We have recently received a number of questions about unemployment.
One of our MSTA attorneys spoke with the State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, Division of Employment Security to get some answers.
If a teacher is non-renewed, he is entitled to apply for the unemployment insurance benefit, and receive it in the summer, as long as he has no reasonable assurance of employment of any kind. The teacher must go through the regular process of looking for a job and so forth. As soon as the teacher has a new teaching contract, even if it is only two weeks after getting on unemployment, the teacher must report it and the unemployment benefit will stop.
To put it another way, if a teacher who has been non-renewed has a reasonable assurance of employment in the fall, he likely will not qualify for the benefit.
The same applies to a teacher who is fired for cause. She may apply for the benefit in summer. However, a person who has been terminated for cause also must prove that she did not engage in misconduct, a standard applied by the Division of Employment Security. If she meets those two requirements – no misconduct and no reasonable assurance of employment – she can apply for and receive the unemployment benefits in the summer, all other factors being normal.
Finally, if a teacher has a probationary or permanent contract for the upcoming year, she does not qualify for unemployment insurance because she has a reasonable assurance of employment in the fall.
This can be confusing for teachers who have moved from state to state, because the law on this issue varies by state.
As always, if you have questions about unemployment or other legal concerns, please contact us at 866-343-6186 or email@example.com.