Recent Maryland Unemployment Law Trends and Observations

After a mid-Summer lull in unemployment appeals cases, our phone has been ringing off the hook for the past several weeks. Lots of cases where claimants failed to report small amounts of monies earned during a part-time or short-term job while unemployed resulting in demands for repayment of thousands of dollars. Other cases where claimants quit jobs to take better jobs and, after being laid off from the new job, were denied unemployment. Finally, a number of claimants who simply broke rules, whether lateness, timesheets, safety, etc.

In these types of cases, we can sometimes win an appeal, but it depends on the specific circumstances. If the claimant left the first job for a better job, not just for higher pay but also for health care benefits, or for a higher title, then some hearing examiners will allow benefits. Likewise, as long as a claimant has not repeatedly broke the same rules after receiving warnings from their employer, hearing examiners will usually allow benefits. However, where claimants fail to report wages, even less than one hundred dollars, it is extremely difficult to win an appeal.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that where a claimant has filed a late appeal or failed to participate in a hearing, it is extremely difficult for us to win an appeal, and we rarely take such cases unless the claimant has an excellent excuse for filing the late appeal or not showing up for a hearing.

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