It begins as a familiar story — a law grad from a top school (UVA) loses her job at a New York City law firm six months into it. She applies for unemployment while searching for her next job and, in the mean time, starts a blog.
But that’s where things seem to go awry.
Because the lawyer, who wanted to be identified only as Karin, was honest enough to inform the New York State Department of labour she was receiving “income” from AdSense for ads on her restaurant-related blog, the DOL ended up suspending her unemployment benefits while it investigates her “job.” She made about $1.30 per day, $238.75 total, from AdSense.
Forbes.com has the full story of the lawyer and her back and forth with the DOL.
The problem seems to stem from the fact that the DOL has not developed guidelines, or at least is not adequately following them, to deal with those crazy computer things called blogs and the advertising revenue they sometimes provide.
The DOL told Karin that she should not have reported it because it was “residual,” then that they had launched an investigation, then that she was considered “self-employed” (she would have to declare earnings every time she received a check). She was even told she would need to declare each she updated her blog.
Honesty, it seems, means you may have to spend a lot of time dealing with conflicting DOL policy. Hopefully a firm in St. Louis, where Karin now lives, will see her story and offer this woman a job.
Spending this much time going back and forth with the DOL is a great indicator of her future persistence in dealing with opposing counsel.
Even more important, she clearly has strong ethics — it is an especially truthful person who reports such small earnings knowing DOL rules meant it could reduce her benefits by as much as 25%.
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