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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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If my job is obsolete ( currently working as an assistant in

Customer Question

if my job is obsolete ( currently working as an assistant in a home office)and i don't want to take another position being offered, will i get unemployment. Also the job that they are offering me is at a different location( corporate office), about20 miles away, and roughly one hour commute at minimum.
what are the chances i would be able to get unemployment.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is***** will do everything I can to answer your question.

In order to be eligible for benefits, a claimant must be unemployed "through no fault of their own." If you are being let go but your employer is offering you another position, the issue will become whether you have refused an offer of "suitable work." If the unemployment office finds that you have, you will be denied benefits on the ground that you are unemployed through fault of your own--that is, you were made an offer of suitable work and you refused in favor of being unemployed.

Whether an offer of work is "suitable" will depend on a number of factors including comparability to the employee's previous position in terms of pay, responsibility and opportunity for advancement. It will also take into account such things as commute. However, 20 miles away probably would not be so far that an offer of work would be considered "unsuitable" on that basis alone.

Ultimately, there is a question of fact here, meaning the unemployment office examines the unique facts of each case and makes a determination based on the specific circumstances. The issue boils down to whether a person genuinely desireous of being employed would have turned down the offer. If you can prove that to be the case here--meaning the job is substantially lower pay, or responsibility, or there is some other factor which makes it much less desirable--then you will be able to collect benefits. But due to the uncertainty of being awarded benefits under these circumstances, it is generally better to accept the new job and simply start looking for other work, then quit only once you've secured a better offer of employment somewhere else.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The position i am being offered would be doing insurance verifications and here is what i believe to be unsuitable, would this be just cause to make it unsuitable:
1. I left prior job to take this one because it was not working in an office( my prior job) and it, my current position, was working as a personal assistant to a manager at the company who now has been demoted however HR never notified her of this change.;
2. It was within five minutes of my home
3. also, the employer on the phone asked me to make a decision right away and I asked for the weekend which they ultimately provided;however, I was accused at that point to not being excited enough and further stated that he did not want people there who would not be excited; thus, if i accept now , the preconceived belief is that i am not excited.
4. the company is stating that they are going corporate;however, they are being shady about replacing people and bringing in
replacements without formal reasons for demotions. My boss presently? was replaced by another person and never had met with HR department or otherwise about this demotion and continues to use same title despite another person is using the same title.
5. I have witnessed my boss being yelled at , cursed at, threatened via phone by the management at the office that i would relocate to and worry about my own mental health should I be exposed to such environment.
6. They have also made it a point to tell me that I am essentially lucky that i will be getting the same pay
7. Because i have been working with a manager, I have been privy to overhearing information on how they are offering others
to remain at home in their current position.
Below is the letter that they have sent me as today i informed them of my decision not to accept this new position
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply and the additional information.

As noted above, whether a claimant has refused an offer of suitable work is always a question of fact and so it is impossible to predict results with any sort of certainty. That said, I must be candid and tell you that if the new job pays the same and it is only 20 miles away, it will likely be determined to be an offer of suitable work unless you have some unique personal circumstances which make this commute completely impractical for you.

Basically, the way the State looks at it is that unemployment benefits are not intended for people to subsidize their search for an "ideal" job. The standard of what is "suitable" in this respect is fairly low. UI benefits are for people who are unemployed through no fault of their own, who are making genuine efforts to find a job--any job. I wish I could tell you that you had good chances of being approved in these circumstances, but if I did I would essentially be lying to you for the sake of providing good news. That would be a tremendous disservice to you, so I hope you appreciate my candor.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what about the factors that i listed above ? do those get taken into account? also, i was a utilization assistant to my boss and this position is one whereby would be a lesser position.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

They do get taken into account, yes, but at the end of the day I can tell you from experience that if the job pays the same and is only 20 miles away, it will be very difficult to argue that you are unemployed through no fault of your own if you reject such an offer. Again, I could simply give you the answer that you wanted, but I owe it to you to be honest with the information I provide. It's better to know than to act based on false information.

Also, as I stated in my original answer, just because you accept this job doesn't sentence you to it for any particular length of time. You can accept the job and start looking for new employment immediately. You can start looking for new employment tomorrow. Then simply quit once you've gotten a better offer.

Unemployment benefits only pay a fraction of what your salary was. So financially, it's a much better proposition to remain employed until your next job. Also, many studies have shown that it is easier to find a new job when you already are employed. Keep this all in mind.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you for your expertise. is there any other advice that you can offer that would support the new position being offered is not suitable that i may state
Also, HR department has not contacted me ?
and initially they said the position would start on Decmber 2nd and now they are saying the 27th which i feel is retalitory because i did not give them an immediate answer. moreover, I feel like my boss will probably be fired and that they are doing , offering me this job, with the hopes that i would not have accepted?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

See though, most of these things are not relevant. They indicate bad management, but at the end of the day the standard for whether you have refused an offer of suitable work is very low. You need to focus your argument on the position itself, not the circumstances under which the offer was made or your employer's motives for making it. So, you want to focus on how the job duties are completely different and not consistent with your career path, and how the new commute is not simply inconvenient but completely impractical.

I hope this helps. If I have answered your question I would very much appreciate a positive rating of my service.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
lastly, what would be some viable arguments to make this viable?
for instance, my hours are 930to 630, now it would be an hour added each way and my social life would be disrupted and I also do babysitting in the evening to supplement my income to survive which would make this no longer viable at 730?
working as a personal assistant is doing various things, whereby this is not. if you could just inform me the best way to proceed and what would be the strongest points and then that is all thank you very much
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

There is no defined roadmap here. There is no list of best arguments to make. Ultimately, it just comes down to whether you can argue that a reasonable person genuinely desirous of remaining employed would have rejected this offer. The points you raise are all valid points in that respect. I am not really in a position to suggest anything because I do not know your situation and what is relevant. All I can really do is articulate the legal standard for you so that you can develop arguments based on the existing facts. I hope that makes sense. If I can clarify anything else please let me know.