MATTER OF ALLEN (COMMR. OF LABOR)

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtREAD, J.
Citation763 N.Y.S.2d 237,794 N.E.2d 18,100 N.Y.2d 282
PartiesIn the Matter of the Claim of MAXINE ALLEN, Appellant. COMMISSIONER OF LABOR, Respondent.
Decision Date02 July 2003

100 N.Y.2d 282
794 N.E.2d 18
763 N.Y.S.2d 237

In the Matter of the Claim of MAXINE ALLEN, Appellant.
COMMISSIONER OF LABOR, Respondent

Court of Appeals of the State of New York.

Argued June 4, 2003.

Decided July 2, 2003.


100 N.Y.2d 283
Maxine E. Allen, appellant pro se

Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General, New York City (Dawn A. Foshee, Caitlin J. Halligan, M. Patricia Smith and Steven Koton of counsel), for respondent.

Chief Judge KAYE and Judges SMITH, CIPARICK, ROSENBLATT and GRAFFEO concur.

OPINION OF THE COURT

READ, J.

We are asked to decide whether an employee who regularly works from her out-of-state residence by electronic

100 N.Y.2d 284
linkup to her employer's workplace in New York is entitled to receive unemployment insurance benefits from New York. We conclude that, under the New York Unemployment Insurance Law (Labor Law art 18), the employee is ineligible for these benefits

I.

Claimant Maxine E. Allen was employed by Reuters America, Inc., a financial information services provider, as a development technical specialist from October 21, 1996 until March 16, 1999. At the time of hire, she both worked and resided in New York. When claimant relocated to Florida in July 1997 for personal reasons, her employer agreed to allow her to "telecommute": while physically located in Florida, claimant was linked to her employer's workplace in New York by Internet connection over the telephone lines.

Claimant established an office in her Florida residence. Claimant's employer paid for a second telephone line to her home, and supplied her with a laptop computer, software, and an access code and security clearance for its mainframe computer located in New York. Working on the laptop computer from her home office in Florida, claimant would log on to her employer's mainframe computer each workday. She would monitor the performance of her employer's financial systems, troubleshoot, and recommend system changes and enhancements, just as she had done when she was physically located in New York.

Claimant was required to be available during normal business hours (8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday) or after hours as circumstances dictated; to submit time sheets and requests for vacation time; and to call in sick and to seek permission to "come in" late or "leave" early. She maintained daily contact with her supervisor in New York and responded to her employer's directives by e-mail or telephone. She was required to make weekly status reports to her supervisor in New York, which she submitted electronically. She traveled from Florida to New York only once for two weeks at her employer's behest.

In March 1999, claimant's employer elected to end this telecommuting arrangement and offered claimant work in the New York office, which she turned down. On April 5, 1999, claimant filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits in Florida.

100 N.Y.2d 285
When claimant was found eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits at the rate of $275 per week, her employer objected, contending that she had voluntarily quit her job without good cause. A claims adjudicator agreed on April 27, 1999, and this decision was affirmed by an appeals referee on June 2, 1999

In the meantime, on May 5, 1999 the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security advised claimant that she might qualify for benefits in New York at a weekly rate of $365. Thus prompted, claimant filled out an interstate claim form and filed it on May 11, 1999. Claimant stated on this form that she worked at her employer's New York address.

On October 7, 1999, the New York Commissioner of Labor issued an initial determination that claimant was ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits, effective April 5, 1999, because she had no covered employment in New York during the base period from April 6, 1998 to April 4, 1999, and thus could not file a valid original claim (see Labor Law §§ 511, 520, 527). Interpreting and applying section 511 of the Labor Law, the Commissioner concluded that claimant's employment was localized in Florida, where she performed all services for her employer. Further, claimant was charged with a recoverable overpayment of $8,395 for having made a false factual statement on her interstate claim form when she stated that she...

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5 practice notes
  • Lighton Indus., Inc. v. Allied World Nat'l Assurance Co., 16-CV-3812(KAM)(SMG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • September 28, 2018
    ..."the Department's use of the virgule ... in the regulation – ‘has this potential/is improving’ – means ‘or.’ " Id. 763 N.Y.S.2d 232, 794 N.E.2d at 18. The Court of Appeals disagreed, and noted that a virgule is susceptible to multiple interpretations: "[t]hat the Department's interpretation......
  • In re Scott
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 5, 2015
    ...insurance benefits, but does not affect the agency's jurisdiction over the claim (see e.g. Matter of Allen [Commissioner of Labor], 100 N.Y.2d 282, 287–288, 763 N.Y.S.2d 237, 794 N.E.2d 18 [2003] ). As this contention was thus required to be preserved, it is not properly before this Court a......
  • Otitigbe v. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., 904767-18
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 12, 2019
    ...of Angello v. Labor Ready, Inc. , 7 N.Y.3d 579, 583, 825 N.Y.S.2d 674, 859 N.E.2d 480 [2006] ; Matter of Allen [Commissioner of Labor] , 100 N.Y.2d 282, 286, 763 N.Y.S.2d 237, 794 N.E.2d 18 [2003] ).Further, the DOL Opinion was issued in response to an inquiry as to whether it was permissib......
  • Found. for Human Enrichment v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office of State, Court of Appeals No. 12CA2326
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • December 19, 2013
    ...that an individual was not in covered employment where the entire service of the individual was performed outside the state. In re Allen, 100 N.Y.2d 282, 763 N.Y.S.2d 237, 794 N.E.2d 18, 22 (N.Y.2003). In this case, an employee of a company located in New York telecommuted to work from Flor......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Lighton Indus., Inc. v. Allied World Nat'l Assurance Co., 16-CV-3812(KAM)(SMG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • September 28, 2018
    ..."the Department's use of the virgule ... in the regulation – ‘has this potential/is improving’ – means ‘or.’ " Id. 763 N.Y.S.2d 232, 794 N.E.2d at 18. The Court of Appeals disagreed, and noted that a virgule is susceptible to multiple interpretations: "[t]hat the Department's interpretation......
  • In re Scott
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 5, 2015
    ...insurance benefits, but does not affect the agency's jurisdiction over the claim (see e.g. Matter of Allen [Commissioner of Labor], 100 N.Y.2d 282, 287–288, 763 N.Y.S.2d 237, 794 N.E.2d 18 [2003] ). As this contention was thus required to be preserved, it is not properly before this Court a......
  • Otitigbe v. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., 904767-18
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 12, 2019
    ...of Angello v. Labor Ready, Inc. , 7 N.Y.3d 579, 583, 825 N.Y.S.2d 674, 859 N.E.2d 480 [2006] ; Matter of Allen [Commissioner of Labor] , 100 N.Y.2d 282, 286, 763 N.Y.S.2d 237, 794 N.E.2d 18 [2003] ).Further, the DOL Opinion was issued in response to an inquiry as to whether it was permissib......
  • Found. for Human Enrichment v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office of State, Court of Appeals No. 12CA2326
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • December 19, 2013
    ...that an individual was not in covered employment where the entire service of the individual was performed outside the state. In re Allen, 100 N.Y.2d 282, 763 N.Y.S.2d 237, 794 N.E.2d 18, 22 (N.Y.2003). In this case, an employee of a company located in New York telecommuted to work from Flor......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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