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Temporarily laid-off-do I qualify for unemployment benefits in MA? Massachusetts

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  • Temporarily laid-off-do I qualify for unemployment benefits in MA? Massachusetts

    I was "temporarily" laid off from my parttime job in MA, as our revenues are way down. (I know, all layoffs are really supposed to be "temporary" as implied, but the other three people "laid off" were really let go permanently, and so I don't see how it's not a firing.)

    I have worked at this company for 5.5 years, fulltime until July 2007, after the birth of my daughter. I was on maternity leave for about 8-9 weeks, then returned as a parttime employee in Sept 2007.

    I was assured that the lay off was temporary and I would be reinstated when revenues were up, likely during our busy season (typically summer; it is a veterinary hospital). I wasn't thrilled with the less-than-one-week's notice they gave me, but I don't think that is illegal (just rude, since I have worked there for years, have been their go-to person even when I was pregnant, and they made the decision weeks before informing employees, but...)

    Am I entitled to unemployment benefits until I restart work? No termination paperwork or paperwork of any kind was presented to me by my employer, and when I called for information as to what would happen to my 401k, my manager assured me that I was still "part of the company," that they had not officially removed me from payroll, and that she had not filed termination paperwork of any kind regarding me.

    I will be earning some money from this company at the end of this month (for about 24-40 hours total) helping to train workers at another hospital (it is a corporate chain) to use our computer systems; I otherwise have no definite return date, and have not worked for this company since early Jan. 2009. I am currently pregnant again, but that was not known to my employer before I was informed of the layoff (or even now), so that is not an issue.


    (incidentally, I have another post regarding a potential layoff due to my pregnancy at my other job-not related to this post.)
    Last edited by camshas; 04-09-2009, 03:49 PM. Reason: additional info

  • #2
    We have no way of knowing if you have worked enough in the base period to qualify. The best way to find out if you are entitled to benefits is to apply for them. The DUA will tell you if you are not; there is no penalty for applying when you are not eligible and the worst they can say is no.

    If you are asking whether or not the fact that the company is saying temporary layoff instead of fired automatically disqualifies you, it does not.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      Thanks. I am not sure about the hour requirements (I was 40-60+ hours a week for more than four years and then worked 10-15 hours a week for about a year and a half), but I will leave to up to the unemployment gov't folks to figure out.

      I was definitely wondering about whether or not my company's "hanging on" to me would affect whether or not I can apply, as well as whether or not my recent parttime status (10-12 hrs a week) would allow me to apply.

      I really appreciate your response-thanks SO much!!