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Unemployment Questions About Being Offered Work at Different Plant

by JG

I have been laid off due to coviid 19. I’ve been receiving unemployment. My work called last week letting me know I could come back to work, but at a different plant which is further away. Do I Have to go back to work or can I stay on unemployment until my plant reopens?

Hi JG (***I'm the one that removed your full name and the city you live in***)

This is a good question to ask in my opinion, because it will always raise a conditional non-monetary eligibility issue that often bites otherwise eligible people in the butt, but is often cited as the reason to deny benefits .. after someone is found eligible based upon the cause for separation that forced a person to apply for benefits.

Refusing, or quitting Suitable Work was also a common reason used by states and some employers, if someone lost their benefits at some point during/after, the "great recession".

So .. my thought is it's a very important issue to anyone who goes so far as to ask a question, or debate with themselves, whether they should accept or refuse a change to the last terms and conditions of employment, when an employer comes up with a new bona fide offer of work.

Your question, for me anyway, is one that forces me to ask if the state unemployment agency will find the offer made to you by your last employer, to go back to work at a different plant and continue your employment relationship with them, to be a subtle and therefore
acceptable change, or a substantial change to the terms and conditions of your last employment with this employer, making your refusal of the offer, a reasonable choice.

There's a number of things about an offer of employment that might make an otherwise suitable job .. unsuitable to us.

This is why I copied and pasted the criteria to consider, as provided by the USDOLETA .. before the Q&As About Suitable Work.

However, let me offer a word of caution on the subject of refusing job offers What makes an offer of work suitable, to an individual, varies state to state. And, the issue itself, was the target of some states in their efforts to recover their general UI funds after the great recession.

Off the top of my head, Florida comes to mind as a state where I know it's been effective to reduce the state's past typical benefit recipiency rate of about 30 percent to 12 percent over the last few years.

Finally, I don't want to be known as a voice of doom when it comes to getting UI benefits, but as someone who advocates it's as important for an employee to know how UI law is supposed to work .. and that frequently enough, I think an employee could win an appeal hearing .. if they only took getting and keeping eligibility as seriously as some employers take .. denying benefits, right, wrong, or indifferent to the facts .. or the laws.

PS .. If suitable work isn't your issue, here's a list of Q&A's .. by subject/issue.

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