Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about businesses who are trying to ramp back up after the pandemic but are having a hard time hiring back workers. Some felt that the unemployment benefits may be attractive enough to keep employees from going back to work right away. This may have kept these employers from running their business effectively, but it can also potentially affect their unemployment costs.  The longer someone stays on unemployment, the more it may affect the employer’s overall unemployment tax rate.

If you have available work and offer it to your laid off employees, what happens If they refuse? Do you have any options or will they continue to stay on your unemployment experience and cost you more money?

Unemployment Management: Valid Job Offers

When it comes to determining eligibility for unemployment benefits, whether or not a valid job offer was made and refused can play a significant role in the process. There are some basic guidelines most states follow to determine what constitutes a valid job offer. A valid offer typically includes:

  • Similar type of work
  • Similar rate of pay
    • Some states will set a wage standard or prevailing wage for specific types of jobs (For example, a welder must make at least $12 an hour)
  • Similar hours
  • Similar location/commuting distance
  • Appropriate offer method – offers that are made:
    • In person face-to-face
    • By phone
    • By certified letter

Unemployment Management: Job Refusals

Any time a job offer is made and refused, reporting the refusal to the state as quickly as possible is crucial. Any employee filing for unemployment benefits is required to be able, available, and actively seeking work so if suitable work is refused, the state may disqualify them. Based upon our experience,

You should report that a job was refused for the following reasons:

  • Geographical location or commute distance
  • Rate of pay
  • Type of work offered
  • Schedule or working hours offered

You should not report job refusals to the state if:

  • The Job was clearly outside the claimant’s normal type of work, pay, hours, or other conditions
  • There was no confirmation of the refusal
    • For example, if the recipient of the offer stated, “Let me think about it.”
  • A voicemail left was not returned
  • A message was left with someone other than the recipient of the job offer
  • There has been no response to an offer made in writing