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Military Spouse moving from Maryland to Hawaii

by Erika
(MD)

My husband and I currently live in MD, but he received orders to Hawaii. I am an hourly employee who works anywhere between 24-40 hours a week. My last day at work is April 24th since our cars and household goods are being shipped on April 15th and May 6th. I was asked by my employer if I would telework 3-6 hours a week until July 1st in order to be available to assist and answer any questions that my 250 subordinates, my replacement and my boss might have. Of course I agreed and I received a new employee contract from my employer that lists me as an "intermittent employee" as of May 4, 2015. Will this negatively affect my unemployment claim? I am worried that when I file an unemployment claim in July, I will get denied since I was an "intermittent employee." I have worked for the same company for 4 years as both part time and full time status, I would hate for this to hurt my claim.


Chris's Response



Hi Erika,

I believe I need you to clarify a point for me first.

Are you telling me you now have a signed employment contract with your current employer calling you an intermittent (whatever that might be classified under .. maybe the FLSA) employee and that it is an open ended contract not mentioning July 1st as your last day?

My first concern was that the employer might do this just so they could argue for purposes of UI, that intermittent is synonymous with temporary work which in my mind is literally a long haul employment relationship at least, until an individual quits and preferably, after obtaining full-time permanent employment
that also last long enough to purge any voluntary quit disqualification, or long enough to remove the last employer from a claimant's base period.

But, when I went to verify if that theory would hold water, I found Maryland doesn't have a special temporary worker provision.

However, because this transitional work is a telecommuting position and isn't being done through a temp agency, for me, it becomes a change to the original terms and conditions of your employment and without an end date in the new "written" employment contract that you have signed and accepted. (Which of course, I'm assuming is the case.)

I myself, if an open end agreement, would try to close the potential loophole as quickly as possible for the sake of controlling any future unknown scenario because telecommuting makes the continuation of the employment quite viable for both you and the employer to continue with possibly other project management type jobs (another assumption) with you in Hawaii.

That you now have a contract, I believe without an end date it could very well override a any good cause provision to quit to follow a military spouse in Maryland .. after July 1st.

MD's military/spouse provision is briefly defined by the following footnote to the DOLETA comparison chart.

"Mandatory military transfer of the individual’s spouse; the spouse may be a civilian employee of the military or a federal agency involved in military operations."

But I'm also not an attorney and if you have a real employment contract, I would advise consulting with one of those guys .. because they don't like to do unemployment hearing due to MD's regs which reduce how much they can directly charge a claimant for representation.

Chris

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Apr 06, 2015
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No, I don't think so, but you can figure this out because it's a formula
by: Chris

Maryland can monetarily qualify a claim with the standard BP, first 4 of the last 5 completed quarters, or an alternative BP of the last four completed quarters .. the state should pick the one which most benefits the claimant.

Most base periods require a multiple of your high earning quarter to be present in at least one other separate quarter or more of your base period .. this is primarily a way to establish an individual is attached to the labor market .. hook line and sinker and not someone who has learned to game the system .. which makes me chuckle because someone can't do that with just dumb luck on their side, but requires a plan and nerves of steel.

But to qualify for a weekly benefit amount it is calculated on the high earning quarter wages. And I'm just guessing, you have earned at least one and a half times your HQW in the other three quarters of your BP.

MD - D
1½ x HQW in BP and >$1176 in HQ; if doesn’t meet qualifying requirement for WBA
computed on HQW but does meet requirement for next lower bracket, eligible for lower WBA,
step down of 6 brackets; the multiple (1½) is not applied to the individual’s HQW, but the
qualifying amount, shown in a schedule, is computed at the upper limit of each wage bracket (assuming a normal interval at the maximum benefit amount)

What I copied and pasted above is basically greek to me. (I would of fell over in a dead faint when laid off in 2006 if I'd had to accept the tax auditor job offer they rescinded in the nick of time due to hiring freeze).

But you can figure this all out by using the other tables in this monetary qualifying chartbook.

Personally, I don't think your base period would affect the weekly amount of your benefit although there's always a chance it could impact the duration of weeks of benefits at whatever the amount is which is based on your high earning quarter.

The chartbook also refers to tables found in MD UI law which might be even more useful.

Apr 06, 2015
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Military Spouse moving from Maryland to Hawaii
by: Erika

HI Chris,
Thank you for the response. I actually have not signed anything yet. So I spoke to my boss about this. HR sent my boss and I a "personnel action form" which says that I will be telecommuting 3-6 hours a week intermittently. You are correct, my boss is trying to hold on to me until July 1st since I was on a non-paid maternity leave from Dec 2013-March 2014. He said that having the non-paid leave may hurt my unemployment claim/amount. I am concerned with this form since it formally changes my "scheduled hours" from Full-time to intermittent. I know that by working until July 1st my standard base pay period will be April 2014-March 2015. I guess my question is....will I be penalized monetarily if I am only working 3-6 hours between May and July 2015? I was technically full-time the entire duration of my standard base pay period.

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