Refusal of Work Can Cause a Disqualification in Unemployment Compensation Benefits

The Alabama Department of Labor is reminding unemployment claimants that if their employer calls them back they must accept work. To remain eligible for unemployment benefits, federal law requires that those who have been placed on a temporary layoff related to the COVID-19 pandemic must return to work if called back.

Not returning to work when there is available work could be considered a “refusal of work” and could potentially disqualify claimants from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

“It’s important for workers to know that if their employer reopens or otherwise calls them back to work, they must do so, unless they have a good work-related cause for not returning,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Quitting work without good cause to obtain additional benefits under the regular unemployment program or CARES Act programs qualifies as fraud.”

Employers are encouraged to utilize the New Hire system to report those employees who fail to return to work. Information about the New Hire System can be found HERE.  

The CARES Act specifically provides for serious consequences for fraudulent cases including fines, confinement, and an inability to receive future unemployment benefits until all fraudulent claims and fines have been repaid.  

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