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If I work out of my home in Florida for a company in Texas, do I collect unemployment from Florida or Texas?

by Barbara
(Florida)

I was originally hired by a company in Texas to work in Texas but my husband was transferred to Florida so I have been working out of my home in Florida for the last 6 years for a company in Texas (they have no Florida locations).



Hi Barbara,

This is a very interesting question and one I can't provide a definitive answer for. If you do a search for "unemployment decisions+telecommuting" you will find a whole bunch of stuff primarily dealing with one case which concerns Florida and New York. Apparently it was never escalated to the US Supreme Court because the claimant involved was pro se and New York's decision required her to pay back the benefits she did receive. She had first tried Florida and was denied. Of course the top result is one of those legal research sites that require money to research which may have more current decisions, but this pdf explains the quandary well.

Everything is vague about this issue, but the decision leads me to think that Florida would be the place to file.

It seems to me the interstate agreement would just make Florida the "agent" state, but Texas would be the liable state if your employer paid Texas unemployment tax on your wages. The decision was based on the "locality of work". The only one benefiting from the decision is the employer.

Quite frankly, I cannot believe some lawyer hasn't jumped all over this issue and escalated it to the highest court in the land because telecommuting is becoming so commonplace and the issue is unsatisfactorily resolved...per me:)


I also did a search which added USDOL because I think the United States Department of Labor would be the agency that needs to resolve this problem by possibly addressing it in the interstate agreement between the states. No luck, just huge policy research documents.

I do know that effective January of 2009 the USDOL has redefined "paying state" that closed a loophole which allowed someone from...let's say Florida that has a maximum WBA of $275 (in 2008) to go to Massachusetts and file where they would probably get quite a bit more per week. The problem was the Florida employer paid taxes to pay Florida (or any other state) benefits...not Mass benefits, which are at least double. The problem was, who pays for the extra money the claimant receives.

I'm sorry I can't help you more and I invite you (Please!) to come back and post a comment to tell us what happens.

Chris




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Company Paid Texas Preiums
by: Barbara from Florida

I just found out from my former employer that they paid my unemployment insurance premiums to the state of Texas, so I'm going to apply to Texas....I worked for my former employer 10 years the first 4 while living in Texas and the last 6 while living in Florida. Do you know if I have to apply in person or can everything (including appeals) be handled via the internet?

Thanks,
Barbara from Florida


Hi Barbara,

You would not have to file in person. I don't think any state has unemployment offices per say anymore anyway.

If Texas won't allow you to file online because you live out of state, they should have a phone number for you to call.

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Conclusion
by: Barbara from Florida

I talked to the Texas employment office and was advised that because the Company paid premiums to Texas and the Company is in Texas, Texas is responsible for my unemployment benefits and she took my application over the phone. But I do have to register and post my resume at the Florida emploment site (www.employflorida.com).


Thanks so much for letting everyone know Barbara. I think it's great you came back to update so anyone with a similar question can benefits from what you learned.

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