Can I refuse to accept a part-time job from my former employer and not lose my unemployment benefit?

UPDATED: Oct 26, 2010

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Can I refuse to accept a part-time job from my former employer and not lose my unemployment benefit?

I was laid off from a school district I taught in for 12 years. I am currently on unemployment for the first time. I just received a letter telling me of a part time position with the district. I would be teaching from 10:30 am – 11:30 am Monday through Friday. My drive to school is 20 minutes one way. This position would make it impossible to take any substitute teaching positions. Can I refuse this position and continue to receive my unemployment benefits? Are they trying to use the system to stop having to pay my unemployment? What should I do?

Asked on October 26, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Here is the fear: unemployment generally requires that you be "ready, willing and able" to work and now you want to refuse a job offer and they will cut off yourbenefits. Well, you do not have to take any job that comes along just because you are on unemployment.  You have a valid reason to refuse this position: it will stop you from taking higher paying part time positions.  And the more that you make the less unemployment has to pay you so it is in their bets interest that you take the best paying job or jobs you can find.  I would call and speak with an unemployment counselor on the matter.  Good luck. 

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