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Subject:Re: Contract work regulations in Massachusetts From:"Meryl R. Cohen" <merylster -at- gmail -dot- com> To:Evelyn Lee Barney <evbarney -at- comcast -dot- net>, techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:18:27 -0400
I'm writing as someone currently collecting unemployment in MA. Sigh. If he
wants to quite, I suspect that he can just open his claim again. Every week
they ask if you've earned money, and if you have earned above a certain
amount you collect a reduced amount or zero. But many people do some
contracting and then open their claim again when they are not working. This
is not cheating, it just stretches out the weeks allotted. So, in some sense
your son has contracted for one week and is now not working again. He will
need to call and reopen the claim.
Double-check with the DET before he quits, but I'm really pretty sure about
this. Also, as a "contractor" for the new company they have nothing to say
about whether he is eligible for unemployment.
On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 6:38 PM, Evelyn Lee Barney <evbarney -at- comcast -dot- net>wrote:
> My son was working for a web marketing firm here in western MA. He was
> laid off in January. He was collecting unemployment insurance, but was
> recently offered a job at a textbook editing company. He's a hard
> worker, and not a whiner as a rule - but it seems they are treating him
> quite badly: demeaning, insulting etc . . . some direct, but more often
> indirect such as talking very loudly near him but not to him about how
> everyone who applied for work there though Craig's List was a "looser"
> (even to the point of likening them to "Octo Mom" - whatever THAT has to
> do with anything!) As you likely have guessed, my son found the job on
> Craig's List. As I understand it, since he is a healthy white male, this
> may be harassment but not illegal harassment.
> He started working without any paperwork being signed. (He only started
> in the middle of last week - but says the writing on the wall is that it
> isn't going to get better) Today, he was given paperwork to sign at home
> and bring back tomorrow. This paperwork says he is a CONSULTANT - an
> independent contractor - (IOW: dealing with the taxes and all of the
> FICA are on him) and no one had said anything to him about that status
> before. To me, that seems shady at the very least. According to MA
> statues on employee vs. contractor - it seems he's an EMPLOYEE. They
> control his hours, he works in their offices, he is directly supervised
> and so on.
> There are few other jobs right now in the area, not even pumping gas.
> And, his hours are such that looking for another job is very difficult.
> They keep him on a very tight leash (8 am - 4:30 pm with one 1/2 break,
> unpaid, mid day - during which he has been unable to get anyone who may
> be able to answer questions on the phone. Seems like they are at lunch
> So - here are the questions for those of you who have done contract work
> AND dealt with Massachusetts:
> Isn't it questionable to hire him, and tell him he's a contractor after
> the fact?
> If he tells them he won't sign the contract because it conflicts with
> their verbal agreement (contract work was not mentioned) and they tell
> him to take a hike, how are the people at the Unemployment Office likely
> to view this?
> My son lives in his own place (rental) and I have since downsized and
> have no room for him - I can pay his rent next month but may be out for
> work for the summer myself.
> Any advice is welcome. The boy is a mess!
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