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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 117358
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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We are a volleyball club in Las Cruces, NM. In 2014 we moved

Customer Question

We are a volleyball club in Las Cruces, NM. In 2014 we moved from Independent Contractor coaches and staff to employee staff. They are however seasonal from January 2014 Through April 2014. We pay them a monthly amount depending on experience but they are paid twice a month. We only need coaches during the season and then the work is part time. They make their monthly fee regardless of the hours worked but we track hours to be sure that we are paying minimum wage. One of our employees applied for unemployment compensation. Her pay was $250 per month for the period of Jan through April. We need to respond to the claim and believe that because the coach was a seasonal employee for only 4 months that she should not get unemployment. I can't find a clear answer on the NM UC website. Here claim lists her pay from us as $1000 but it also says she was paid a total of 15,000+ in 2014 but it does not say by whom.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts not participate in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. What exactly are you asking? Are you asking the format of a response? Or something else?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Under New Mexico Law:
1. does it look like we have $0 responsibility because she was seasonal part time.
2. does it look like we might pay a very small portion from our account since our pay was $1,000 of her stated amount of pay including other employer(s) of $15,908.51.
3. does it look like we might have to pay out from our account the whole amount which is more than she earned $4,4576 over 52 weeks or $176 per week. I'm guessing 1 or 2 would be most likely.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. I am going to opt out of your question and open this up for other experts.
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There is no need for you to reply at this time as this will "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying other experts' access to it.
My apologies for any inconvenience and good luck...
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a different contributor.
I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under NM Unemployment Law, the general rule is unemployment benefits shall not be paid to individuals on the basis of services substantially all of which consist of participating in sports, athletic events or training or preparing to participate in such activities for any week of unemployment which occurs between two successive sports or athletic seasons.
NM Law specifically states in Section 51-1-5G NMSA 1978 –
"Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, benefits shall not be paid to any individual on the basis of any services substantially all of which consist of participating in sports or athletic events or training or preparing to participate for any week which commences during the period between two successive sport seasons, or similar periods, if such individual performed such services in the first of such seasons, or similar periods, and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services in the latter of such seasons or similar periods."
So because there employment was for participating in or training for athletic events, they should not be eligible for any unemployment benefits for being a seasonal athletic employee.