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UC-1921W Refusal of Suitable Work

Has your business offered a job to an applicant who is receiving unemployment compensation benefits, and the applicant refused the offer?
Section 402(a) of Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law provides, in part, that an employee shall be ineligible for compensation for any week in which their unemployment is due to failure, without good cause, to accept suitable work; provided that the employer who offers the work notifies the department of the refusal within seven days from when the offer is made. Reporting these incidents to us makes you an active partner in helping to improve the integrity of unemployment compensation payments.

There are multiple ways to notify the department of the refusal. Please only use one method and do not send multiple reports for the same incident. 
Expectations after you report a refusal-of-work incident to us:

    • Stopping an individual’s unemployment payments is not automatic based on your report. All individuals must be afforded due process (notice to the claimant of the report and an opportunity for the claimant to respond to the report) before any conclusions are made and their benefits are affected. Your report becomes an issue to be adjudicated and will go through the Adjudication Process where fact-finding is completed with all parties and an official determination will provide the outcome.  

    • The department is working on a large number of issues to be adjudicated, so it may take time for the adjudication process to begin for the report you provided.

    • If your report results in a denial of benefits, the claimant will be overpaid for all benefits beginning with the calendar week in which he/she refused the work. If you were charged for those benefits, your account is then credited for the amount of the overpayment.

The responsibility rests with the department to determine whether the work that was offered was suitable. If the work is determined to be suitable, the claimant must show that he/she had good cause to refuse the referral or to refuse the offer of suitable work to be eligible. For example, if the employer is not following an OSHA safety requirement for that workplace and the claimant discussed this problem with the employer yet there has been no improvement, then the claimant has the right to refuse working in an unsafe space without it affecting his or her unemployment benefits.