SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – As Utah starts to reopen it’s economy, and small businesses receive the Paycheck Protection funding, the Utah Department of Workforce Services want to make sure those receiving unemployment benefits understand they must accept return to work if their jobs are offered, or risk losing unemployment benefits.
Refusing a suitable job offer may be determined as voluntarily “quitting” your job, making them ineligible for further unemployment benefits.
Those who fail to disclose the refusal of an offer may be required to pay back benefits received and face possible prosecution for fraud.
If an employer has clearly communicated a suitable job offer, but the employee refuses to return to work, the employer should submit a report at jobs.utah.gov/ui/home/Fraud/FraudForm.
“We are encouraged to hear from both employers and employees that they are beginning to return to work,” said Jon Pierpont, executive director of the Department of Workforce Services. “Unemployment benefits can serve as an important and helpful tool for dialing the economy back up, but they must be used correctly.”
Anyone who returns to work, but at a reduced rate of hours, Unemployment Insurance is also designed to assist them on a week-to-week basis until they return to full time work. Claimants may continue to be eligible for prorated benefits; as long as they report accurately any hours worked on their weekly claims.
Once Utahns have returned to full-time work there is no need to contact the Department of Workforce Services. Individuals should simply stop filing their weekly claim and the benefits will be stopped.
Additional information and resources are available at jobs.utah.gov/covid19/covidui including a Returning to Work for Employers FAQ and a Returning to Work for Employees FAQ.