When you are collecting unemployment benefits, you are allowed to decline a job offer if it is not considered to be suitable for you. Jobs that are not suitable include those that pay too little money in relation to your prior job experience or those that require too demanding of physical requirements for your condition. Jobs that are less desirable than what you would prefer or which require longer commutes may be considered suitable, however. This means that you might have to either agree to take the job or forgo unemployment benefits. An attorney at Swartz Swidler may advise you about whether or not a job offer that has been extended to you is likely to be considered to be suitable employment.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any clear definitions of what is considered to be suitable employment. Unemployment benefits and appeals of the decisions that are made are based on your capabilities and work history and are handled by your state. You may still be able to gain a general idea of how the determinations are generally made by unemployment agencies, however.
Is the job suitable?
Determining the suitability of a job is subjective, and it may depend on factors that are beyond your control. These could include regional rates of unemployment and industry trends. For instance, a job that would be considered to be unsuitable when the economy is strong may be deemed to be suitable when the economy is weak. It is possible that you might be able to pursue training opportunities in a new industry if your industry is one that is drying up.
The state might consider the following factors when it determines whether or not you will be allowed to continue receiving your unemployment benefits after you have turned down a job offer:
- If you have no experience in the field or in the job
- If your physical condition is one that prevents you from taking the job
- If the job’s hours are bad or too few
- If the additional travel expenses would place too much of a burden on you
- If the wages are much lower than your region’s industry standard
- If the position is at a company where the currently employed workers are on strike
Most states require that people who are receiving unemployment benefits lower their standards since economic trends might sometimes make finding jobs particularly difficult, or a person’s dream job might never materialize.
If you feel that your benefits were unfairly denied after you refused a job offer, it is possible to appeal the decision. You may want to schedule a consultation with the employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler for help.