Bill would force jobless to take any job paying more than unemployment benefits

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Sun

State lawmakers are moving to force people getting unemployment insurance checks back to work by changing the law about what jobs they have to take — or forego the payments.

Under current law, someone collecting benefits must accept “suitable” work. But the Department of Economic Security is required to consider various factors, including the “risk involved to the individual’s health, safety and morals.”

Other considerations include physical fitness for the work, experience, prior earnings and how long the person has been unemployed. And DES also has to figure in the prospects of the person being able to secure local work in the individual’s customary occupation as well as the distance to the new job.

Under SB 1398, however, all that would become legally irrelevant after someone has been collecting benefits for four weeks. At that point the person would have to take a job — any job — where the employer is offering to pay someone at least 20 percent more than they are collecting in benefits.

And that’s not much.


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