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Returning to Work: Frequently Asked Questions for Employers

Find answers to questions about Unemployment Insurance (UI) for employers and employees returning to work.

Table of Contents

What is WorkShare?

The WorkShare program is an alternative for employers faced with a cut in workforce, and can also be used as a tool for employers to bring employees back to work. Employers can divide available work between affected employees.

Employees are able to receive partial Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits while working reduced hours.

Employers can learn more about WorkShare on Mass.gov or call (617) 626-5521.

Refusal to work

Can I report an employee who refuses to come back to work or refuses an offer of work? 

You can report job refusals at https://www.mass.gov/forms/return-to-work-employer-complaint-form

You can use this Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) form to report suspected fraud, employees who refuse to return to work, or inquire about other issues. 

Returning to full-time or part-time work

What happens to my employees’ claims when they return to full-time employment? 

When your employees return to full-time work there is no need to contact the Department of Unemployment Assistance. Any returning full-time employee should simply stop requesting benefits, and the claim will automatically be closed by the system. 

If employees later become unemployed or their hours are reduced, they will need to reopen their claim, or open a new claim if it has expired. Apply for unemployment online. 

What happens to my employees’ claims if they return to part-time employment? 

If employees return to part-time work, depending on the number of hours worked and gross earnings during a week, they may still be eligible for partial unemployment benefits. If they return to part-time work, they may continue filing weekly claims. The system will adjust their weekly unemployment benefit payment based on the gross wages reported. Failure to correctly report work and earnings may result in overpayments and possibly the imposition of a penalty. Remember, once work returns to full-time, or your employee begins to consistently earn over their weekly benefit amount, they are no longer eligible for benefits and can simply stop requesting benefits. 

Do employees remain eligible for benefits if they are not working “full time?” 

If your employee is not working a “full-time” schedule of hours (see question above), they may be classified as “partially unemployed,” and they may be entitled to receive reduced benefits during any period in which they remain partially unemployed. Additionally, their eligibility for partial benefits is subject to an earnings test and a work search requirement.  

If their earnings in any week exceed 133% of their unadjusted weekly benefit, they do not qualify for partial benefits for that week, even if they are not working “full time.”  

If an employee’s earnings do not exceed 133% of their unadjusted weekly benefit amount and they are not working “full time,” they are eligible to continue to receive partial benefits, subject to the normal eligibility requirements for all claimants including requirements that:  

  • The employee continues to actively engage in work search to secure additional hours of employment; and  

  • The employee remains able and available to accept suitable work when offered. 

I am ready to increase business and call my employees back to work. What needs to be communicated to my employees? 

You should directly and clearly communicate the details on the work offered. The details should include start date, whether it is full time / part time, the wage, type of work, hours, general location, and conditions of the job. An employee must understand work is being offered as opposed to a general discussion of work possibilities. If a job offer is made, it must be clearly communicated as an offer of work. If an employee refuses the job offer, depending on the reason, the employee may be disqualified from receiving further unemployment benefits. 

I am bringing my employees back to work and paying them wages for back weeks that they have already been paid UI. What do I do? 

If you pay your employees for back weeks and they also filed for unemployment benefits for those same weeks, they will need to notify the department that they have received back pay. Failure to correctly report work and earnings may result in overpayments or possibly imposition of a penalty and prosecution. 

UI Online Questions

I need assistance accessing my UI Online account, who can I contact for help? 

For assistance with resetting your password or to contact another department, please review our online Employer Customer Service Resources and Directory

Reporting fraudulent or improper unemployment claims

I just received notification of a fraudulent claim. What should I do? 

Below is how you should respond to various notifications to report likely fraudulent or improper unemployment claims. 

If you receive a "Confirmation of Employment Notification" for an employee who either has never worked for your company or is employed by your company without any break in service for the past year: 

  • The most efficient way is to complete the Notification form through your employer UI Online account

  • When filling out the form (online or on paper) please fill in the form as intended and do not write across the form, do not write notes outside of the specific questions, checkboxes, or other data entry areas 

  • If the person still works for you please select “Still Employed-Part Time.” You make this selection even if the person is a full-time employee 

  • If the person never worked for you, please select “The claimant did not work for me during the time period stated” 

  • You should encourage the employee to file a fraud report and follow the guidance on reporting 

If you receive a “Lack of Work” Notification for an employee who either has never worked for your company or is employed by your company without any break in service for the past year: 

  • The most efficient way is to complete the notification through your employer UI Online account 

  • When filling out the form (online or on paper) please fill in the form as intended and do not write across the form, do not write notes outside of the specific questions, checkboxes, or other data entry areas. 

  • If the person still works for you, please select “Still Employed-Part Time”. You make this selection even if the person is a full-time employee 

  • If the person never worked for you, please select “The claimant did not work for me during the time period stated” 

  • You should encourage the employee to file a fraud report and follow the guidance on reporting 

If you (or your employee) receive a “Fact-Finding questionnaire” for an employee who either has never worked for your company or is employed by your company without any break in service for the past year: 

  • The most efficient way is to complete the questionnaire is through your employer UI Online account. 

  • When filling out the form (online or on paper,) please complete the form as provided. Do not write across the form, simply fill in the form as requested. 

  • You should inform employees who had a claim filed without their permission to file a fraud report and follow the guidance on reporting to protect their identity. 

If you receive a “Monetary Determination” and are in disagreement: 

You should encourage the employee to file a fraud report and follow the guidance on reporting

If you received a “Benefit Charge Statement” and are protesting a claim that you disagree with:  

  • Protests can only be filed online and not by any other mechanisms 

  • On the online form, enter a comment saying “Fraudulent Claim” and then provide information on why you believe the claim was fraudulent (e.g. The claimant still works for our company and when we spoke to the claimant they said they never filed a claim) 

  • In a case where both you and the employee acknowledged that the claim was not filed by the employee, you should file a protest in UI Online and the employee should be directed to file a fraud report and follow the guidance on reporting to protect their identity. 

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