If you are a private, for-profit employer, the Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Law requires you to pay contributions into the Commonwealth’s unemployment compensation fund, which in turn funds temporary unemployment  insurance benefits to eligible workers.

Unemployment benefits paid come solely from employer contributions. DUA’s administrative costs are funded through Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes, which employers pay directly to the federal government.

In general, if you have people working one or more days in each of 13 weeks during a calendar year, or if you pay wages of $1,500 or more in any calendar quarter, you are liable for contributions under the law.


Your Responsibilities

The Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Law, Chapter 151A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, places certain obligations on all employers. 

State UI payments are due quarterly, within one calendar month from the end of each calendar quarter. For government or non-profit employers using the reimbursable method, benefit charges are billed monthly and payable within 30 days. Starting in 2014 employers will see a penalty assessed to their UI account if they failed to file their quarterly report within 45 days of the due date.  The penalty will be assessed in accordance with Chapter 151A, Section 14P of the Massachusetts General Laws.  Please log onto your UI Online account to file and pay any outstanding reports and/or liabilities.

When an unemployed worker files for benefits, the employer’s participation is required in order for DUA to make accurate and timely UI benefit determinations. One indicator of eligibility is earnings, which must meet a minimum amount. Wage information reported quarterly by employers to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance is the primary source for determining eligibility. Individual requests for wage data are required if a claimant is determined ineligible using quarterly wage information or that information is incomplete. In addition, employers must furnish DUA with the cause for the employee’s separation.