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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118635
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I have worked full-time at the same job in Massachusetts for

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I have worked full-time at the same job in Massachusetts for 14 years. Because we work with schools, we are given a layoff every summer during which we can collect unemployment which has worked out well because then I can take care of my daughter while she is out of school. Last year I started an additional part-time job to make some extra money. When the summer came, however, I had to quit my part-time job because I have no daycare during the summer. I quit the part-time job just before I got my layoff from my full-ime job. When I applied for unemployment as I have every summer for 14 years, they put my request "under review" since I had quit my PT job. I explained the situation to them over the phone, via some online forms, and on some paper forms they mailed to me. After 3 months, they continue to say my case is "under review" and that I should continue to file for benefits each week. I am getting the sense they are waiting for me to return to work in the fall when they will simply dismiss my case. In order to survive the summer with no income I have incurred significant debt. My questions are: do I qualify for benefits and will I still be able to receive the benefits I deserve retroactively even after I return to work in the fall? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Unfortunately, quitting your part time job has caused a problem because MA will look not just at the layoff from your full time job, but they will consider all employment. When one voluntarily quits employment they must do so for good cause.

Under MA law there are two types of good cause for voluntarily quitting employment. The first type of good cause in MA is called serious employer-related reasons, called "good cause attributable to the employing unit." The second type of good cause, which is at play here is for serious or important personal reasons, called "urgent, compelling or necessitous reasons."

For child care to be considered a "urgent, compelling or necessitous reason" you must prove that you left to take care of unexpected and urgent problems with the child care arrangements you have been using. You also have to prove to unemployment you tried to work out this matter with your part time employer before you quit.

Thus, your unemployment is likely to get denied and you would have to file an appeal and prove to unemployment you quit because you tried to work this out with the part time employer and they would not work with you (reducing hours or changing shifts or giving you a leave of absence to deal with this problem) and show that you exhausted reasonable efforts to find part time child care before they will award benefits.

If they do award the benefits they would be retroactively even after you return to work in the fall.

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