If I get called back to work for a different position and must take a drug test, what happens to my unemployment benefits ifI don’t pass?

I have been laid off since June. My position was eliminated but I have been offered a 6 month winter contract (with the same company). I need to take a drug test and I’m concerned that I may not pass. Can the company terminate my unemployment benefits?

Asked on October 4, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is a good chance you could loose your benefits. When receiving unemployment, one is under an obligation to take comparable work; assuming the position you are being offered is not radically different in a bad way (MUCH lower pay; much longer communte; requires education or credentials you don't have; etc.), it's almost by definition that a contract with the same company will be deemed comparable. If that's the case, then refusing the contract could result in you being ineligible for unemployment--especially since this company will have an economic incentive to report to the unemployment office that you were offered and refused employment. Companies want the least unemployment "charged" against them as is possible.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.