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Has your business offered a job to an individual who is receiving UC benefits and the individual refused the offer?

Section 402(a) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law provides in part:

An employee shall be ineligible for compensation for any week in which his unemployment is due to his failure, without good cause, either to apply for suitable work…or to accept suitable work…Provided, that such employer notifies the employment office of such offer within seven (7) days after the making thereof.

“Suitable work” is defined in Section 4(t) of the Law as:

… all work which the employee is capable of performing. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the department shall consider the degree of risk involved to his health, safety and morals, his physical fitness, prior training and experience, and the distance of the available work from his residence. The department shall also consider among other factors the length of time he has been unemployed and the reasons therefor, the prospect of obtaining local work in his customary occupation, his previous earnings, the prevailing condition of the labor market generally and particularly in his usual trade or occupation, prevailing wage rates in his usual trade or occupation, and the permanency of his residence. However, notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection no work shall be deemed suitable in which (1) the position offered is vacant, due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute, or (2) the remuneration, hours or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the employe than those prevailing for similar work in the locality, or (3) as a condition of being employed, the employe would be required to join a company union, or to resign from, or refrain from joining, any bona fide labor organization.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits, has created form UC-1921W, entitled “Employer Questionnaire – Refuse Suitable Work,” to assist employers to provide the required notification that suitable work was refused.  Pennsylvania employers are encouraged to be an active partner in helping to improve UC payment integrity. Notify the department within seven days of the offer by faxing form UC-1921W to 717-772-0378.

For a confidential analysis of your unemployment compensation issues, or questions about TRC’s unemployment  compensation practice area, please contact Margaret M. Hock, Esquire at (412) 316-8647 or [email protected].

Important NoticeThis information is intended for general guidance only, and should not be used as a substitute for specific legal advice.  For specific legal advice applicable to your situation, you should consult an attorney of your choice.  Although believed to be accurate when written, no guarantee of completeness or accuracy to your particular circumstances should be implied.  Laws, regulations, and court decisions in this area change frequently, and you should consult the attorney of your choice for up-to-date information.