Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Can I get a little more information?
1. Is this the only job that has been offered?
2. What is your net per day after you deduct commute expense?
3. Were any other options made available such as new training?
OK, thx for the additional info.
The best thing to do in this situation is to keep everything in perspective. You obviously need the benefits, or better yet, a decent job. On the other hand, the state agency has it's goal of removing you from the rolls. As you know too well, they often make arbitrary decisions that don't make sense for people in the real world. The problem is that they hold all the cards for future benefits and training opportunities. I want to give you a couple of links that are not easy to find in the PA web system, but you should find helpful. I'll follow those with some ideas.
PA Unemployment Law
The PA Unemployment Handbook
Now, the second link is the most important, and I copied the following for you:
Under "Fail to Apply For or Accept Suitable Work"
In deciding whether a job is suitable under the UC Law, the department considers your past training, experience, earnings, the rate of pay of the job offer, how long you have been unemployed, chances of finding a job in your line of work, distance of the job from your home, any risks to your health and safety, whether full-time work was available instead of part-time or seasonal work, and other factors.
Deb, the key phrases out of their own statement are "finding a job in your line of work", and ""distance of the job from your home." Both of those qualifiers probably apply to you, especially the distance factor.
Their assignment of you to this job 30 miles away is a "decision", because if you don't comply and accept, they will discontinue the benfits. As such, you can appeal this decision and request a reconsideration for other opportunities. If you don't, the state will just assume you're back to work and no longer need services. It will be up to you to remind them that this current position is not a solution.
You should base your appeal and arguement on every negative aspect keeping in mind their keywords. Here, that should not be too difficult. The job is far off. It costs a family dinner or more to commute. The job may not fit your skill set, etc.
The important over-riding consideration will be that you need to keep reporting to work until you get the agency to agree and keep you in the pool of people looking for work. If you don't, they will stop all services.
Employment law is a very complicated practice area, and it is very difficult to answer all concerns and questions. There is simply no substitute for sitting down one on one with a qualified reputable employment lawyer. I strongly encourage you to do this if at all possible. You are entitled to have representation before the commission.
Tough situation, but hang in there and work through the system until something better comes along or retraining is offered.
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