An employer still has an opportunity to reduce their financial exposure associated with a claim, even after an unemployment claim is filed by your associate and benefits are awarded. This ‘protest’ feature is called a ‘Work Refusal Protest’ and is available to employers in all states, as follows:

In situations where an employer makes a bona fide offer of work to an employee or to return to their customary employment, the employee may lose unemployment benefits if he or she refuses to return to suitable work without good cause.

A federal tenet of the eligibility criteria to receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits in all states is that the worker’s income has been reduced below a state-established ‘average weekly wage’ based on the worker’s historical earned wages. To qualify for an Unemployment ‘Weekly Benefit Award’ (WBA), the worker’s reduction or elimination of their earned wages from their employer must be due to ‘Lack of Work, Layoff or No Fault of the Employee.’ Therefore, the reduction in wages (full or partial) can be supplemented by the state through an Unemployment Insurance (UI) WBA. If the state deems these criteria to be met, then the worker’s claim will become compensable, and that ‘worker’ will also become a ‘claimant.’

Once the state has approved the initial claim, there is another federal tenet regarding ‘ongoing eligibility’ (during the 52 wk benefit year). The claimant must be seeking suitable employment (earned wages) through their job search efforts. On a weekly basis (online or in-person), a claimant must certify that they are ‘Able, Available and Actively Seeking Work.’ If a claimant fails on their own to meet this threshold during any week of their benefit year, the state can pause or deny the WBA for that specific week. Also, in a pro-active manner, an employer has the right to protest the dispensation of UI benefits (or request that the claimant’s WBA be suspended) if the claimant has refused additional hours/wages offered by the employer during that week.

The following criteria must be taken into consideration in determining whether the offered work is suitable:

Corporate Cost Control can assist your company with determining the total potential cost mitigated risk associated with a Work Refusal Protest initiative.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
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(800) 207-6926

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