Can I loseunemployment benefitsif the same company offered me a part-time job after I had been laid off and I refused it?

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Can I loseunemployment benefitsif the same company offered me a part-time job after I had been laid off and I refused it?

I was a full-time employee.I was laid off and a month later the same company offered me a job but it was only 3 3/4 hours per day and it was only 36 weeks a year compared to my usual 52 weeks at 8 hours a day. I asked if I took the job, would I still get partial benefits. They said no if I take it I will lose my unemployment benefits. At the meeting I had a union representative present and she clearly stated that I did not have to take the job because it wasn’t up to par with what I had been making. I just got a letter in the mail saying that my benefits have been canceled. Can they do this?

Asked on October 7, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should appeal the denial. Normally, while someone on unemployment must take a job if offered, the job must be broadly comparable--if you used to work, say, 7 or 8 hours a day, then only receiving half that would not necessarily be comparable. (The fact that it's 36 weeks doesn't matter; all that means is that, depending on circumstances, you *may* be eligible for unemployment when this job is up.) Normally, if someone takes part time work while on unemployment, it reduces what they can receive in the form of unemployment insurance, but as long as its under a certain threshold dollar level of earnings (which you can find out from your unemployment office), it will not totally bar them from UI. Therefore, it may be  the case that you denial of UI was inapprorpriate, and it woudl be worthwhile for you to appeal it. A laywer, one experienced in matters like this, would be very helpful.


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