Refusing Suitable Work

Claimants collecting unemployment can be disqualified from benefits if they refuse a suitable job offer

Was the job suitable?

When deciding whether the job you turned down was “suitable” for you, the Department of Labor and Industry will consider the following:

  • whether the job matches your prior training and experience,
  • how far the job is from your home,
  • why you’re unemployed and how long you’ve been unemployed,
  • how likely you are to get a local job in your usual occupation, 
  • your previous earnings,
  • the condition of the job market,
  • the general rate of pay for your usual occupation, and
  • and how permanent your residence is

Did you have good cause to turn down the job?

If the job offer was suitable work, claimants can still refuse if they have good cause. You might have good cause – or a good reason – to turn down a job if:

  • you physically cannot do the job, 
  • your religious beliefs prevent you from doing the job, 
  • you have no transportation to the job even though you have made efforts to find transportation, 
  • the job is far away (farther than your old job), or
  • you have tried, but cannot find childcare during the work shifts

Always Negotiate

If an employer offers you a job, it is important to engage with them if you have questions about whether the job is suitable or if you are concerned you cannot do the job. Put those questions in writing (we recommend email) and keep a record of it. 

How to Report a Refusal of Work

When you file your weekly claim, the system will ask you if you have refused a job offer.  If you have refused a job, you must answer yes to that question. You will then be allowed to provide additional information about why you turned down the job.  It is important to identify in your answers what was not suitable about the job, or why you believe you had good cause to turn it down.