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Answers For The Workplace E-Memo

Legal Glitches for Telecommuters

Hereís a question to ponder: Where does a telecommuter apply for unemployment benefits when the he lives in one state but gets laid off from a company thatís located in another state?

Such was the case of Maxine Allen who worked for a New York company. After a year on the job she moved to Florida when her husband got transferred. Her company approved her request to telecommute and provided her with a phone line and computer so she could work from her new home.

When she got laid off, Florida denied her benefits and directed her to New York. But last week New Yorkís Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that eligibility for benefits depends on where the worker is, not where the employer is.

Personally, I think the court is wrong. If Iím an employer paying unemployment benefits in one state for an employee in another, I think the state thatís receiving the money should pay. Whatís more, itís amazing that with 28 million telecommuters in this country, the issue has only now made it to the court system. But now that this decision has been handed down, telecommuters have one more thing to take into consideration when applying for work.
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