Unemployment Tip # 009: Back Pay is a Bad Word

Getting back pay while unemployed seems like a great thing, right?  In Minnesota, getting paid back pay usually has negative consequences on unemployment benefits.

Unfortunately, Applicants seeking benefits in MN often misinterpret what is or what is not back pay.

Back Pay
Back Pay

Unemployment Tip # 009 –  Even if a worker or employee is no longer receiving unemployment benefits, the receipt of back pay can result in an appeal, audit or an overpayment”

In other words, applicants are encouraged to scrutinize all post-employment monies.   Otherwise, Applicants can inadvertently agree or trigger the term “back pay” as described in Minnesota statute 268.035.

Back Pay in Other Laws

Yes, we can find this term used in other unemployment laws like:

  • The term used for wages,
  • The rule for wages paid, and
  • The delayed payment rule under law 268.085.

As you can see, what is or is not backpay can become confusing.

Harm in Calling it Back Pay

The harm in calling money received as back pay is its impact on one’s weekly eligibility for benefits.  In other words, back pay can reduce, delay or stop an applicant from acquiring benefits.

Backpay or Something Else

What to call money received after a job ends is where most of the legal analysis of such an award comes into play.

In my experience, the storyline why or how money is granted is going to be unique to that specific person.  Yes, this is true between co-workers too.

Needing the Money Real Real Bad

Of course, every worker should be thrilled with the opportunity of acquiring additional money from their former employer.  That isn’t the issue.

Instead, the issue is what to call the money received.  When employers or government call the money back pay, problems can ensue.  In terms of unemployment, I believe preventing an overpayment or arguing why the receipt of money didn’t trigger back pay laws should become one’s focus.

How Can An Unemployment Lawyer Help?

Attorney Jasper Berg