Employees who have lost their jobs and are seeking work may be entitled to unemployment compensation. Employees may be eligible, under some conditions, to collect even if they have voluntarily left their job. The statute that governs unemployment compensation is the Massachusetts Employment and Training Law (M.G.L. c. 151A).
The unemployment laws in Massachusetts allows for an employee to receive unemployment compensation through the Department of Unemployment Assistance. The determination of who has the burden of proof in an unemployment compensation claim will generally depend upon whether the termination was involuntary, or if it was a voluntary resignation. If it is an involuntary termination, the employer will typically have the burden to show the termination was for intentional misconduct or for a knowing and willful violation of a uniformly enforced rule. If it is a voluntary resignation, the employee will typically have the burden to demonstrate he/she resigned for a compelling reason, or that no reasonable person would continue to have worked under the existing conditions and they did everything a reasonable person would have done to fix the problem prior to resigning. For obvious reasons, it is not easy to collect if the employee resigns, but if these conditions are satisfactorily met they may in fact be eligible. Employees who are successful, and continue to be ready, willing, and able to work, may collect a portion of their pay, while they are looking for work, for up to 26 weeks.
Over the years our firm has had a great deal of success representing both employees and employers at hearings with the Department of Unemployment Assistance. Our experience, working on both sides, has provided us with the distinct perspective of being able to evaluate a case, and see the potential arguments, from both the employee’s and the employer’s positions. This helps us to plan ahead for such arguments, and be prepared to make our counter arguments. We have successfully represented clients not only in local unemployment hearings, but also in appeals to the Board of Review in Boston.
If you have recently been terminated from your employment and have questions about unemployment benefits, are going through the process of filing a claim with the Department of Unemployment Assistance, or have been denied your unemployment benefits, an experienced attorney can help provide legal advice and guidance throughout the process. Whether you prefer us to "coach you" to do a hearing on your own, or attend a hearing with you and provide representation, our lawyers strive to help our clients maximize their chances of success.