Massachusetts Unemployment Case Studies
We have helped many clients obtain unemployment benefits after their employers contested their benefits. This includes situations where the employer claimed that the employee voluntarily quit. It also includes cases where employers claimed the termination was for a disqualifying cause.
Unemployment Benefits After Voluntary Resignation
Generally, if you leave your job voluntarily you cannot collect unemployment. There are exceptions, however, where circumstances essentially force you to resign.
We worked with an employee who resigned because the employer failed to pay him as promised. We were able to demonstrate to the DUA that the actions of the employer in not paying the agreed amounts compelled him to resign. He was able to collect benefits.
Another client felt she had no choice but to quit her job after continued harassment by her coworkers began to cause serious emotional symptoms. We were able to prove to the DUA that the workplace conditions created an urgent need to quit that were attributable to the employer. She was able to collect benefits.
Unemployment Benefits When Fired for a Policy Violation
We have represented clients whose employers challenged their benefits claiming the employees had been fired for violating company policy. The clients were initially denied benefits and requested hearings.
One client was terminated for using his cell phone while on the job. This client had to check in electronically to monitor certain things that were his responsibility, and often had to sit in his truck to do this. The employer claimed this violated both their cell phone policy and break time policies. Ultimately we were able to show that these were not clear and uniformly enforced policies, and he was able to collect benefits.
Another client suffered a physical disability and had authorization to park in the designated handicap spaces at work. One day when she was trying to exit the parking lot, another vehicle was blocking hers. She got out to speak with the driver, and a verbal altercation ensued.
Her employer then fired her for engaging in "inappropriate conduct" in connection with the dispute in the parking lot. She was denied unemployment benefits and appealed. We were able to demonstrate that she did not violate any reasonable and uniformly enforced policy of the employer, and she was able to collect benefits.
Unemployment Benefits for Misclassified Independent Contractors
If you are truly an independent contractor rather than an employee, you will not be eligible to collect unemployment benefits. Many times, however, what is called an independent contractor relationship does not meet the requirements of Massachusetts law. In that case, you may be eligible to collect in spite of your classification.
We represented an attorney who was considered a non equity partner in her law firm and was denied benefits after being laid off. Upon careful review of the legal requirements for independent contractors, we were able to put on evidence that she should have been considered an employee, and obtain compensation for her.
How Can We Help?
If you have questions about your eligibility for unemployment, or need representation in an appeal, we can help. You can use the button below to schedule a call back from a member of our team, give us a call at 781-784-2322, or fill out our web form to let us know a little more about your situation.
Need Help With an Unemployment Decision?
Want to Learn More?
Request your free copy of our book "Rules of the Road- What You Need to Know About Employment Law in Massachusetts.