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Old 01-12-2010, 09:42 AM
40 posts, read 92,911 times
Reputation: 27


My husband was laid off from his position in the food industry on September 7, 2009. He filed and received weekly unemployment benefits. He found a temporary job working in a factory which started on October 7th. He still filed his weekly unemployment as he knew the position was temporary and not field related. He continued to look for field related work and went on several interviews (all of which has been documented).

On December 23rd his temporary assignment ended and the following week his unemployment resumed. In the meantime work within his field has picked up, he's had several promising interviews and several phone interviews. He has two phone interviews scheduled for tomorrow and we are traveling to NC for an interview on Friday.

Well the temp agency called yesterday wanting him to resume work tonight. He told them that he couldn't work because he already had interviews lined up. The temp agency said "so you are refusing to work". My husband explained that he can work, but that he couldn't work these specific dates.

My question, we are worried that he is going to lose UE benefits because he refused work. He called unemployment in SC and they were less than helpful and basically said "why don't you just work"? The temporary position pays $10,000 less than what he normally makes.

We cannot afford to lose UE benefits, but at the same time these interviews are very important if he is going to get another permanent full time job.

Any help and insight is appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:16 AM
4,805 posts, read 19,559,583 times
Reputation: 4931
Probably all the agency meant was that they are going to make a note of his response and possibly offer him fewer assignments in the future. The only benefit to the temp agency in reporting your husband, or more likely merely threatening to, is that he may stop seeking full-time work and remain with the temp agency as one of their better temps.

But in reality, the purpose of UE benefits is to help people find full-time permanent employment. In the rare event that the temp agency does report your husband, the UE office does believe them, and does deny benefits, you could always appeal and explain the situation to a judge. The circumstances you have explained here demonstrates sufficient evidence to support eligibility for benefits.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:27 AM
40 posts, read 92,911 times
Reputation: 27
Thank you so much for your reply. Unfortunately the temp agency did say that they are reporting this to unemployment.

From what I can find on the SC employment website it appears that since he made more than 8 times his weekly benefit (8 * $351) with the temp agency now his UE claim is against the temp agency and no longer with his previous employer (where he worked for 4 years at a much higher wage than the temp agency).

We're so stressed because if he loses UE and does not get one of these jobs we're pretty much totally out of luck.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:30 AM
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
12,967 posts, read 24,006,718 times
Reputation: 7682
If you appeal it, you'll probably win. Your husband can't be forced to take a job out of his field, and also work for less money. If he's looking for full time work in his field, and has interviews lined up, unemployment will rule in his favor.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:17 PM
Location: Texas
475 posts, read 1,416,670 times
Reputation: 251
In texas, a person on unemployemnt can refuse a job offer if it pays less than their previous job. I believe that your husband, had he been employed in Texas would lose the benefits, because his last job was as a temp. That is the way I understand the law but I am not an Attorney.

Good luck on the interviews. Any job is better than UE.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:08 PM
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
6,233 posts, read 18,123,468 times
Reputation: 3419
I could be wrong but I don't think he worked for the temp agency long enough to have his UE applied to that job. I live in your state but have never received benefits. I once refused to go to an interview for a temp agency and I never worked for them again (their rules).
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:18 PM
Location: Spokane via Sydney,Australia
6,611 posts, read 10,946,003 times
Reputation: 3083
Seems unfair of the temp agency when THEY were the ones that ended his assignment.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:39 PM
40 posts, read 92,911 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks everyone, the whole situation seems very unfair. My husband is going to file next week and indicate that he refused work, and see what happens. I pray that he does not lose benefits because we will surely be a drain on society with a foreclosure and all kinds of other bad things. The system is so frustrating when you are just trying to do the right thing and you get punished. Sigh.....
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:02 PM
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
5,975 posts, read 17,142,113 times
Reputation: 4989
Isn't there an option to say No to "In the week ended xxxx, were you available for work?" He could have been sick and unavailable for work. I think that's a better option to indicating he refused work. A computer or someone on the other end is hard to reason with once the entry is put in there.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:08 PM
4,805 posts, read 19,559,583 times
Reputation: 4931
fromma please please please take the time to read the SC statements for eligibility before you and your husband give up the benefits for which he is legitimately eligible for.

Directly from the SC Unemployment website FAQs:

Do I have to accept another job if offered?

You may be required to accept another job, if offered. However, the job must be comparable to your old job. (A computer programmer, for example, could not be forced to take a job as a carpenter.)

The full text of SC law is as follows:

(3) Failure to accept work.--(a) If the Commission finds that he has failed, without good cause, (i) either to apply for available suitable work, when so directed by the employment office or the Commission, (ii) to accept available suitable work when offered to him by the employment office or an employer, or (iii) to return to his customary self-employment (if any) when so directed by the Commission, the ineligibility begins with the week the failure occurred and continues until he has secured employment and shows to the satisfaction of the Commission that he has performed services in employment as defined in Chapters 27 through 41 of this title and earned wages for services equal to at least eight times his weekly benefit amount of his claim.

(b) In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the Commission shall consider, based on a standard of reasonableness as it relates to the particular individual concerned, the degree of risk involved to his health, safety, and morals, his physical fitness and prior training, his experience and prior earnings, his length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in his customary occupation, and the distance of the available work from his residence.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of Chapters 27 through 41 of this title, no work is considered suitable and benefits may not be denied under such chapters to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions: (i) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute, (ii) if the wages, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality, or (iii) if as a condition of being employed the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization.

The full text is here: South Carolina Code of Laws (http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t41c035.htm - broken link)

Under these Codes (laws), it would be dishonest for your husband to respond that he has refused work. If the temp agency wants to engage in dishonesty, that is there prerogative, but don't let them bring you down to their level.
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