Author Topic: Unemployment Benefit question  (Read 3497 times)

affordablehousing

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Unemployment Benefit question
« on: September 03, 2015, 10:27:44 AM »
MMM Team, I'm facing a move based on my wife's new job after being a student. Unfortunately I'll have to leave my job and look for new work out west. By my reading of the New York State laws, I think that my voluntary resignation may still qualify me for unemployment benefits based on the "good cause" of needing to follow my wife to her new location. I'd love some advice on- first if I've interpreted the rules correctly, and second if this directly harms my company in terms of them needing to pay out directly for my benefits, or if it greatly increases their unemployment insurance premiums. I've very much enjoyed the job and feel sad to leave and don't want to harm a positive relationship.

Thanks

Kaikou

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2015, 11:18:05 AM »
call the NY employment office.

If I was your employer, I wouldn't want to pay your claim. But yeah I don't know, the law varies state to state.

JLee

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2015, 11:31:30 AM »
Is there any reason you can't look for jobs out west while you're still working in NY?

Axecleaver

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 11:44:34 AM »
It definitely impacts your employer. Generally speaking, it will cost them more than you'll collect in benefits, and could raise their unemployment insurance rates for years. For an idea of how this works check out this great NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/business/smallbusiness/managing-unemployment-premiums-in-a-time-of-joblessness.html

bsmith

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 11:53:50 AM »
Go ahead and apply, then see what the outcome is. The state might say no. Or, they might say yes. It's like that saying that you get the job FIRST, then you decide if you want it.

Also, it won't impact your employer if they're already paying the max into the fund. That kind of depends on how big they are, and how good they are at firing people.

affordablehousing

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 12:12:38 PM »
Thanks for the advice, sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth.

Cathy

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 12:20:59 PM »
MMM Team, I'm facing a move based on my wife's new job after being a student. Unfortunately I'll have to leave my job and look for new work out west. By my reading of the New York State laws, I think that my voluntary resignation may still qualify me for unemployment benefits based on the "good cause" of needing to follow my wife to her new location. I'd love some advice on- first if I've interpreted the rules correctly...

It sounds like you may be on the right track with your own research, although you haven't provided enough information to determine whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits. I cannot tell you whether you are eligible for benefits. You should retain counsel for an opinion on whether you are eligible for benefits.

The following information is only general information on New York's unemployment benefit scheme and cannot be relied on as advice for your situation.

The statutes governing unemployment benefits in the state of New York are codified at NY Labor Law, Art 18. Before becomingly positive entitled to benefits, a claimant must satisfy certain eligibility requirements, including but not limited to generally working for a period of time for "employers [who are] liable for contributions or payments in lieu of contributions" to the unemployment insurance scheme. NY Lab. Law 590. There are many special rules and exceptions to the general rules.

Even if a claimant is entitled to benefits, no benefits shall be paid unless the claimant is "totally unemployed and ... is unable to engage in his usual employment or in any other for which he is reasonably fitted by training and experience". NY Lab. Law 591(1). A claimant is not "totally unemployed" after "voluntary separation without good cause from employment". NY Lab. Law 593(1)(a). "Good cause" includes but is not limited to "a compelling family reason". Id. A "compelling family reason" includes but is not limited to "separations related to ... the need for the individual to accompany such individual's spouse (A) to a place from which it is impractical for such individual to commute and (B) due to a change in location of the spouse's employment". NY Lab. Law 593(1)(b)(iii). Note that the new location must be "a place from which it is impractical for such individual to commute", a requirement not specifically mentioned in the OP. Also, the statute refers to "a change in location of the spouse's employment" and does not literally contemplate a change from being a student to being employed. However, a "compelling family reason" is explicitly not limited to the examples mentioned.

It is important to note that a compelling family reason only allows a claimant to be "totally unemployed" despite a voluntary separation. It does not excuse a claimant from satisfying all of the other requirements for benefit entitlement and eligibility. For example, a claimant is not eligible for benefits unless the claimant is "engaged in systematic and sustained efforts to find work". NY Lab. Law 591(2). That requirement is not waived for compelling family reasons and still must be satisfied in order to receive benefits.


...I'd love some advice on ... if this directly harms my company in terms of them needing to pay out directly for my benefits, or if it greatly increases their unemployment insurance premiums....

Unemployment benefits are paid out of a "fund" containing moneys received from all employers liable to pay into it. Such moneys are "pooled and available to pay benefits to any individual entitled thereto". NY Lab. Law 581(1)(d)(1). If you are eligible to receive benefits (and no view is expressed on that matter), the benefits are not necessarily paid out of moneys received from your employer. In other words, the employer does not "pay out directly for [your] benefits".

However, the amount that an employer has to pay into the fund is a function of the "employer's experience with respect to contribution payments and experience rating charges under this article". Id. The rate at which an employer must contribute to the fund is based on a complicated formula that involves both the amount they've previously paid in and the amount of benefits that have been paid out to past employees of that employer. NY Lab. Law 581(2)(a). Receiving benefits may indirectly increase the employer's contribution rate, but it also might not because the formula is complicated and is not as simple as the employer having to pay back what you received. I decline to summarise the formulas here.


call the NY employment office.

There is rarely any good reason to call government agencies and ask for advice. The advice you receive from these employees is not guaranteed to be correct and in fact may be wrong. You cannot rely on this casual agency advice and if it is wrong, you probably have no remedy. The better approach is to research the law and make your decisions based on that research.


Thanks for the advice, sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth.

The employment benefits system exists to be used. The public policy of the state of New York is that "[i]nvoluntary unemployment is ... a subject of general interest and concern", to be remedied through a system of benefits provided by law. NY Lab. Law 501. Having to leave your job for a compelling family reason is exactly the sort of situation that the Legislature of New York intended to address with this legislation. Money that the employer paid into the fund is money that would have been otherwise available to you as compensation, and it can be viewed as a form of tax that you have paid. You aren't causing "trouble" by making use of a benefit provided by law, assuming you are indeed entitled to and eligible for that benefit (and I express no view on that).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 12:41:15 PM by Cathy »

affordablehousing

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 01:03:25 PM »
Thanks much for the detailed post. I do believe I've satisfied the work requirements, as well as being totally unemployed as of next week. I'd found it difficult to network remotely as I switch from a large market to a small market across the country, in a niche industry, and had been told by most contacts to just reach out again once I arrive in California.

As for the compelling family situation, my wife went from being a student, or unemployed in my understanding to gaining employment as a trainee across the country, certainly a distance that would be too far to commute. I had offered to continue to pay rent on my apartment, and pay for trips out of poocket such that I divided time two weeks on-off in the west coast/new york, but my work refused.

Thanks again for all the advice.

Kaikou

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 01:36:35 PM »
MMM Team, I'm facing a move based on my wife's new job after being a student. Unfortunately I'll have to leave my job and look for new work out west. By my reading of the New York State laws, I think that my voluntary resignation may still qualify me for unemployment benefits based on the "good cause" of needing to follow my wife to her new location. I'd love some advice on- first if I've interpreted the rules correctly...

It sounds like you may be on the right track with your own research, although you haven't provided enough information to determine whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits. I cannot tell you whether you are eligible for benefits. You should retain counsel for an opinion on whether you are eligible for benefits.

The following information is only general information on New York's unemployment benefit scheme and cannot be relied on as advice for your situation.

The statutes governing unemployment benefits in the state of New York are codified at NY Labor Law, Art 18. Before becomingly positive entitled to benefits, a claimant must satisfy certain eligibility requirements, including but not limited to generally working for a period of time for "employers [who are] liable for contributions or payments in lieu of contributions" to the unemployment insurance scheme. NY Lab. Law 590. There are many special rules and exceptions to the general rules.

Even if a claimant is entitled to benefits, no benefits shall be paid unless the claimant is "totally unemployed and ... is unable to engage in his usual employment or in any other for which he is reasonably fitted by training and experience". NY Lab. Law 591(1). A claimant is not "totally unemployed" after "voluntary separation without good cause from employment". NY Lab. Law 593(1)(a). "Good cause" includes but is not limited to "a compelling family reason". Id. A "compelling family reason" includes but is not limited to "separations related to ... the need for the individual to accompany such individual's spouse (A) to a place from which it is impractical for such individual to commute and (B) due to a change in location of the spouse's employment". NY Lab. Law 593(1)(b)(iii). Note that the new location must be "a place from which it is impractical for such individual to commute", a requirement not specifically mentioned in the OP. Also, the statute refers to "a change in location of the spouse's employment" and does not literally contemplate a change from being a student to being employed. However, a "compelling family reason" is explicitly not limited to the examples mentioned.

It is important to note that a compelling family reason only allows a claimant to be "totally unemployed" despite a voluntary separation. It does not excuse a claimant from satisfying all of the other requirements for benefit entitlement and eligibility. For example, a claimant is not eligible for benefits unless the claimant is "engaged in systematic and sustained efforts to find work". NY Lab. Law 591(2). That requirement is not waived for compelling family reasons and still must be satisfied in order to receive benefits.


...I'd love some advice on ... if this directly harms my company in terms of them needing to pay out directly for my benefits, or if it greatly increases their unemployment insurance premiums....

Unemployment benefits are paid out of a "fund" containing moneys received from all employers liable to pay into it. Such moneys are "pooled and available to pay benefits to any individual entitled thereto". NY Lab. Law 581(1)(d)(1). If you are eligible to receive benefits (and no view is expressed on that matter), the benefits are not necessarily paid out of moneys received from your employer. In other words, the employer does not "pay out directly for [your] benefits".

However, the amount that an employer has to pay into the fund is a function of the "employer's experience with respect to contribution payments and experience rating charges under this article". Id. The rate at which an employer must contribute to the fund is based on a complicated formula that involves both the amount they've previously paid in and the amount of benefits that have been paid out to past employees of that employer. NY Lab. Law 581(2)(a). Receiving benefits may indirectly increase the employer's contribution rate, but it also might not because the formula is complicated and is not as simple as the employer having to pay back what you received. I decline to summarise the formulas here.


call the NY employment office.

There is rarely any good reason to call government agencies and ask for advice. The advice you receive from these employees is not guaranteed to be correct and in fact may be wrong. You cannot rely on this casual agency advice and if it is wrong, you probably have no remedy. The better approach is to research the law and make your decisions based on that research.


Thanks for the advice, sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth.

The employment benefits system exists to be used. The public policy of the state of New York is that "[i]nvoluntary unemployment is ... a subject of general interest and concern", to be remedied through a system of benefits provided by law. NY Lab. Law 501. Having to leave your job for a compelling family reason is exactly the sort of situation that the Legislature of New York intended to address with this legislation. Money that the employer paid into the fund is money that would have been otherwise available to you as compensation, and it can be viewed as a form of tax that you have paid. You aren't causing "trouble" by making use of a benefit provided by law, assuming you are indeed entitled to and eligible for that benefit (and I express no view on that).

Okay yeah DON'T call the NY employment office because this person said it was a bad idea. lol

Cathy

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 01:53:25 PM »
Okay yeah DON'T call the NY employment office because this person said it was a bad idea. lol

Quoting my entire lengthy post is a bit silly. My post was also more nuanced than this quote.

When you call a government agency and speak to a representative, they may answer your question or they may not answer it. If they answer it, the information they give may be correct or it may be wrong. The only way you can find out whether it is correct is to do the legal research yourself (or retain counsel to do it for you). In other words, making the call did not add any value; whether you make the call or not, you still have to do independent legal research to determine what the law actually is.

Oral representations of low level agency employees do not create estoppel against the agency. (This is usually true for written representations too.) If the nice and friendly representative you speak to tells you something, and you then base your affairs around that information and suffer harm because that information turns out to be wrong, you probably have no remedy because the representations did not and cannot modify the law and cannot bind the agency to any position. You can certainly make phone calls to an agency if you want to do so, but you should understand what you are receiving when you make that call: namely, information that (1) may be wrong, (2) cannot be relied on for any purpose, (3) does not bind the agency, and (4) usually makes no reference to actual legal authority. I do not find agency representations with those characteristics to be useful.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 01:59:15 PM by Cathy »

bsmith

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 03:39:29 PM »
Good lord, just go online and apply for it. They'll make sure you find out if you've qualified or not.

Cathy

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 08:00:49 PM »
Good lord, just go online and apply for it. They'll make sure you find out if you've qualified or not.

The advantage to learning the law first is that you can tailor your arguments based on the requirements. It's much easier to be an effective advocate for yourself if you know the case that you have to meet, including knowing what test will be applied to adjudicate your application. In the worst case, a lack of knowledge of the requirements may cause you to make statements that are not only unhelpful but actually prejudicial to yourself, while you could have avoided those statements with advance research.

That said, not everybody is interested in learning law or paying for legal advice, and for those who aren't, solutions like calling the agency, or just submitting an application without knowledge of how it will be handled, are not necessarily unreasonable ways to approach things if you accept the risks and disadvantages of those approaches.

bsmith

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Re: Unemployment Benefit question
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2015, 08:35:01 PM »
He's already done some research, and stated above that it seems not worth the trouble. So, it's time to apply and see what happens - nothing to lose. Jeez already, do it, see what happens, THEN argue if you have to, and we can help based on what they say. When it comes to UI, the sooner you apply, the sooner you get it. Anymore bullshit discussions now are just delaying payments.