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In June I was offered my old job back but the company has laid off additional employees and is struggling financially. I do not want to risk going back only to be laid off again.

by Mike

In March I was laid off just two days before a surgery for which I had approved time off . Six others were also laid off across a company of about fifty people.

In June I was offered my old job back. The Vice President of Sales told me that the company was refocusing and restructuring and that an additional ten employees had been laid off but the company wanted to rebuild in the area in which I worked.
I refused the offer on the grounds that the company is financially unstable and I do not want to become unemployed again in a short time if they change their mind again if their new strategy does not work out.
In my appeal, I noted that that I also was pursuing an opportunity at another company where I have a good chance of getting in.
I also indicated that a year earlier, the company had a cash flow problem and offered me and two other office employees the option of being laid off or to work in the warehouse (my regular job is in an office). At the time, I accepted the option to work in the warehouse. It was hot, dirty and disorganized. The warehouse supervisor had no idea of what to do with us so we were often without direction or given the most menial tasks. After two weeks of this, one employee was laid off and I was sent back to work in the office because of complaints from customers and co-workers that
the area in which I had been working was not being serviced.
I believe that the company is so short-sighted that it tries something different every few months and holds no loyalty to any employee.
At my appeal hearing I pointed out that the company had failed to answer the questionaire that had been given to both parties and that they were speaking to the third CFO in less than two years.
I believe my refusal was justifiable; do you?

Justifiable on a personal level to refuse what may still be defined as "suitable work" yes.

However, this is not to say I believe a hearing officer trying to find out whether the employer actually made a bona fide offer and whether it fell short of any of the suitable work criteria in MN will decide to allow you to continue collecting benefits .. being paid for by what I presume to be the same employer being charged for the benefits you were receiving.

There is no legal requirement for an employer to be loyal to employees .. or vice versa.

There are of course, advantages and disadvantages to be seen in being an at-will employee agreeing to terms and conditions of employment which in essence, could be called a business agreement made in good faith with the expectation that both parties will actually act in good faith.

Did you find any MN case law to support the basis of your appeal argument that the offer from the employer was in fact, made in bad faith?

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