Until recently, people employed in small businesses owned by their close relatives weren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. However, in late 2008, the Legislature changed the law to allow benefits if the relative had worked for the business for at least 16 quarters and earned more than $7,500 per quarter.
Recent case: Michele Soderquist was employed in a business owned by her daughter and son-in-law. She was laid off and applied for unemployment .
Her pay records showed that she earned more than $7,500—sometimes much more—during 15 out of the last 16 quarters. However, she earned just short of $7,000 in one of the quarters.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals said that she was not eligible because of the lower earnings in that one quarter. (Soderquist v. Universal Services Telecom Tech, No. A09-202, Minnesota Court of Appeals, 2009)
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