TEACHING ASSISTANT FOUND TO HAVE MISREPRESENTED EMPLOYMENT STATUS
M. Spring was a full-time teaching assistant for the Syracuse City School District and also worked part-time at an after-school program. In March of 2020, when the latter position was terminated due to the pandemic, Spring applied for unemployment benefits and indicated that he worked zero days from March 30, 2020 to June 14, 2020, and received benefits for that period, along with federal pandemic related assistance.
The problem was that Spring was continuing to work at his full-time position and received a salary during the benefits period. Because he wasn’t totally unemployed, the Department of Labor later determined that wasn’t entitled to the benefits received and sought recovery of the monies paid, imposed a monetary penalty, and directed a forfeiture of future benefit days based on his “willful statements” to secure the unemployment benefits.
After losing at a hearing and an administrative appeal, he took the dispute to the Appellate Division, Third Department, which concurred with the underlying outcome and agreed that Spring was ineligible for the underlying assistance and that forfeiture of the respective benefits was appropriate under the circumstances, even if the misrepresentation was “unintentional.”
Spring took a fall there.
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Matter of Spring (Syracuse City Sch. Dist.--Commissioner of Labor)