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Did employer word termination letter so I can't collect unemployment? PA (Reading between the lines an employer communications).

by Jane

I've been out on short-term disability since end of Feb. I should be able to work again around 8/3. I know I can't apply for unemployment until I'm well again. I rec'd a letter of terminiation, but it's worded a bit strangely. Here's the part I'm concerned about(mostly the 2nd paragraph):

"Based upon your doctor's note, it appears you will not be able to return to work June 16. Although your 12 weeks of FMLA leave expired on May 22, we were holding your position open for you. However, given that you are not able to return to work June 16, we will no longer be able to hold your position open for you.
When you are able to return to work, we encourage you to contact us regarding any employment oppotunities available that match your experience and skills."

I'm concerned about the last paragraph. Will I be required to apply for work at the company when I'm well again? If I apply for unemployment in August, could they fight it and say they have a job for me? This company caused my nervous breakdown and I don't want to work there again.

Oh Jimmy,

How astute of you!! Yes, of course they are setting the stage for a viable argument to fight your unemployment if you do not apply for work as soon as you become able and available.

I'm totally impressed!!

Of course, this is not an offer of work .. merely an invite to apply for suitable work when you become able and available .. no big deal, just do it.

If they offer you "unsuitable work" (read the statute) turn them down and wait for the "refusal of suitable work issue".


Comments for Did employer word termination letter so I can't collect unemployment? PA (Reading between the lines an employer communications).

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Jun 18, 2009
Suitable employment
by: Jimmy

Thanks Chris. I have a feeling that PA doesn't quantify a salary minimum as expressly as NY does. Oh well. Thanks for the leads; I'll check them out.

An afterthought, you might check to see if PA has prevailing wage data .. NY does.

Jun 17, 2009
Suitable Employment re: salary
by: Jimmy

No, Chris, I clicked on the "Laws & Statutes" link on the left of the website and went through the laws and statutes of PA. There is no true definition of what suitable employment, as far as wages are concerned. If I missed it, please let me know.

I wouldn't read the Decision Notes because that implies that some sort of hearing took place. I'm not interested in what some judge decided, I'm interested in what the law states.

Like I said, NY spells it out and it has to be at least 80% of the prior job's salary if the job offer is a similar position..

So what is the suitable salary definition for PA? Do you know where I can cite this?

Hi Jimmy,

You better be interested in decision notes. That is what "annotates" (explains or cites) the statute.

Laws and statutes are interpreted. It is how the laws and statutes are interpreted by a state's courts that sets the precedents for how decisions must be made.

New York has an interpretation index which links to decisions in which we find those "limits" that give a person the information they need to decide whether they have good cause.

If Pennsylvania had a decision digest for unemployment issues .. I would have directed you to that.

"Some judge" is bound to apply the precedents in their decision. When they ignore a precedent, we have grounds for an appeal.

The decision notes reference the precedent decision which you can search for on the other site I linked to.

I'll assume you also read this page
Benefit eligibility

I honestly wouldn't know where else you'd find a specific amount that would be considered an unsuitable wage other than a decision .. at least for PA.

Jun 15, 2009
"suitable work" defined?
by: Jimmy

Thanks for the post.

I looked in the statute and can't find any specific definition of what "suitable work" is, although that term is used several times in the statute.

Do you know how I would go about finding out what PA considers to be "suitable work?"

(In NY "suitable work" had to include wages of at least 80% of the prior job wages).

Hi Jimmy,

Is this what you read? Decision notes on "suitable work"

If you can read the light blue-green print .. you might want to check some of the decisions here.

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