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150 historic application of the Commerce Clause rather than an unjustified usurpation of state power.711 XXXVII. RAILROAD UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT 778 A. Introduction 778 The RUIA is an unemployment and sickness insurance benefit program for railroad workers.712 The RRB collects the taxes for and administers the RUIA.713 Section B discusses the RUIA and benefits payable under the Act. Sections C through G discuss what constitutes an employer under the Act; whether an employeeâs receipt of severance pay disqualifies the employee from receiving RUIA benefits, whether an employee who refuses to return to work may receive benefits, and other issues. Sections H and I discuss two articles, one on the history of railroad unemployment insurance and the other on trends in railroad unemployment insurance. Statutes and Regulations 779 B. Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act 779 1. Benefits Under the RUIA 779 Under the RUIA any qualified employee who has been unemployed for over 4 days in a registration period is entitled to receive benefits.714 However, if an employeeâs unemployment is because of a strike, the employee is not entitled to benefits for the first 14 days of unemployment.715 2. Qualified Employees and Willingness to Work Under the RUIA 779 The subpart discusses when an employee qualifies for coverage716 and also that an employee may receive benefits for unemployment only if the employee is willing to work.717 711 Michael T. Fatale, Common Sense: Implicit Constitutional Limitations on Congressional Preemptions of State Tax, 2012 MICH. ST. L. REV. 41, 46 (2012). 712 IRS RRTA Desk Guide, available at http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Railroad-Retirement-Tax--Act- %28RRTA%29-Desk-Guide-%28January-2009%29#2 (last accessed Mar. 31, 2015). 713 Id. 714 45 U.S.C. Â§ 352(a)(1)(A) (2014). 715 Id. 716 20 C.F.R. Â§ 302.3(a) (2014). 717 20 C.F.R. Â§ 327.1 (2014).
151 Cases 780 C. Whether a Company Acting as a Dispatcher Is an Employer 780 Under the RUIA In Herzog Transit Servs., Inc. v. U.S. R.R. Ret. Bd.,718 the Seventh Circuit upheld the STBâs decision that because the role of Herzog Transit Services, Inc., (Herzog) as a dispatcher was integral to the operation of intrastate trains, Herzog was a rail carrier under the statute. The court identified factors to be considered in making such a determination, including the purpose of the company, the ratio of carrier business to other business, and the nature of the carrier business separate from other activities.719 D. The Receipt of Severance Pay Bars an Employee from 781 Receiving Benefits Under the RUIA In Hudspeth v. Railroad Retirement Board,720 the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Boardâs ruling that the severance pay the employee had received was a separation allowance that barred her from receiving other benefits. E. Unemployment Benefits Unavailable to Workers Who Refuse to 782 Return to Work In Cobb v. Retirement Railroad Board,721 involving Cobbâs failure to return, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Boardâs decision in rejecting Cobbâs argument that he could âcondition  the âacceptanceâ of his restoration to seniority onâ receiving back pay.722 F. Employee May Not Receive Benefits for Unemployment or 783 Sickness While Also Collecting a Social Insurance Benefit As confirmed by the Second Circuit in Kaiser v. Railroad Retirement Board,723 the RUIA prohibits providing unemployment or sickness benefits to an individual who is receiving any social insurance benefits under state or federal law. 718 624 F.3d 467 (7th Cir. 2010). 719 Id. at 476. 720 73 F. Appx. 191, 192 (8th Cir. 2003). 721 431 F.2d 406 (5th Cir. 1970). 722 Id. at 408. 723 264 F.2d 684, 687 (2d Cir. 1959).
152 G. Recovery of Overpayments to Recipients Under the Railroad 783 Retirement Act and the Social Security Act Are Limited to 50 Percent of the Overpayment In Linquist v. Bowen,724 at issue were the plaintiff Linquistâs receipt of survivor benefits under the RRA and benefits under the Social Security Act (SSA) for her own work and plaintiff Burnsâ receipt of primary benefits under the SSA and survivor benefits under the RRA. A federal district court in Missouri held in part that there should be coordination to ensure that beneficiaries âlose no more than $1 of benefits for each $2 of excess earnings.â725 Articles 785 H. History of Railroad Unemployment Benefits 785 An article in the Yale Law Journal that describes the history of railroad unemployment insurance and the RUIA also explains why the Act was enacted separately from the SSA or other unemployment insurance acts at the time.726 I. Trends in Railroad Unemployment Insurance 786 An article in the Monthly Labor Review that summarizes trends in the railroad unemployment insurance program states that the decline in railroad employment has led to more railroad employeesâ benefits under the RUIA.727 The article argues that in most instances railroad workers benefit more under the RUIA than they would have under a state plan.728 724 633 F. Supp. 846 (W.D. Mo. 1986), affâd, 813 F.2d 884 (8th Cir. Mo. 1987); cert. denied, 488 U.S. 908, 109 S. Ct. 259, 102 L. Ed. 2d 247 (1988); but see Action Alliance of Senior Citizens v. Leavitt, 483 F.3d 852 (D.C. Cir. 2007). 725 Id. at 866. 726 Edwin E. Witte, Development of Unemployment Insurance, 55 YALE L. J. 21 (1945). 727 Martha F. Riche, Railroad Unemployment Insurance: Designed to Meet the Special Circumstances of Railroad Employment, the RUI System Provides Some Interesting Contrasts with the State Plans, 90 MONTHLY LAV. REV. 9, 10 (1967). 728 Id. at 13, 14.