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EMPLOYMENT LAW GUIDE: - page 79 / 134





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  • The particular information to be provided in response to a request for reference. This may be very limited (i.e., names, dates, positions held, last salary) or more expansive, i.e. including description of reasons for leaving, job performance.

  • The substance of a written reference. In some cases, the departing employee may write a first draft of a written reference.


Unemployment Issues

Absent misconduct, most employees in Massachusetts who are forced to leave

employment involuntarily through circumstances such as firing, layoff, or other involuntary

separation and who actively seek new employment may be entitled to collect unemployment

benefits. Further, employees whose employment is substantially reduced to less than full-

time may be entitled to collect partial unemployment benefits. However, workers in the

following areas may not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits:

  • certain services performed for a church or religious institution;

  • real estate salespeople or brokers compensated solely by commission;

  • certain insurance agents compensated solely by commission

  • certain student financial assistance employment at the institution attended by the student and certain work-training experiences administered by non- profit groups;

  • certain work by a minor child for his parent;

  • sole proprietors or members of a partnership;

  • bona fide independent contractors;

  • certain elected or other government officials.

Requirements to establish and maintain eligibility for employment fall into 3

categories: (1) earnings eligibility; (2) separation eligibility; (3) continuing requirements to

maintain eligibility.


Earnings Eligibility

In order to be eligible to receive benefits, an employee typically must have been paid

a minimum of $2,400 in wages in the applicable “base period,” which usually is the 52 weeks

prior to separation.


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