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Do I have to accept a job offer from companies that do not offer health care benefits?

by Survivor
(Florida)

I'm a cancer survivor and am now on unemployment for the last two months. I have always been the one in our family who carries the health insurance as my husbands company doesn't offer it. I cannot get health insurance unless I get onto a group plan. Lots of companies are not offering it anymore. Do I have to accept any job offer from a company without health benefits? I emailed a company my resume along with the question "is there a health insurance benefit offered" and they didn't answer me. I emailed it again and they still didn't answer me but did invite me to an interview. When I got there I was shocked to see 12 other women there for the same reason. Instead of accepting an application I asked again did they offer health insurance benefits and she said no. I feel that I was offered an interview under false pretenses since they refused to answer my question. I didn't complete an application for employment with them and 3 weeks later they're still looking for an employee despite their cattle call.


I need to know if I can refuse a job offer should it actually happen when they don't offer health insurance benefits.



Hi,

I do not think that lack of health insurance is something that would make a job not "suitable work" to the point your benefits wouldn't be in danger of being stopped if the unemployment department found out you refused work for that reason.

Here is Florida statute about suitable work and refusing it.


443.101
(2) If the Agency for Workforce Innovation finds that the individual has failed without good cause to apply for available suitable work when directed by the agency or the one-stop career center, to accept suitable work when offered to him or her, or to return to the individual’s customary self-employment when directed by the agency, the disqualification continues for the full period of unemployment next ensuing after he or she failed without good cause to apply for available suitable work, to accept suitable work, or to return to his or her customary self-employment, under this subsection, and until the individual has earned income at least 17 times his or her weekly benefit amount. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall by rule adopt criteria for determining the “suitability of work,” as used in this section. The Agency for Workforce Innovation in developing these rules shall consider the duration of a claimant’s unemployment in determining the suitability of work and the suitability of proposed rates of compensation for available work. Further, after an individual has received 25 weeks of benefits in a single year, suitable work is a job that pays the minimum wage and is 120 percent or more of the weekly benefit amount the individual is drawing.
(a) In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the Agency for Workforce Innovation shall consider the degree of risk involved to his or her health, safety, and morals; his or her physical fitness and prior training; the individual’s experience and prior earnings; his or her length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in his or her customary occupation; and the distance of the available work from his or her residence.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, work is not deemed suitable and benefits may not be denied under this chapter to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:
1. If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute.
2. If the wages, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality.
3. If as a condition of being employed, the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization.
(c) If the Agency for Workforce Innovation finds that an individual was rejected for offered employment as the direct result of a positive, confirmed drug test required as a condition of employment, the individual is disqualified for refusing to accept an offer of suitable work.
(3) For any week with respect to which he or she is receiving or has received remuneration in the form of:
(a) Wages in lieu of notice.
(b)1. Compensation for temporary total disability or permanent total disability under the workers’ compensation law of any state or under a similar law of the United States.
2. However, if the remuneration referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) is less than the benefits that would otherwise be due under this chapter, he or she is entitled to receive for that week, if otherwise eligible, benefits reduced by the amount of the remuneration.


The law does not make exception for personal circumstances .. so you will have to use your best judgment to protect your benefits both when deciding what jobs to apply for and whether you would be safe to refuse .. should an offer of work be made.





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