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Len, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 444
Experience:  15 years experience in employment and criminal Law.
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I was laid off as a sawyer in Emporium PA, making 15$/hour

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I was laid off as a sawyer in Emporium PA, making 15$/hour with full benefits since February 2009. I have been actively looking for work since that time, accepting temporary assignments when available. The unemployment office is now making me take a 40 hour per week job in a town that is 30 miles away from where I live that pays minimum wage and no benefits.   Consequently, I will be making $800/month less than I am getting with my current unemployment benefits and will have no time to search for another job. Can they force me to take this job or lose my benefits?



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?






Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, this is the only job that has been offered. I calculate that the net per day after commuting would be about $40-45. I drive a truck that is not good on gas. There were no other training options made available to me.

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.


Take Care,





Please press accept and leave some feedback when you get a chance.





Len, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 444
Experience: 15 years experience in employment and criminal Law.
Len and 5 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the websites and advice. I will go to work and I will continue to appeal their decision. It's very hard though when I have to leave at 6:30 in the morning to get to the work site and I don't get home until 5:00. By then all offices are closed. I know how complicated the law is, but it just doesn't seem right.   If I had the funds to pay for an employment lawyer I probably wouldn't be on this website. Unfortunately, I'm not a case that a lawyer would just "take on" and I just don't have $300/hour to pay for their services.
But, thanks again for the advice.

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