and direction over the performance of such services both under his contract of service and in fact; and the relationship of employer and employee shall be determined in accordance with the principles of the common law governing the relation of master and servant.

(15) The term "employment" shall not include:

(a) Agricultural labor, except as provided in subsection I(6) of this section. The term "agricultural labor" includes all services performed:

(i) On a farm or in a forest in the employ of any employing unit in connection with cultivating the soil, in connection with cutting, planting, deadening, marking or otherwise improving timber, or in connection with raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training, and management of livestock, bees, poultry, fur-bearing animals, and wildlife;

(ii) In the employ of the owner or tenant or other operator of a farm, in connection with the operation, management, conservation, improvement, or maintenance of such farm and its tools and equipment, or in salvaging timber or clearing land of brush and other debris left by a hurricane, if the major part of such service is performed on a farm;

(iii) In connection with the production or harvesting of naval stores products or any commodity defined in the Federal Agricultural Marketing Act, 12 USCA Sec. ll4lj(g), or in connection with the raising or harvesting of mushrooms, or in connection with the ginning of cotton, or in connection with the operation or maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs, or waterways not owned or operated for profit, used exclusively for supplying and storing water for farming purposes;

(iv) (A) In the employ of the operator of a farm in handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing, or delivering to storage or to market or to a carrier for transportation to market, in its unmanufactured state, any agricultural or horticultural commodity; but only if such operator produced more than one-half (1/2) of the commodity with respect to which such service is performed;

(B) In the employ of a group of operators of farms (or a cooperative organization of which such operators are members) in the performance of service described in subparagraph (A), but only if such operators produced more than one-half (1/2) of the commodity with respect to which such service is performed;

(C) The provisions of subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall not be deemed to be applicable with respect to service performed in connection with commercial canning or commercial freezing or in connection with any agricultural or horticultural commodity after its delivery to a terminal market for distribution for consumption;

(v) On a farm operated for profit if such service is not in the course of the employer's trade or business;

(vi) As used in paragraph (15)(a) of this subsection, the term "farm" includes stock, dairy, poultry, fruit, fur-bearing animals, and truck farms, plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, greenhouses, or other similar structures used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities, and orchards.

(b) Domestic service in a private home, local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority, except as provided in subsection I(7) of this section, or service performed as a "sitter" at a hospital in the employ of an individual.

(c) Casual labor not in the usual course of the employing unit's trade or business.

(d) Service performed by an individual in the employ of his son, daughter, or spouse, and service performed by a child under the age of twenty-one (21) in the employ of his father or mother.

(e) Service performed in the employ of the United States Government or of an instrumentality wholly owned by the United States; except that if the Congress of the United States shall permit states to require any instrumentalities of the United States to make payments into an unemployment fund under a state unemployment compensation act, then to the extent permitted by Congress and from and after the date as of which such permission becomes effective, all of the provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to such instrumentalities and to services performed by employees for such instrumentalities in the same manner, to the same extent, and on the same terms as to all other employers and employing units. If this state should not be certified under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, 26 USCA Sec. 3304(c), for any year, then the payment required by such instrumentality with respect to such year shall be deemed to have been erroneously collected and shall be refunded by the commission from the fund in accordance with the provisions of Section 71-5-383.

(f) Service performed in the employ of an "employer" as defined by the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, 45 USCA Sec. 35l(a), or as an "employee representative" as defined by the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, 45 USCA Sec. 35l(f), and service with respect to which unemployment compensation is payable under an unemployment compensation system for maritime employees, or under any other unemployment compensation system established by an act of Congress; provided that the commission is hereby authorized and directed to enter into agreements with the proper agencies under such act or acts of Congress, which agreements shall become effective ten (10) days after publication thereof in the manner provided in Section 71-5-117 for general rules, to provide reciprocal treatment to individuals who have, after acquiring potential rights to benefits under this chapter, acquired rights to unemployment compensation under such act or acts of Congress or who have, after acquiring potential rights to unemployment compensation under such act or acts of Congress, acquired rights to benefits under this chapter.

(g) Service performed in any calendar quarter in the employ of any organization exempt from income tax under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 USCA Sec. 50l(a) (other than an organization described in 26 USCA Sec. 40l(a)), or exempt from income tax under 26 USCA Sec. 52l if the remuneration for such service is less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00).

(h) Service performed in the employ of a school, college, or university if such service is performed:

(i) By a student who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes at such school, college, or university, or

(ii) By the spouse of such a student if such spouse is advised, at the time such spouse commences to perform such service, that

(A) The employment of such spouse to perform such service is provided under a program to provide financial assistance to such student by such school, college, or university, and

(B) Such employment will not be covered by any program of unemployment insurance.

(i) Service performed by an individual under the age of twenty-two (22) who is enrolled at a nonprofit or public educational institution which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on, as a student in a full-time program taken for credit at such institution, which combines academic instruction with work experience, if such service is an integral part of such program and such institution has so certified to the employer, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to service performed in a program established for or on behalf of an employer or group of employers.

(j) Service performed in the employ of a hospital, if such service is performed by a patient of the hospital, as defined in subsection L of this section.

(k) Service performed as a student nurse in the employ of a hospital or a nurses' training school by an individual who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes in a nurses' training school chartered or approved pursuant to state law; and services performed as an intern in the employ of a hospital by an individual who has completed a four (4) year course in a medical school chartered or approved pursuant to state law.

(l) Service performed by an individual as an insurance agent or as an insurance solicitor, if all such service performed by such individual is performed for remuneration solely by way of commission.

(m) Service performed by an individual under the age of eighteen (18) in the delivery or distribution of newspapers or shopping news, not including delivery or distribution to any point for subsequent delivery or distribution.

(n) If the services performed during one-half (1/2) or more of any pay period by an employee for the employing unit employing him constitute employment, all the services of such employee for such period shall be deemed to be employment; but if the services performed during more than one-half (1/2) of any such pay period by an employee for the employing unit employing him do not constitute employment, then none of the services of such employee for such period shall be deemed to be employment. As used in this subsection the term "pay period" means a period (of not more than thirty-one (31) consecutive days) for which a payment of remuneration is ordinarily made to the employee by the employing unit employing him.

(o) Service performed by an individual who is a CETA/PSE (Comprehensive Employment Training Act/Public Service Employment) participant unless coverage of such service is required by federal law or regulation.

(p) Service performed by a barber or beautician whose work station is leased to him or her by the owner of the shop in which he or she works and who is compensated directly by the patrons he or she serves and who is free from direction and control by the lessor.

J. "Employment office" means a free public employment office or branch thereof, operated by this state or maintained as a part of the state controlled system of public employment offices.

"Public employment service" means the operation of a program that offers free placement and referral services to applicants and employers, including job development.

K. "Fund" means the Unemployment Compensation Fund established by this chapter, to which all contributions required and from which all benefits provided under this chapter shall be paid.

L. "Hospital" means an institution which has been licensed, certified, or approved by the Mississippi Commission on Hospital Care as a hospital.

M. "Institution of higher learning," for the purposes of this section, means an educational institution which:

(1) Admits as regular students only individuals having a certificate of graduation from a high school, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate;

(2) Is legally authorized in this state to provide a program of education beyond high school;

(3) Provides an educational program for which it awards a bachelor's or higher degree, or provides a program which is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree, a program of postgraduate or postdoctoral studies, or a program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation;

(4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution;

(5) Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this subsection, all colleges and universities in this state are institutions of higher learning for purposes of this section.

N. (1) "State" includes, in addition to the states of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

(2) The term "United States" when used in a geographical sense includes the states, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

(3) The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of paragraph N, as including the Virgin Islands, shall become effective on the day after the day on which the United States Secretary of Labor approves for the first time under Section 3304(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 an unemployment compensation law submitted to the Secretary by the Virgin Islands for such approval.

O. "Unemployment."

(1) An individual shall be deemed "unemployed" in any week during which he performs no services and with respect to which no wages are payable to him, or in any week of less than full-time work if the wages payable to him with respect to such week are less than his weekly benefit amount as computed and adjusted in Section 71-5-505. The commission shall prescribe regulations applicable to unemployed individuals, making such distinctions in the procedure as to total unemployment, part-total unemployment, partial unemployment of individuals attached to their regular jobs, and other forms of short-time work, as the commission deems necessary.

(2) An individual's week of total unemployment shall be deemed to commence only after his registration at an employment office, except as the commission may by regulation otherwise prescribe.

P.  * * * "Wages" means all remuneration for personal services, including commissions and bonuses and the cash value of all remuneration in any medium other than cash, except that "wages," for purposes of determining employer's coverage and payment of contributions for agricultural and domestic service means cash remuneration only. The reasonable cash value of remuneration in any medium other than cash shall be estimated and determined in accordance with rules prescribed by the commission; provided, that the term "wages" shall not include:

(a) The amount of any payment made to, or on behalf of, an employee under a plan or system established by an employer which makes provision for his employees generally or for a class or classes of his employees (including any amount paid by an employer for insurance or annuities, or into a fund, to provide for any such payment), on account of:

(i) Retirement, or

(ii) Sickness or accident disability, or

(iii) Medical or hospitalization expenses in connection with sickness or actual disability, or

(iv) Death, provided the employee:

(A) Has not the option to receive, instead of provision for such death benefit, any part of such payment or, if such death benefit is insured, any part of the premiums (or contributions to premiums) paid by his employer, and

(B) Has not the right, under the provisions of the plan or system or policy of insurance providing for such death benefit, to assign such benefit or to receive a cash consideration in lieu of such benefit, either upon his withdrawal from the plan or system providing for such benefit or upon termination of such plan or system or policy of insurance or of his employment with such employer;

(b) Dismissal payments which the employer is not legally required to make;

(c) Payment by an employer (without deduction from the remuneration of an employee) of the tax imposed by the Internal Revenue Code, 26 USCA Sec. 3101;

(d) From and after January 1, 1992, the amount of any payment made to or on behalf of an employee for a "cafeteria" plan, which meets the following requirements:

(i) Qualifies under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code;

(ii) Covers only employees;

(iii) Covers only noncash benefits;

(iv) Does not include deferred compensation plans.

Q. "Week" means calendar week or such period of seven (7) consecutive days as the commission may by regulation prescribe. The commission may by regulation prescribe that a week shall be deemed to be in, within, or during any benefit year which includes any part of such week.

R. "Insured work" means "employment" for "employers."

S. The term "includes" and "including," when used in a definition contained in this chapter, shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.