Labor and Employment

Can I Collect Unemployment After Turning Down a Job Offer?

By Sachi Barreiro, Attorney, University of San Francisco School of Law

Your unemployment benefits will end if you refuse an offer of suitable work. Whether a job offer is “suitable” depends on your state law. However, the following factors are usually considered in making this determination:

  • your experience, qualifications, and skills
  • your previous salary
  • the likelihood of you getting another job in the same line of work
  • your commuting distance, and
  • how long you’ve been unemployed.

The longer you have been out of work, the more you will be expected to lower your expectations. For example, during the first ten weeks of receiving unemployment in New York, suitable work is any work that you can reasonably do given your training and experience. After ten weeks, suitable work is any job that pays at least 80% of your prior earnings, even if it’s not related to your previous positions. Likewise, during the first eight weeks of receiving benefits in Texas, you must accept any job that pays at least 90% of your previous salary. After eight weeks, this drops down to 75% of your previous salary.

Go back to main Unemployment Compensation FAQ page

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