Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. workers who have lost their jobs and will take early retirement are eligible for unemployment benefits until at least Feb. 1, a state administrative board has ruled.
The decision comes after an earlier ruling that BG&E workers who had their jobs abolished could receive benefits even as they continue to be paid by the utility.
BG&E has launched a restructuring program that probably will result in the first layoffs in its 177-year history.
As part of the program, BG&E last year offered early retirement to all workers who are at least 50 years old and have 15 years of service with the company.
BG&E said 824 workers accepted the offer, but the company did not say how many had their jobs eliminated.
Workers taking early retirement will continue to receive their regular pay until Feb. 1, even if their jobs were abolished.
The most recent ruling was made on Jan. 21 by two members of the Board of Appeals for the Department of Economic and Employment Development, the panel that decides unemployment payment issues.
The board ruled that the workers -- even though they are still being paid -- are eligible for unemployment compensation because their jobs have been abolished and they are no longer performing their regular duties.
BG&E, which is appealing the earlier decision, may also contest the most recent ruling, company spokesman Arthur J. Slusark said.