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Did employer word terminat. letter so that I can't collect unemployment? Pennsylvania

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  • Did employer word terminat. letter so that I can't collect unemployment? Pennsylvania

    Hello,
    I've been out on disability since end of Feb. FMLA ran out of 5/22. I received a letter from my employer yesterday terminating me on 6/16/09. It's worded a little strange and would like opinions as to whether, once I'm well enough to work (should be around 8/3), will I be required to go back to my old employer and ask for work based upon the wording of the notice? Here is the wording(note: my doctor's note says I can return to work 8/3, but right now disability has been approved through 6/15 and will be extended):
    "Based upon your doctor's note, it appears you will not be able to return to work June 16. Althoug hyour 12 weeks of FMLA leave expired on May 22, we were holding your position open for you. However, given that you are not able to return to work June 16, we will no longer be able to hold your position open for you.
    When you are able to return to work, we encourage you to contact us regarding any employment oppotunities available that match your experience and skills."
    Will I have to contact them when I better? If I apply for unemployment (once I'm well enough to work), could they fight it & say I was supposed to contact them for a job (note: the wording says, "we encourage you to contact us, not you must contact us."
    In PA, is there a minimum amount of pay I have to be offered? For example, when I lived in NY, I could legally turn down a job offer if the pay was more than 20%(guessing this percentage) that what I was getting paid at my last job. Does PA have a similar way of doing this?
    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    The note doesn't talk about COBRA or paying for unpaid vacation days either.

  • #2
    What do you have to lose by contacting them when you are able to work again? You have to be searching for work anyway, might as well contact them in addition to any other applications you might make.

    You'd have to ask the DOLI the question about lower pay, but I doubt that 20% less would be considered an unreasonable offer.

    There's still plenty of time for the COBRA notification. With limited exceptions, they have 44 days after your coverage ceases to get the notification to you.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 06-13-2009, 07:17 AM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the post.
      What I have to lose is that this company was one of the reasons I went on STD leave, due to exhaustion and depression. Any other offer from them would be an invitation to another nervous breakdown. That's why I asked the question, because working there is not an option for my health.

      I checked with someone who knows NY regs and it's true if an offer is less than 20% of prior pay, you can reject it and stay on unemployment. I thought this forum was monitored by attorneys well-versed in each state, but I guess I'll have to check for PA myself.
      Thanks again for the post.

      Comment


      • #4
        From my initial post, the following questions still need to be answered. If anyone can help I would really appreciate it!

        Does the wording of the termin. letter bar me from collecting unemployment if I don't contact the employer who terminated me? Can they fight me when I apply for unemployment (for this specific reason)?

        Is there a minimum amount of a decrease of salary from a prior job that a person can reject a job offer in PA? In NY it's around 20%, and it's part of the labor law. Does anyone out there know if this exists in PA?

        Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          There's no way anyone here can tell you what the unemployment ins. office will decide regarding the termination letter. The state makes the decision whether you get benefits - our opinion doesn't count. If your employer contests it, you can appeal.

          Is there any reason you can't contact the DOLI, as suggested by Patty previously, regarding the 20% reduction in pay?
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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          • #6
            I did find this in one of my references but you might want to verify it with the DOLI.

            Pa. re UI - the term "suitable employment" means with respect to a claimant, work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the claimant's past "adversely affected employment" and wages for such work at not less than eighty per centum of the worker's past "average weekly wage."
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
              I did find this in one of my references but you might want to verify it with the DOLI.

              Pa. re UI - the term "suitable employment" means with respect to a claimant, work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the claimant's past "adversely affected employment" and wages for such work at not less than eighty per centum of the worker's past "average weekly wage."
              Thanks Betty!

              No, there's no reason I can't call DOLI, I just thought I could get an answer online over the weekend.

              Thanks so much again!

              Comment


              • #8
                You're welcome.

                I might add that the very vast majority of the responders on this forum (including myself) are not lawyers. We answer from our own experience, knowledge & references.
                Last edited by Betty3; 06-14-2009, 08:46 AM.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment

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