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Am I still eligible for unemployment benefits ?

by Raymond
(Illinois, USA)

I've been unemployed looking for work. A temp, temp-perm employment agency ask me if I can lift up to 50 pounds. I'd remember telling them in my interview, that I can only lift up to 30 pounds, due to my back pain. Is that ineligible refusing a job?

It shouldn't be, because to refuse a job, an employee should be able to prove a bona fide offer of employment. But that doesn't mean it might not become an eligibility issue to resolve for continuing benefits for you.

Questions as to whether an individual has good cause to refuse an offer of work due to legitimate health and/or safety concerns, are clearly, part of the criteria for suitable work.

Suitability of a job for an individual can arise not only when one refuses an offer of work, but when one accepts an unsuitable job and then voluntarily quits the job.

Then they have an issue and it'a all about not just proving why the job was unsuitable, but why a voluntary quit is with good cause because it is supported by efforts to preserve the employment first.

This means you should allow the employer an opportunity to work with you, to keep you working within those documented health restrictions such as lifting limitations.

Those efforts to preserve are what shifts the burden to the employer to show good cause why they might of refused to accommodate a medically documented health condition, or ignored the work restriction placed on one of their employees by a physician altogether.

That would be unreasonable.

Supporting good cause means more than the frequent self diagnosis I hear about often.

To show good cause to refuse a job offer I woul take the direct approach and be ready with o documentation provided by the doctor who told me not to lift more than 30lbs. That is what could easily show cause for a refusal if I was told lifting more than 30lbs was an essential function of any job offered.

The only thing that troubles me .. is you mentioned a temp-perm agency.

Until you are hired as a permanent employee of a company, you are the employee of the temp agency .. no matter what company you do the work for.

And that means it's the temp agency responsible for paying UI tax on your earnings and fighting all unemployment claims they think they shouldn't be charged for.

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