Employees Who Refuse Available Work: Paid Leave Eligibility & State Reporting Requirements
If an employer has work available, employees are typically not eligible for Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation or Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) ($600/week) benefits unless an employee has a documented COVID-19 reason.
If an employer has work available, employees may qualify for:
EPSLA paid sick time only if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee: (1) is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; (3) is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis; (4) is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2); (5) is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or (6) is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury;
EFMLEA expanded family leave only if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.
The following documentation can be required to receive EPSLA paid sick leave sick leave or EFMLEA expanded family and medical leave:
A signed statement containing the following information: (1) The employee’s name; (2) the date(s) for which leave is requested; (3) the COVID–19 qualifying reason for leave; and (4) a statement representing that the employee is unable to work or telework because of the COVID–19 qualifying reason.
Additional documentation is required depending on the COVID–19 qualifying reason for leave: the name of the government entity that issued the quarantine or isolation order to which the employee is subject; the name of the health care provider who advised the employee to self-quarantine for COVID–19 related reasons; also, an employee requesting paid sick leave to care for an individual must provide either (1) the government entity that issued the quarantine or isolation order to which the individual is subject or (2) the name of the health care provider who advised the individual to self-quarantine, depending on the precise reason for the request;
Also, an employee requesting to take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave to care for his or her child must provide the following information: (1) the name of the child being care for; (2) the name of the school, place of care, or child care provider that closed or became unavailable due to COVID–19 reasons; and (3) a statement representing that no other suitable person is available to care for the child during the period of requested leave.
Pennsylvania Reporting Requirements
Has your business offered a job to an applicant who is receiving unemployment compensation benefits, and the applicant refused the offer?
Section 402(a) of Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law provides, in part, that an employee shall be ineligible for compensation for any week in which their unemployment is due to failure, without good cause, to accept suitable work; provided that the employer who offers the work notifies the department of the refusal within seven days from when the offer is made.
The department has created a new form, UC-1921W, so employers can notify the department that suitable work was refused. The form can be saved, printed, and submitted directly to the department online. Be an active partner in helping to improve the integrity of unemployment compensation payments. Notify the department within seven days of the offer by submitting the form, UC-1921W, online. If you prefer to send the form via facsimile, please complete, print, and fax the form with any additional documentation to UIAS at 717-772-0378.