SB322 Alabama 2020 Session

In Committee
Session
Regular Session 2020
Title
Call centers, certain terms further defined, to require employers relocating call centers to notify Secretary of Commerce Dept. rather than the Dept. of Economic and Community Affairs director, Act 2019-374, 2019 Reg. Sess., am'd; Sec. 41-23-230, 41-23-231, 41-23-235 am'd.
Description

Under existing law (Act 2019-374), certain employers relocating call centers are required to notify the state within a specified time frame prior to relocation

This bill would define certain terms used in existing law and would require employers relocating call centers to notify the Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce of the relocation rather than the Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs

This bill would also limit the amount of civil penalties assessed to an employer

This bill would be retroactive to September 1, 2019, which was the effective date of Act 2019-374

Relating to call centers; to amend Sections 1, 2, and 6 of Act 2019-374, 2019 Regular Session, now appearing as Sections 41-23-230, 41-23-231, and 41-23-235, Code of Alabama 1975, to define certain terms; to require employers relocating call centers to notify the Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce of the relocation rather than the Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs; to limit the amount of civil penalties assessed to an employer; and to provide for retroactive effect to September 1, 2019.

Subjects
Call Centers
Note: Bills that change current law do not show the amended text correctly below. Please view Original PDF to see amended sections: SB322 Alabama 2020 Session - Introduced - PDF

Under existing law (Act 2019-374), certain employers relocating call centers are required to notify the state within a specified time frame prior to relocation

This bill would define certain terms used in existing law and would require employers relocating call centers to notify the Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce of the relocation rather than the Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs

This bill would also limit the amount of civil penalties assessed to an employer

This bill would be retroactive to September 1, 2019, which was the effective date of Act 2019-374

Relating to call centers; to amend Sections 1, 2, and 6 of Act 2019-374, 2019 Regular Session, now appearing as Sections 41-23-230, 41-23-231, and 41-23-235, Code of Alabama 1975, to define certain terms; to require employers relocating call centers to notify the Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce of the relocation rather than the Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs; to limit the amount of civil penalties assessed to an employer; and to provide for retroactive effect to September 1, 2019.

Section 1

Sections 1, 2, and 6 of Act 2019-374, 2019 Regular Session, now appearing as Sections 41-23-230, 41-23-231, and 41-23-235, Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:

§41-23-230.

For the purposes of this article, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) CALL CENTER. A physical location within the State of Alabama at which the predominant activity conducted at the location is described by NAICS Code 561422 and at which r more individuals are employed to conduct that activity receive by telephone, email, or other electronic forms of communication requests for service and repairs and assist with a resolution. The term does not include locations within this state at which similar calls are resolved in whole or in part by means of computers, including, but not limited to, artificial intelligence. The term also does not include data centers.

(2) CONTRACT. An economic development agreement between an employer and the state or a political subdivision of the state that directly provides the employer with a grant, loan, or tax credit as an incentive to locate a call center in Alabama.

(2)(3) DIRECTOR. The Director of the Department of Economic and Community Affairs Secretary of the Department of Commerce.

(3)(4) EMPLOYER. A call center that has received a grant, loan, or tax credit from the state or any political subdivision of the state and employs either of the following:

a. Fifty or more individuals, excluding part-time employees.

b. Fifty or more individuals who, in the aggregate, work at least 1,500 hours each week for the employer, not including overtime hours.

This term does not apply to the State of Alabama or its agencies or departments.

(5) GRANT, LOAN, OR TAX CREDIT. An economic development incentive included in a contract that is directly related to an employer's call center. This term does not include any grant, loan, or tax credit that is not directly related to an employer's call center.

(4)(6) PART-TIME EMPLOYEE. An individual employed for an average of fewer than 20 hours each week or for fewer than six of the 12 months before the date on which a determination to relocate is made.

(7) RELOCATE or RELOCATION. The act of moving a call center physically located within the State of Alabama to a location physically located outside the State of Alabama. This term does not apply to the closure of, or a reduction in force at, a call center, or one or more facilities or operating units within a call center, due to reasons other than relocation.

§41-23-231.

(a) An employer that intends to relocate a call center, or one or more facilities or operating units within a call center consisting of at least 30 percent of the call center's total volume when measured against the previous 12-month average call volume, from this state, shall notify the director at least 120 days before the relocation is scheduled to occur if the employer has entered into a contract for the relocated call center within the five years preceding the relocation.

(b) If the employer fails to provide notice pursuant to subsection (a), the director shall notify the Attorney General of the failure, and the Attorney General shall commence an action for assessment of a civil penalty against the employer in the circuit court in the county where the employer's call center is located. Upon a finding that an employer has violated subsection (a), the court shall assess a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) against the employer for each day the employer failed to provide the notice. The assessed civil penalty may not exceed the value of the unamortized value of any grant, loan, or tax credit that the employer received from the state or any political subdivision of the state on or after September 1, 2019.

(c) A court may reduce a civil penalty imposed under subsection (b) if the court determines that an employer has shown just cause as to why notification under subsection (a) was not made in the time frame required.

§41-23-235.

This article may not be construed as permitting the withholding or denial of payments, compensation, or benefits from employees. Further, the act adding this amendatory language shall not be construed to alter or modify, and shall not have the effect of altering or modifying, the terms of a contract."

Section 2

This act shall become effective immediately, following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law, and shall be retroactive to September 1, 2019.

Action DateChamberAction
March 12, 2020SRead for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development

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