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HR Legal Update: Unemployment Benefits

Posted by Nancy Saperstone on Thu, May 02, 2013 @ 12:44 PM

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Question: ABC Corporation hired an employee who worked for 89 days and then was let go for poor performance. The employee has now applied for unemployment. How long did the employee have to work for ABC Corp. before becoming eligible for unemployment insurance ("UI")?

Answer: Eligibility for UI is not based on the amount of time worked for ABC Corp., but rather the amount of money the employee has earned over the prior year. To be eligible for UI, employees must earn a minimum of $3,500.00 in the employee's base period (usually the four quarters immediately preceding the filing of the UI claim). It's important to note that the $3,500.00 minimum consists of all wages received during the base period, even if earned from different employers. Thus, it is possible that there could be a UI obligation triggered for a temporary employee who had earnings from a previous job or the employee's next job that, combined with earnings from ABC Corp., exceeds $3,500.00. In that case, the employers typically share the UI liability. Please note that the employee's status as a "temporary" employee would not affect the eligibility for UI as this situation does not fall within any exception for UI, including "seasonal" employees.


Dave Wilson has spent over two decades litigating wage and hour, employment, real estate, maritime, and general commercial disputes in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Dave spends a significant amount of his time acting as a business partner with his clients, counseling and training them in all areas of employment relations law. Please visit the Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP website for more information.

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This post has alerted me to an issue that I had not previously considered.  
I prefer to be right than embarrassed by being so wrong.

posted @ Thursday, May 02, 2013 1:34 PM by Paul Jones

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