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Staffing Company threating me with losing my unemployment

by Diane

I am currently receiving unemployment compensation from the State of Florida and also reside in Florida. In my job search quest I registered with an Employment Agency which does permanent and temporary staffing. I indicated to the employment agency that I only wanted permanent position and was not interested in temporary work at this time.

Today I received a phone call and e-mail from the Agency asking me if I could perform the duties of a position. The position posted in the e-mail sent to me was noted as temporary, however; when I asked the agent about this, they later told me over the phone, it was "long term temp & they would hire the right person permanently".

While I believe I can perform the duties, the position pays 60% less than my previous position and since it is temporary there will be no benefits which I also had in my previous position.

When I indicated to the Agency that at this time I was not interested in accepting temporary work that is when she then indicated to me that it was "long term temp and possible permanent hire". I then told her the pay seemed considerably lower than my previous position and I was not really wanting to go that low at this time. She then asked me if I was receiving unemployment. When I told her yes, she told me if I did not agree to have my resume submitted and interview for the position if the company liked my resume and if offered the position then accept it, she would have to report me to Unemployment and that my benefits would be affected because I was denying work and the pay for the position is more than my unemployment benefits.

My questions are: do I have to accept a temporary position and or a position that pays me significantly less than my previous position? Can I quit this staffing company without it affecting my unemployment benefits?

Thank you very much for your time to review and consider my questions.

Hi Diane,

I understand that temp work is pretty much all that seems to be available now, but this still doesn't make me a fan of temporary staffing agencies .. And now you might even agree with me.

Wouldn't it be lovely if Florida made their unemployment precedent manual available online .. so we could know exactly what is an acceptable reason to decline a job because it is "unsuitable work" and how they interpret this statute.

But of course .. all we have is Florida Statute 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.

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by: Anonymous

If you're going to be treated like that by the recruiter and threatened, do you really want to work with that recruiter?

And by the way, if he/she threatens you, just play the recruiter's game and go on the interview. Do what you can to blow the interview and make the recruiter look like a fool. You can even tell the company that is interviewing you that you were bullied into interviewing by the recruiter and also threatened. So now the company realizes what a jerk the recruiter is and will probably not want to work with that person ever again. Do you think employers want an employee to work for them who is basically being black-mailed to work there?

You'll get to keep your unemployment after this.

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