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Part Number: 970

Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation

970.2270 Unemployment compensation.

(a) Each state has its own unemployment compensation system to provide payments to workers who become unemployed involuntarily and through no fault of their own. Funds are provided for unemployment compensation benefits through a payroll tax on employers. Most DOE contractors are subject to the unemployment compensation tax laws of the states in which they are located. It is the policy to assure, both in the negotiation and administration of cost-reimbursement type contracts, that economical and practical arrangements are made and practiced with respect to unemployment compensation.

(b) Contract exempt from state laws.

(1) Some contractors are exempt from state unemployment compensation laws, usually on grounds that they are nonprofit organizations or subdivisions of State governments. Most states, however, permit such employers to elect unemployment compensation coverage on a voluntary basis. Under such circumstances, all existing or prospective cost-reimbursement contractors shall be encouraged to provide unemployment compensation coverage or equivalent substitutes.

(2) It is also DOE policy that, prior to the award or extension of a management and operating contract, exempt contractors or prospective contractors shall be required to submit to the contracting officer a statement that they will either elect coverage or provide equivalent substitutes for unemployment compensation, or in the alternative, submit evidence that it is impractical to do so. If any exempt contractor or prospective contractor submits that it is impractical to elect coverage or to provide an equivalent substitute, appropriate Office of Contract and Resource Management, within the Headquarters procurement organization, staff shall review that position prior to recommending an award or extension of the contract. If there are substantial reasons for not electing coverage or for not providing equivalent substitutes, a contract may be awarded or extended. Headquarters' staff review and recommendation shall be based on such factors as -

(i) The specific provisions of the unemployment compensation law of the State;

(ii) The extent to which the establishment of special conditions on DOE work may have an adverse effect on the contractor's general policies and operating costs in its private operations;

(iii) The numerical relationship between the contractor's private work force and its employees performing only work for DOE;

(iv) The contractor's record with respect to work force stability and the general outlook with respect to future work force stability;

(v) In a replacement contractor situation, whether or not the prior contractor had coverage or suitable substitutes; and

(vi) The particular labor relations implications involved.