Pennsylvania employers have increasingly reported difficulty with job applicants manipulating the unemployment compensation system and work search requirement in order to continue receiving benefits.
Current law requires most UC claimants to demonstrate they are actively looking for work, including registering on CareerLink and applying for jobs comparable to the claimant’s previous employment. The work search requirement is currently in effect after being waived for much of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, a growing number of employers describe experiences in which claimants skip scheduled job interviews or fail to respond when offered a job. This abuse of the system is unfair to employers and the UC system, which should be directing scarce funding to legitimate claimants.
State Rep. Shelby Labs, R-Bucks, has issued a cosponsor memo indicating her intention to introduce legislation that will “clarify that a claimant is not eligible in any week that they discourage their own hire,” which includes failing to attend a job interview without good cause or making statements in an interview that appear intended to discourage the interviewer.
For its part, the Department of Labor and Industry has indicated that claimants who take actions to discourage their own hire already may not eligible for UC benefits. Employers are encouraged to report these incidents using L&I’s Refusal of Suitable Work form.