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If I'm already on unemployment in the state of FL, and I'm offered a job, do I have to take it?

by Anonymous

I'm sixty years old, started receiving unemployment benefits in January 2009, due to being laid off from my job. An opportunity for employment has been offered, but it is working a 12pm to 8am shift. I am not so sure that I can handle those kinds of hours. I am willing to try, but if I do and cannot adjust to the hours, would I be eligible to go back on unemployment if I left the job? Do I even have to take a job such as these hours if I feel I cannot? And, still continue to receive my unemployment? Any help you can provide is appreciated.

Hi Anonymous,

Great question. This is the part of the statute I think is relevant to your question:

(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.

When you file your weekly claims for benefits you are required to answer the same series of question which basically are designed to make sure you are qualified to continue receiving unemployment.

The question about whether you were offered work should be paid close attention to because if you refuse or accept and then quit employment it may raise the issue of "refusal of suitable work". which is just another way to deny benefits.

To continue collecting, your refusal must now be found with good cause...per the statute.

I doubt hours from 12 to 8 would be good cause, so you should look for a reason within the statute that would be considered good cause.

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