Employment and Training Administration
Advisory System

U.S. Department of Labor
Washington, D.C. 20210


May 10, 2004



Office of Workforce Security
SUBJECT:Localization of Work Provisions - Principles for Determining Where Wages Should Be Reported When Work is Performed Entirely in One State or in a Number of Different States.

1. Purpose.To update examples of employment situations requiring uniform interpretation of localization of work provisions in state laws and to revise and reissue the Interpretation of Localization of Work Provisions.

2. References. Manual of State Employment Security Legislation, September 1950 edition, Section 2(k)(2) and (3); Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) No. 291, July 1, 1952; ET Handbook No. 392, Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United State of America - Effective 1947, Amended 1983.

3. Background. In general, under state unemployment laws, workers' wages are reported to the state where the work is performed. In order to avoid duplicate coverage or no coverage at all when a worker works for one employer in more than one state, states agreed in the early days of the UI program on how to determine where wages are to be reported in these instances. Model state legislation to put this agreement into effect was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor and incorporated into all states' UI laws in the 1940s. These provisions of states' UI laws are called "localization of work" provisions. In addition, the government of Canada agreed to the localization of work provisions in 1947, and the United States government encouraged states to follow the agreed upon provisions. In order for these provisions to accomplish their purpose, it is important that states interpret them uniformly.




4. Revised Employment Examples. Guidance for interpreting state statutory provisions on "localization of work" was last issued on July 1, 1952, as an attachment to UIPL No. 291.

Recent events have highlighted the need to provide more current examples of employment situations that require the uniform interpretation among states of these statutes:

  1. the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, which required employers to temporarily relocate from New York to New Jersey;
  2. the advent of the Internet which allows workers to perform services through telecommuting for an employer that may be located in a different state; and
  3. the takeover of a major airline company by another that required flight attendants to commute long distances to work.

This UIPL reissues, with revisions addressing recent employment situations, the attached Localization of Work Provisions that was originally issued in UIPL No. 291.

5. Action Required. State Administrators are requested to provide copies of this advisory and attachments to the appropriate staff. Amendments to state law are not required for conformity purposes. However, states are encouraged to interpret and, if necessary, amend their unemployment laws to accord with the guidance in this UIPL to avoid duplications or exclusions from coverage. 

6. Inquiries. Questions should be directed to the appropriate ETA Regional Office. 

7. Attachments. 

  1. Localization of Work Provisions
  2. Agreement Between The Government Of Canada And The Government Of The United States Of America - Effective 1947, Amended 1983