Massachusetts law about unemployment

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources on unemployment law.

Table of Contents

Best bets

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, 2018
Online version of the well-respected book, covers eligibility, receiving benefits, the appeals process, sample forms and more.

Unemployment benefits for workers, Mass. Department of Unemployment Assistance
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 § 36B Effect on worker's compensation eligibility

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 unemployment 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.

DiGiulio v. Director of Dept. of Unemployment Assistance, 94 Mass. App. Ct. 292 (2018)
Under  MGL c. 151A, § 25 (e), a claimant is not eligible to collect unemployment where their reason for leaving their job was to accompany a spouse who had been relocated.

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

Norfolk County Retirement System v. Director of the Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development, 66 Mass. App. Ct. 759 (2006)
Urgent and compelling reasons to quit

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."

Tri-County Youth Programs, Inc. v. Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Employment and Training, 54 Mass. App. Ct. 405 (2002)
Discrimination and harassment.

Web sources

Apply for unemployment benefits, Dept. of Unemployment Assistance
You should apply for unemployment benefits during your first week of total or partial unemployment. Most claims are processed within 21-28 days after filing. It may take longer if there is an issue with your claim.

Board of Review decisions, Board of Review
The Board decides unemployment appeals from hearings conducted by the Department of Unemployment Assistance. Site provides selected opinions only. "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."

A guide to benefits and employment services for claimants, Mass. Dept. of Workforce Development, October 2014
Includes an overview of your rights and responsibilities, help in finding a job, how benefits are determined, contact information and more.

Has the DUA asked you to return money they paid you?, MassLegalHelp, 2013.
If the DUA says that you were overpaid, you can challenge DUA's decision, or the amount of the overpayment. Even if you agree that you were overpaid, you may not have to pay it back if you meet certain conditions.

How do you appeal to the court?, Mass. Legal Services.
Explains how to appeal a final decision of the Board of Review. Appendix M includes a sample complaint for judicial review.

Learn about tax treatment of unemployment compensation, Mass. Dept. of Revenue
Find out how unemployment compensation is treated for tax purposes in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts JobQuest, Executive Office of Workforce Development
A Free online service of the state to help you search for and find a job.

The need to leave work: your rights as a domestic violence survivor, Mass. Legal Help. Brief analysis of unemployment eligibility when domestic violence forces you to leave your job.

Questions and answers on unemployment, Mass. Legal Services. 2017.
A 2-page handout that answers the most common questions about unemployment.

Unemployment insurance for employers, Mass. Dept. of Unemployment Assistance
Explains requirements, information and responsibilities for employers.

Unemployment insurance (UI) online, Mass. Dept. of Unemployment Assistance
Claimants, employers, and third party administrators (TPAs) can log in to their UI Online accounts to file claims, access the Claimant Inbox, report wages, view correspondence, and more. UI Online is available daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Your rights in the workplace , Nolo, 2018. 
Chapter 11: Unemployment "provides information about unemployment insurance or unemployment compensation such as some specific state nuances on unemployment insurance programs run jointly by the federal government and the states. It also discusses disqualifying behavior and filing a claim." Requires free library card for access.

Print sources

Labor and employment in Massachusetts, by Jeffrey Hirsch, Lexis Law Publishing, loose-leaf. 
Chapter 19.

Massachusetts employment Law, MCLE, loose-leaf.
Vol. 2, chapter 33.

Massachusetts practice, vol. 45 (Employment law) West Group, with supplement  §§ 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.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
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9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: June 13, 2019
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