Based upon new guidance from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Tax Department, superintendents are considered employees for purposes of reporting wages to the TWC.
Previously, school superintendents were not considered in employment by the TWC and were viewed as exempt from having their wages reported to TWC based under an interpretation of Section 201.063 (a)(1)(E) of the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act (TUCA). This is no longer the case based upon a case precedent of the TWC Commissioners and a recent interpretation by the TWC tax department. This decision determined school superintendents’ wages should be reported along with other employees.
Members will now report the superintendent’s wages along with all other employees when submitting quarterly wage reports. Superintendents who separate employment from a school district and file a claim for unemployment benefits would have their UC claims handled as any other district employee would by the TWC. This means a school district employer would no longer rely upon the defense of superintendents not being in employment to challenge benefits being paid, but would instead respond to a superintendent’s claim for UC benefits as they would any other employee. The employing school district would retain the right to protest the payment of unemployment benefits or let the claim pass and be paid without contest.
This change will have minimal impact on school districts since each district employs only one superintendent.
If you have questions regarding this new interpretation, please contact James Ezell, TASB’s Unemployment Compensation attorney, at 800.482.7276 x 2857.