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Massachusetts Law About Unemployment

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DUA Service Representatives Handbook, 2009 ed. Mass. Legal Services. Online version of book covers eligibility and determinations in great detail.

Unemployment Advocacy Guide, Mass. Law Reform Institute, 2011. Online version of the well-respected book, covers eligibility, receiving benefits, the appeals process, sample forms and more.

Unemployment Insurance FAQ for Claimants, Mass. Department of Workforce Development. Covers Eligibility, Benefits, Filing or Reopening a Claim, Medical Security Program (MSP), Taxes, Issues with Claims, Disqualification due to the receipt of remuneration, Direct Deposit, General Unemployment Questions, and Assistance with Job Search.

Massachusetts Laws

MGL c.151A: Employment and Training

MGL c.152 s. 36B Effect on Worker's Compensation Eligibility

St. 2009, c.30. Extending certain federal unemployment benefits to Massachusetts residents. See Section 45 of the Act.

St. 2011, c.2. Signed Feb. 17, 2011. Freezes employer contributions to unemployment insurance, averting a scheduled rate increase.

Massachusetts Regulations

430 CMR Department of Employment and Training

801 CMR 1 Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure

Note: Unemployment compensation is included as a source of income in the child support guidelines.

Federal Laws

26 USC 3301 et seq. Federal Unemployment Tax Act

42 USC 503 Requirements for State Laws

Federal Regulations

20 CFR 640 Promptness Standard for Benefit Payment

20 CFR 650 Promptness Standard for Benefit Appeals

45 CFR 302.65 Withholding of Unemployment Compensation for Child Support

Selected Case Law

Crane v. Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Training, 414 Mass. 658 (1993) Employee bears burden of proof that he left for good cause attributable to employer.

New England Wooden Ware Corp. v. Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Training, 61 Mass. App Ct. 532 (2004) Policy must be precise in language and uniformly enforced.

Ocean State Job Lot of Hyannis, Inc. v. Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Training, 61 Mass. App Ct. 1116, 810 NE2d 1290 (2004). (Unpublished opinion). Employee violated written rule, but fact that conduct was approved by supervisor was relevant in establishing that claimant did not intentionally and knowingly violate rule.

Still v. Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Training, 423 Mass. 805 (1996) The term "knowing violation" implies some degree of intent and mitigating circumstances alone will not negate a showing of intent or thereby excuse a "knowing violation."

Other Web Sources

Board of Review Decisions. Selected decisions 2005-date. The Board decides unemployment appeals from hearings conducted by the Department of Unemployment Assistance. "The Board of Review decisions available on this website have been selected for posting because, in the Board’s opinion, they contain significant issues, create new precedent, or may provide useful guidance to parties and their representatives."

Guide to Personal Income Tax: Unemployment Compensation, Mass. Department of Revenue.

How to File Your Initial Claim, Mass. Department of Unemployment Assistance. Everything you need to know to file your first claim.

Questions and Answers About Unemployment Insurance, Mass. Department of Workforce Development. Answers questions that employers may have about their obligations.

Unemployment Insurance: A Guide to Benefits and Employment Services, Mass. Dept. of Workforce Development, July 2011. Includes an overview of your rights and responsibilities, help in finding a job, how benefits are determined, contact information and more.

Unemployment Insurance and Domestic Violence, Mass. Legal Help. Brief analysis of unemployment eligibility when domestic violence forces you to leave your job.

Unemployment Insurance FAQ for Employers, Mass. Dept. of Workforce Development. Explains requirements for employers in a question and answer format.

Your Responsibilities as an Employer: Unemployment Insurance, Mass. Department of Revenue.

Print Sources

Labor and Employment in Massachusetts, 2d ed., by Jeffrey Hirsch, Lexis Law Publishing, loose-leaf, chap. 19.

Massachusetts Employment Law, MCLE, loose-leaf, vol. 2, chap. 22.

Massachusetts Practice, vol. 45 (Employment Law) West Group, 2d ed., 2003 with supplement, sec. 15.11 – 15.19.

What to do About Personnel Problems in Massachusetts, Business and Legal Reports, loose-leaf, under heading "unemployment compensation".

Your Rights on the Job, 5th ed., by Robert M. Schwartz, The Labor Guild of Boston, 2008.


Department of Labor
JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203

Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance
19 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114