New Law Puts Some At Risk For Losing Unemployment Benefits
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Thousands of Tennesseans will be affected by a new state law that requires residents to take a job offered, or risk losing their unemployment benefits.
The change comes as part of the Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act. State lawmakers passed the law in May 2012. The legislation is designed to provide more scrutiny to those who are chronically unemployed.
While there's no data that shows Tennesseans are turning down work just to stay unemployed, employers across the state said it's a problem.
"Employers were very vocal about people who would come in and refuse an offer of employment, to stay on unemployment. And I think that's why legislators passed this law," said Jeff Hentschel with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Under the new law a job offer is considered suitable according to the following criteria:
During the first 13 weeks of unemployment, an offer of 100 percent of the wages of the most recent work
During the 14th through the 25th week of unemployment, an offer of 75 percent of the wages of the most recent work
During the 26th through the 38th week of unemployment, an offer of 70 percent of the wages of the most recent work
After the 38th week of unemployment, 65 percent of the wages of the most recent work