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wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17252
Experience:  14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
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My base salary for my previous job in Indiana was $112,500.

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My base salary for my previous job in Indiana was $112,500. If I refuse an offer for work for $69,000, will I still be eligible for unemployment benefits? I was laid off in Nov 2012 and was eligible for unemployment beginning Jan 2013. Thank you in advance for answering my question!

wallstreetfighter :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification

wallstreetfighter :

This is a common situation,

wallstreetfighter :

if the new job is similar in duties to your prior job,

wallstreetfighter :

the unemployment office would require you to accept the job,

wallstreetfighter :

In terms of the 80% rule, that may help you.

wallstreetfighter :

However, since the law is not clear in terms of extended benefits,

wallstreetfighter :

they could claim the rule no longer applies.

wallstreetfighter :

and force you to accept the position,

Customer:

Can you give me an idea of past precedent for this matter?

wallstreetfighter :

I do not have access to case law on this issue, however Unemployment rules require you to search for work and accept suitable employment. This doesn't mean that you must accept any job offer. Each state defines "suitable" differently, but it generally means that your wages must be close to what you earned at your last job, the work must be safe for you to perform and the job's duties should correspond with your previous work experience.

wallstreetfighter :

The term suitable in Indiana is defined similar to the above,

wallstreetfighter :

so even if they deny you unemployment for not taking the job, you can argue that the more than 80% difference, in wages, did not make the job suitable,

wallstreetfighter :

even if no policy is written for extended benefits,

wallstreetfighter :

What is an Offer of Suitable Work?
Unemployment Insurance recipients must accept any offer of suitable work. An offer of work will be suitable if it is
reasonably similar in location, type of work, and pay to your previous work experience. The longer you remain
unemployed, the more likely it becomes that an offer of work will be considered suitable. You must be willing to
expand your work search beyond your normal trade or occupation and to accept work at a lower rate of pay in order
to remain eligible for benefits as the length of your unemployment grows. During weeks 5-8 of receiving
unemployment insurance benefits, you must accept work that pays at least 90% of your previous wage. After 8 weeks
of collecting benefits, you must accept work that pays at least 80% of your previous wage.

wallstreetfighter :

After reading the handbook,

wallstreetfighter :

it seems the 80% would apply anytime after 8 weeks,

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX just send a preemptive after-the-interview thank you note (I was going to send one anyway - interview was this past Tuesday) declining in advance so I don't get an offer. The plant manager was fairly apologetic explaining that the position wouldn't pay more than that because margins in the food industry are so small, so I'm assuming my negotiating ability is extremely limited.

Customer:

The rock bottom I had in my mind for this position was $80K, given the scope of responsibilities and even at that, they'd be getting me for a bargain....

wallstreetfighter :

That may be your best option,

wallstreetfighter :

however, if you do have a problem with the unemployment office, the clear language in the handbook gives you support in terms of denying the job.

Customer:

I was thinking that too, it's just that I'm sure it would be a major hassle to argue with them!

wallstreetfighter :

it can be,

Customer:

And go on for whoever knows how long without the stipend....

wallstreetfighter :

yes,

wallstreetfighter :

The worst outcome would be if they find out an offer was made, and they want you to pay back the benefits, for that time,

Customer:

My thoughts too.

wallstreetfighter :

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

wallstreetfighter :

If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback, so we can receive credit.

Customer:

I'm good to go - thanks for the help and I'll make sure to give you positive feedback.

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