How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask wallstreetfighter Your Own Question
wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17223
Experience:  14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
16356563
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
wallstreetfighter is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have an unemployment appeal hearing tomorrow. I worked 3

This answer was rated:

I have an unemployment appeal hearing tomorrow. I worked 3 years in Massachusetts. My husband received a job promotion which meant a move to Oregon. Therefore I had to quit my job to relocate with him. MA doesn't cover the trailing spouse provision. Any advice on what tactic to go with during the hearing?
Thank You!

wallstreetfighter :

Hello and welcome. My name isXXXXX am a Licensed practicing attorney and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

wallstreetfighter :

This is a difficult situation,

wallstreetfighter :

in Mass,

wallstreetfighter :

If you quit your job, you need to argue that you had good cause to quit:

wallstreetfighter :

There are two kinds of reasons theDepartment of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) accepts:



  1. Serious employer-related reasons, called "good cause attributable to the employing unit," or

  2. Serious or important personal reasons, called "urgent, compelling or necessitous reasons."

wallstreetfighter :

If your reason was to be with your spouse, that would not be considered acceptable,

wallstreetfighter :

however, if you have children or you need your spouse for financial support it may be best to argue that you had no choice but to quit due to a compelling and urgent reason,

wallstreetfighter :

I would argue the case based upon what Mass law requires,

wallstreetfighter :

which is that you had a personal reason and that you had to quit pursuant to an urgent, compelling reason

Customer:

there are no children and i actually made more money than my husband

wallstreetfighter :

Under Mass law the following are acceptable reasons:



  • Your own declining health,

  • Union rules,

  • In very limited cases, a lack of transportation,

  • Leaving to care for a sick family member,

  • Domestic violence, or

  • Leaving to take care of unexpected and urgent problems with the child care arrangements you have been using.

wallstreetfighter :

In your case, you will have a difficult case in winning your appeal,

Customer:

would it make any difference that 5 months after i quit the company laid off 370 employees, and i would've been one?

wallstreetfighter :

that can be brought up,

wallstreetfighter :

You may be able to get unemployment benefits if



  • you left your job because you believed that you were about to be fired; or.

  • you quit after your boss gave you the choice of quitting or being fired.

Customer:

does the amount that i paid in taxes have any sway?

wallstreetfighter :

That would be a better argument than stating you left due to the relocation

wallstreetfighter :

no the taxes you paid into the system are not relevant,

wallstreetfighter :

what matters is the reason for the separation,

wallstreetfighter :

if you feel that you were going to be terminated and had no other choice but to leave,

wallstreetfighter :

that is an argument you can make,

wallstreetfighter :

and submit evidence that they did lay off several employees,

Customer:

and that most other states have a trailing spouse benefit, such as the state that I live in now - Oregon, makes no difference?

wallstreetfighter :

Not unless you can file in Oregon, and they try to get benefits from Mass,

wallstreetfighter :

I doubt that would work, but possible if you have lived in Oregon for some time,

Customer:

i've never worked in oregon so don't think that would work

Customer:

so during the phone hearing tomorrow my best bet is to focus on the layoffs?

wallstreetfighter :

yes, and you can argue that you felt that you were about to be terminated,

wallstreetfighter :

and had no choice but to quit as you were going to be terminated.

wallstreetfighter :

It will be a difficult argument, but possible under Mass law,

Customer:

an HR witness from my company has been invited. is it still advisable to say i felt i was about to be terminated if there is no evidence to this?

wallstreetfighter :

unless you have evidence it would be difficult, and the witness may state you told them you are leaving due to your spouses new job

wallstreetfighter :

If you want to argue the move as to be with your spouse,

wallstreetfighter :

you have to argue that you had an urgent and compelling reason to move with him,

wallstreetfighter :

Be aware Mass does provide some benefits for trailing spouses,

Customer:

what benefits? is that the military one?

wallstreetfighter :

this is what the statute says:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, no waiting period shall be allowed and no benefits shall be paid to an individual under this chapter for the period of unemployment next ensuing and until the individual has had at least eight weeks of work and in each of said weeks has earned an amount equivalent to or in excess of the individual’s weekly benefit amount after having left work to accompany or join one’s spouse or another person at a new locality."

This statute means that you have to have worked a minimum of 8 weeks of work and in each of those 8 weeks, you need to have earned an amount equal to or greater than the weekly benefit amount you would have been entitled to from unemployment. In other words, if your weekly amount was 100 dollars, you need to have earned at least 100 dollars in each of those 8 weeks. As stated previously, self-employment usually does not count because self-employed do not pay into unemployment.

wallstreetfighter :

Since you worked as a w2

Customer:

how about this: i feared I was going to lose my job as there are new products coming out that competed with the product that I worked on and there were budget and personnel cut-backs - which in fact led to the lay-offs in november (i left end of may)

Customer:

i don't understand the reasoning for the 8 week statute. So before I can get unemployment, I have to get a job for at least 8 weeks at a pay equal or greater than my weekly benefit rate? Isn't unemployment to help while you are unemployed?

wallstreetfighter :

yes,

wallstreetfighter :

the law is confusing,

wallstreetfighter :

but that is the only option you have in Mass,

wallstreetfighter :

in terms of the argument you can raise it, however have some evidence to back it up,

wallstreetfighter :

if you can have some evidence, or witnesses, that may help you

wallstreetfighter :

In your situation consider making two arguments, even though it is not best,

wallstreetfighter :

I would argue that you felt you were going to be terminated, and that your husband leaving for the new job made your choice easier to leave,

wallstreetfighter :

Either way you will have a hard time obtaining benefits under the law,

Customer:

ok thanks so much

wallstreetfighter :

Good luck, and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask,.

wallstreetfighter :

If satisfied with our service please provide us with positive feedback, thank you

wallstreetfighter and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Employment Law Questions