Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R994. Workforce Services, Unemployment Insurance.
Rule R994-405. Ineligibility for Benefits.
As in effect on October 1, 2019
Table of Contents
- R994-405-1. Determining the Reason for Separation.
- R994-405-2. Separations From a Temporary Help Company (THC).
- R994-405-3. Professional Employer Organizations (PEO).
- R994-405-101. Voluntary Leaving (Quit) - General Information.
- R994-405-102. Good Cause.
- R994-405-103. Equity and Good Conscience.
- R994-405-104. Quit to Accompany, Follow or Join a Spouse.
- R994-405-105. Burden of Proof in a Quit.
- R994-405-106. Quit or Discharge.
- R994-405-107. Examples of Reasons for Quitting.
- R994-405-108. Effective Date of Disqualification and Period of Disqualification.
- R994-405-109. Proximate Cause in a Quit.
- R994-405-201. Discharge - General Definition.
- R994-405-202. Just Cause.
- R994-405-203. Burden of Proof in a Discharge.
- R994-405-204. Quit or Discharge.
- R994-405-205. Disciplinary Suspension.
- R994-405-206. Proximate Cause - Relation of the Offense to the Discharge.
- R994-405-207. In Connection with Employment.
- R994-405-208. Examples of Reasons for Discharge.
- R994-405-209. Effective Date of Disqualification.
- R994-405-210. Discharge for Crime - General Definition.
- R994-405-211. In Connection with Work.
- R994-405-212. Dishonesty or Other Disqualifying Crimes.
- R994-405-213. Admission or Conviction in a Court.
- R994-405-214. Disqualification Period.
- R994-405-215. Deletion of Wage Credits.
- R994-405-216. Cancellations Not Allowed.
- R994-405-301. Failure to Apply for or Accept Suitable Work.
- R994-405-302. Failure to Accept a Referral.
- R994-405-303. Proper Application for Work.
- R994-405-304. Failure to Accept an Offer of Work.
- R994-405-305. Suitability of Work.
- R994-405-306. Elements to Consider in Determining Suitability.
- R994-405-307. New Work.
- R994-405-308. Burden of Proof.
- R994-405-309. Period of Ineligibility.
- R994-405-310. Good Cause.
- R994-405-311. Equity and Good Conscience.
- R994-405-401. Strike.
- R994-405-402. Elements Necessary for a Disqualification.
- R994-405-403. Unemployment Due to a Strike.
- R994-405-404. Workers at Factory or Establishment of the Claimant's Last Employment.
- R994-405-405. Fomented by the Employer.
- R994-405-406. Work Stoppage.
- R994-405-407. Grade, Group or Class of Worker.
- R994-405-408. Strike Caused by Employer Non-Compliance with State or Federal Laws.
- R994-405-409. Period of Disqualification.
- R994-405-410. Wages Used to Establish Claim as Provided by Subsection 35A-4-405(4)(c).
- R994-405-411. Availability.
- R994-405-412. Suitability of Work Available Due to a Strike.
- R994-405-413. Strike Benefits.
- R994-405-701. Payments Following Separation - General Definition.
- R994-405-702. Definition of Disqualifying Vacation and Severance Pay.
- R994-405-703. Period of Disqualification.
- R994-405-704. Disqualifying Separations.
- R994-405-705. Base Period Wages.
- R994-405-801. Services in Education Institutions - General Definition.
- R994-405-802. Elements Required for Denial.
- R994-405-803. Educational Institution (School).
- R994-405-804. Employee for an Educational Institution.
- R994-405-805. Reasonable Assurance.
- R994-405-806. Substitute Teachers.
- R994-405-807. Period of Disqualification.
- R994-405-808. Retroactive Payments.
- R994-405-901. Professional Athletes.
- R994-405-902. Base Period Wage Credits.
- R994-405-1001. Aliens - General Definition.
- R994-405-1002. Alien Status.
- R994-405-1003. Lawfully Admitted for Permanent Residence.
- R994-405-1004. Lawfully Present for the Purpose of Performing Services.
- R994-405-1005. Permanently Residing in U.S. Under Color of Law.
- R994-405-1006. Section 1182(d)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- R994-405-1007. Procedural Requirements.
- R994-405-1008. Preponderance of Evidence.
- R994-405-1009. Availability for Work.
- R994-405-1010. Periods of Ineligibility.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
When a job ends and a claim is filed, the Department must determine the reason for the separation. If there is more than one separation from the same employer, eligibility for benefits will be based on the reason for the last separation occurring prior to the date the claim is filed. However, an existing prior denial of benefits which resulted in a disqualification based on a prior separation from the same employer, will continue until the claimant has earned six times the weekly benefit amount on the claim in which the disqualification took place.) Charge decisions will also be made on the last separation as provided in rule R994-307-101(1)(a)(i). A separation decision will be made and may affect eligibility even if the employer is not covered by the Act except no separation decision will be made on noncovered self employment cases.
(1) THC is defined in R994-202-102. Because the THC is the employer, eligibility for benefits of employees of a THC and the THC's liability for claims is based on the reason for the separation from the THC and not the reason for the separation from the client company. Once the Department determines the type of separation, it will then use the following rules to determine eligibility:
(a) R994-405-101 et seq. for a voluntary quit;
(b) R994-405-201 et seq. for a discharge or reduction of force;
(c) R994-405-210 et seq. for a discharge for a crime.
(2) If there is no contact between the claimant and the THC within a reasonable period of time after the assignment ends, the separation is considered a voluntary quit. A reasonable period of time is generally considered to be whatever is stipulated in the employment contract between the claimant and the THC but must be at least two business days.
(a) If it is an initial or reopened claim, the contact must be before the claim is filed or it is considered a voluntary quit.
(b) If the THC informs the claimant about the end of an assignment, the requirement for contact is considered to have been satisfied.
(3) If the claimant and the THC have the required contact and:
(a) the THC is willing to send the claimant out on future assignments, but no new work is offered, the separation is considered a reduction of force;
(b) the THC refuses to send the claimant out on any future assignments, the separation is considered a discharge;
(c) the THC suspends the claimant from future assignments for a specific period of time, the separation will be adjudicated as a discharge if the claimant files a claim during the suspension period. If the claim is filed after the suspension period is over, and no new work has been offered, the separation is considered a reduction of force; or
(d) the claimant refuses an offer for a new assignment, the job separation is a quit if the new assignment is similar to his or her previous assignments. The separation is a reduction of force and an offer of new work if the new assignment is substantially different from the previous assignments. The elements listed in R994-405-306 should be considered in determining if the new assignment is similar to past assignments.
(i) If the only work available is the assignment the claimant just left and the claimant refuses to return to that assignment, the separation is considered a voluntary quit.
(ii) If the claimant is no longer able to perform the type of work previously performed for the THC and the THC agrees to send the claimant out on work he or she is able to do when it is available, the separation is considered a quit and the THC may be eligible for relief of charges.
(1) PEO is defined in R994-202-106 and must be licensed pursuant to Sections 31A-40-301 through 306. PEOs are also known as employee leasing companies. PEOs are treated differently from a THC because the assignments are usually not of a temporary nature.
(2) When a client company contracts with a PEO, the PEO becomes the employer of the client company's employees. Because the client company is no longer the employer, a job separation has occurred. The job separation is a reduction of force and the client company is not eligible for relief of charges.
(3) When the contract between a PEO and a client company ends, a separation occurs. Regardless of the circumstances or which entity is the moving party, the affected employees are considered separated due to a reduction of force, and the PEO is not eligible for relief of charges. Any offers of work extended to affected employees subsequent to the termination of the contract shall be considered offers of new work and shall be adjudicated in accordance with 35A-4-405(3) and R994-405-301 et seq.
(4) If the contract between the client company and the PEO remains in effect and the claimant's assignment with the client company ends, the PEO, or the client company acting on the PEO's behalf, must provide written notice to the claimant instructing the claimant to contact the PEO within a reasonable time for a new assignment. A reasonable time to contact the PEO is generally considered to be two working days after the assignment ends. The written notice must be provided to the claimant when the assignment ends and must be provided even if the PEO has a contract with the claimant requiring the claimant to contact the PEO when an assignment ends.
(5) If the PEO or client company does not provide written notice as referenced in paragraph (4) of this section, unemployment benefits will be determined based on the reason the assignment with the client company ended.
(6) If the PEO provides the notice referenced in paragraph (4) of this section and the claimant contacts the PEO as instructed and:
(a) refuses a new work assignment that is similar to the claimant's previous assignments with the PEO, the job separation is a quit. The duties, wages, hours, and conditions of the new assignment will be considered in determining if the new assignment is similar to the previous assignments.
(b) refuses a new work assignment that is substantially different from the claimant's previous assignments, the job separation is a layoff and an offer of new work.
(c) the PEO has no new assignments, the job separation is a layoff.
(7) If the PEO does not intend to offer the claimant another assignment the PEO should not provide the written notice referenced in paragraph (4) of this section at the time of separation. If no notice is provided, the separation will be determined based on the reason for the separation from the client company.
(8) If the claimant does not contact the PEO after receiving notice given pursuant to paragraph (4) of this section, the job separation is a quit.
(1) A separation is considered voluntary if the claimant was the moving party in ending the employment relationship. A voluntary separation includes leaving existing work, or failing to return to work after:
(a) an employer attached layoff which meets the requirements for a deferral under R994-403-108b(1)(c),
(b) a suspension, or
(c) a period of absence initiated by the claimant.
(2) Failing to renew an employment contract may also constitute a voluntary separation.
(3) Two standards must be applied in voluntary separation cases: good cause and equity and good conscience. If good cause is not established, the claimant's eligibility must be considered under the equity and good conscience standard.
To establish good cause, a claimant must show that continuing the employment would have caused an adverse effect which the claimant could not control or prevent. The claimant must show that an immediate severance of the employment relationship was necessary. Good cause is also established if a claimant left work which is shown to have been illegal or to have been unsuitable new work.
(1) Adverse Effect on the Claimant.
The separation must have been motivated by circumstances that made the continuance of the employment a hardship or matter of concern, sufficiently adverse to a reasonable person so as to outweigh the benefits of remaining employed. There must have been actual or potential physical, mental, economic, personal or professional harm caused or aggravated by the employment. The claimant's decision to quit must be measured against the actions of an average individual, not one who is unusually sensitive.
(b) Ability to Control or Prevent.
Even though there is evidence of an adverse effect on the claimant, good cause will not be found if the claimant:
(i) reasonably could have continued working while looking for other employment,
(ii) had reasonable alternatives that would have made it possible to preserve the job like using approved leave, transferring, or making adjustments to personal circumstances, or,
(iii) did not give the employer notice of the circumstances causing the hardship thereby depriving the employer of an opportunity to make changes that would eliminate the need to quit. An employee with grievances must have made a good faith effort to work out the differences with the employer before quitting unless those efforts would have been futile.
Good cause is established if the claimant was required by the employer to violate state or federal law or if the claimant's legal rights were violated, provided the employer was aware of the violation and refused to comply with the law.
(3) Unsuitable New Work.
Good cause may also be established if a claimant left new work which, after a short trial period, was unsuitable consistent with the requirements of the suitable work test in Section R994-405-306. The fact the claimant accepted a job does not necessarily make the job suitable. The longer a job is held, the more it tends to negate the argument that the job was unsuitable. After a reasonable period of time a contention the quit was motivated by unsuitability of the job is generally no longer persuasive. The Department has an affirmative duty to determine whether the employment was suitable, even if the claimant does not raise suitability as an issue.
(1) If the good cause standard has not been met, the equity and good conscience standard must be considered in all cases except those involving a quit to accompany, follow, or join a spouse as provided in R994-405-104. If there are mitigating circumstances, and a denial of benefits would be unreasonably harsh or an affront to fairness, benefits may be allowed under the provisions of the equity and good conscience standard if the claimant:
(a) acted reasonably.
The claimant acted reasonably if the decision to quit was logical, sensible, or practical. There must be evidence of circumstances which, although not sufficiently compelling to establish good cause, would have motivated a reasonable person to take similar action, and,
(b) demonstrated a continuing attachment to the labor market.
A continuing attachment to the labor market is established if the claimant took positive actions which could have resulted in employment during the first week subsequent to the separation and each week thereafter. An active work search, as provided in R994-403-113c, should have commenced immediately after the separation whether or not the claimant received specific work search instructions from the Department. Failure to show an immediate attachment to the labor market may not be disqualifying if it was not practical for the claimant to seek work. Some circumstances that may interfere with an immediate work search include illness, hospitalization, incarceration, or other circumstances beyond the control of the claimant provided a work search commenced as soon as practical.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (3) if a claimant quit work to join, accompany, or follow a spouse or significant other to a new locality, good cause is not established. Furthermore, the equity and good conscience standard is not to be applied in this circumstance. It is the intent of this provision to deny benefits even though a claimant may have faced extremely compelling circumstances including the cost of maintaining two households and the desire to keep the family intact. If the claimant's employment is contingent on the spouse's military assignment and the spouse is reassigned, the separation will be considered a discharge.
(2) Quitting to get married is also disqualifying as provided in R994-405-107(7)(a).
(3)(a) A claimant who quits to accompany or follow his or her spouse to a new locality can establish good cause for quitting if the claimant can show all of the following:
(i) the claimant's spouse is a member of the United States armed forces and has been relocated by a full time assignment scheduled to last at least 180 days while on active duty as defined in 10 U.S.C. Sec. 101(d)(1) or active guard or reserve duty as defined in 10 U.S.C. Sec. 101(d)(6),
(ii) it is impractical for the claimant to commute to the previous work from the new locality, and
(iii) the claimant otherwise meets and follows the eligibility and reporting requirements including R994-403-112c(2)(a)(i).
(b) A claimant who is eligible under this subsection will be denied benefits for the limited period of time the claimant could have continued working up to 15 days before the scheduled start date of the spouse's active duty assignment as it is considered to be a failure to accept all available work as required under subsection 35A-4-403(1)(c).
(c) This subsection only applies to claims filed or reopened on or after May 6, 2012.
The claimant was the moving party in a voluntary separation, and is the best source of information with respect to the reasons for the quit. The claimant has the burden to establish that the elements of good cause or of equity and good conscience have been met. The failure of the claimant to provide information will not necessarily result in a ruling favorable to the employer. If the claimant quit unsuitable new work, the burden of proof as described in R994-405-308 applies.
(1) Refusal to Follow Instructions.
If the claimant refused or failed to follow reasonable requests or instructions, and knew the loss of employment would result, the separation is a quit.
(2) Leaving Prior to Effective Date of Termination.
(a) If a claimant leaves work prior to the date of an impending reduction of force, the separation is a quit. Notice of an impending layoff does not establish good cause for leaving work. However, the duration of available work may be a factor in considering whether a denial of benefits would be contrary to equity and good conscience. If the claimant is not disqualified for quitting benefits will be denied for the limited period of time the claimant could have continued working, as there was a failure to accept all available work as required under Subsection 35A-4-403(1)(c).
(b) If the claimant quit to avoid a disqualifying discharge the separation will be adjudicated as a discharge.
(3) Leaving Work Because of a Disciplinary Action.
If the disciplinary action or suspension was reasonable, leaving work rather than submitting to the discipline, or failing to return to work at the end of the suspension period, is considered a quit unless the claimant was previously disqualified as a result of the suspension.
(4) Leave of Absence.
If a claimant takes a leave of absence for any reason and files a claim while on such leave from the employer, the claimant will be considered unemployed and the separation is adjudicated as a quit, even though there still may be an attachment to the employer. If a claimant fails to return to work at the end of the leave of absence, the separation is a quit.
(5) Leaving Due to a Remark or Action of the Employer or a Coworker.
If a claimant hears rumors or other information suggesting he or she is to be laid off or discharged, the claimant has the responsibility to confirm, prior to leaving, that the employer intended to end the employment relationship. The claimant also has a responsibility to continue working until the date of an announced discharge. If the claimant failed to do so and if the employer did not intend to discharge or lay off the claimant, the separation is a quit.
(6) Resignation Intended.
If a claimant gives notice of his or her intent to leave at a future date and is paid regular wages through the announced resignation date, the separation is a quit even if the claimant was relieved of work responsibilities prior to the effective date of the resignation. A separation is also a quit if a claimant announces an intent to quit but agrees to continue working for an indefinite period as determined by the employer, even though the date of separation was determined by the employer. If a claimant resigns but later decides to stay and attempts to remain employed, the reasonableness of the employer's refusal to continue the employment is the primary factor in determining if the claimant quit or was discharged. For example, if the employer had already hired a replacement, or taken other action because of the claimant's impending quit, it may not be practical for the employer to allow the claimant to rescind the resignation, and the separation is a quit.
If a claimant submitted a resignation to be effective at a definite future date, but was relieved of work responsibilities and was not paid regular wages through the balance of the notice period, the separation is considered a discharge as the employer was the moving party in determining the final date of employment. Merely assigning vacation pay not previously assigned to the notice period does not make the separation a quit.
(7) If an employer tells a claimant it intends to discharge the claimant but allows the claimant to stay at work until he or she finds another job and the claimant decides to leave before finding another job, the separation is a quit. Good cause may be established if it would be unreasonable to require a claimant to remain employed after the employer has expressed its intent to discharge him or her.
(1) Prospects of Other Work.
Good cause is established if, at the time of separation, the claimant had a definite and immediate assurance of another job or self-employment that was reasonably expected to be full-time and permanent. However, if the new work is later determined to have been unsuitable and it is apparent the claimant knew, or should have known, about the unsuitability of the new work, but quit the first job and subsequently quit the new job, a disqualification will be assessed from the time the claimant quit the first job unless the claimant has purged the disqualification through earnings received while on the new job.
If, after giving notice but prior to leaving the first job, the claimant learns the new job will not be available when promised, permanent, full-time, or suitable, good cause may be established if the claimant immediately attempted to rescind the notice, unless such an attempt would have been futile.
(a) A definite assurance of another job means the claimant has been in contact with someone with the authority to hire, has been given a definite date to begin working and has been informed of the employment conditions.
(b) An immediate assurance of work generally means the prospective job will begin within two weeks from the last day the claimant was scheduled to work on the former job. Benefits will be denied for failure to accept all available work from the prior employer under the provisions of Subsection 35A-4-403(1)(c) if the claimant files during the period between the two jobs.
(2) Reduction of Hours.
The reduction of an employee's working hours generally does not establish good cause for leaving a job. However, in some cases, a reduction of hours may result in personal or financial hardship so severe the circumstances justify leaving.
(3) Personal Circumstances.
There may be personal circumstances that are sufficiently compelling or create sufficient hardship to establish good cause for leaving work, provided the claimant made a reasonable attempt to make adjustments or find alternatives prior to quitting.
(4) Leaving to Attend School.
Although leaving work to attend school may be a logical decision from the standpoint of personal advancement, it is not compelling or reasonable, within the meaning of the Act.
(5) Religious Beliefs.
To support an award of benefits following a voluntary separation due to religious beliefs, the work must conflict with a sincerely held religious or moral conviction. If a claimant was not required to violate such religious beliefs, quitting is not compelling or reasonable within the meaning of the Act. A change in the job requirements, such as requiring an employee to work on the employee's day of religious observance when such work was not agreed upon as a condition of hire, may establish good cause for leaving a job if the employer is unwilling to make adjustments.
If a claimant quits a job due to a lack of transportation, good cause may be established if the claimant has no other reasonable transportation options available. However, an availability issue may be raised in such a circumstance. If a move resulted in an increased distance to work beyond normal commuting patterns, the reason for the move, not the distance to the work, is the primary factor to consider when adjudicating the separation.
(a) Marriage is not considered a compelling or reasonable circumstance, within the meaning of the Act, for quitting employment. Therefore, if the claimant quit to get married, benefits will be denied even if the new residence is beyond a reasonable commuting distance from the claimant's former place of employment.
(b) If the employer has a rule requiring the separation of an employee who marries a coworker, the separation is a discharge even if the employer allowed the couple to decide who would leave.
(8) Health or Physical Condition.
(a) Although it is not essential for the claimant to have been advised by a physician to quit, a contention that health problems required the separation must be supported by competent evidence. Even if the work caused or aggravated a health problem, if there were alternatives, such as treatment, medication, or altered working conditions to alleviate the problem, good cause for quitting is not established.
(b) If the risk to the health or safety of the claimant was shared by all those employed in the particular occupation, it must be shown the claimant was affected to a greater extent than other workers. Absent such evidence, quitting was not reasonable.
(9) Retirement and Pension.
Voluntarily leaving work solely to accept retirement benefits is not a compelling reason for quitting, within the meaning of the Act. Although it may have been reasonable for a claimant to take advantage of a retirement benefit, payment of unemployment benefits in this circumstance is not consistent with the intent of the Unemployment Insurance program, and a denial of benefits is not contrary to equity and good conscience.
(10) Sexual Harassment.
(a) A claimant may have good cause for leaving if the quit was due to discriminatory and unlawful sexual harassment, provided the employer was given a chance to take necessary action to stop the objectionable conduct. If it would have been futile to complain, as when the owner or top manager of the employer company is causing the harassment, the requirement that the employer be given an opportunity to stop the conduct is not necessary. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the United States Code and the Utah Anti-Discrimination Act.
(b) "Sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
(i) submission to the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment, or
(ii) submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for an employment decision affecting the person, or
(iii) the conduct has a purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
(c) Inappropriate behavior which has sexual connotation but does not meet the test of sexual discrimination is insufficient to establish good cause for leaving work.
A claimant may have good cause for leaving if the quit was due to prohibited discrimination, provided the employer was given a chance to take necessary action to stop the objectionable conduct. If it would have been futile to complain, as when the owner or top manager of the employer company is the cause of the discrimination, the requirement that the employer be given an opportunity to stop the conduct is not necessary. It is a violation of federal law to discriminate against employees regarding compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of race, color, religion, sex, age or national origin; or to limit, segregate, or classify employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive them of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their employment status because of race, color, religion, sex, age or national origin.
(12) Voluntary Acceptance of Layoff.
If the employer wishes to reduce its workforce and gives the employees the option to volunteer for the layoff, those who do volunteer are separated due to reduction of force regardless of incentives.
A disqualification based on a job separation begins the Sunday of the week in which the job separation took place. If the claimant did not file for benefits the week of the separation, the disqualification begins with the effective date of the new or reopened claim. The disqualification ends when the claimant earns requalifying wages equal to six times his or her WBA in bona fide covered employment as defined in R994-201-101(9). The WBA used to determine requalifying wages under this section is the WBA of the original claim. A disqualification that begins in one benefit year will continue into a new benefit year unless the claimant has earned requalifying wages. Severance or vacation pay cannot be used as requalifying wages.
The claimant must show a relationship between the reason or reasons for quitting both as to cause and time. If the claimant did not quit immediately after becoming aware of the adverse conditions which led to the decision to quit, a presumption arises that the claimant quit for other reasons. The presumption may be overcome by showing the delay was due to the claimant's reasonable attempts to cure the problem.
A separation is a discharge if the employer was the moving party in determining the date the employment ended. Benefits will be denied if the claimant was discharged for just cause or for an act or omission in connection with employment, not constituting a crime, which was deliberate, willful, or wanton and adverse to the employer's rightful interest. However, not every legitimate cause for discharge justifies a denial of benefits. A just cause discharge must include some fault on the part of the claimant. A reduction of force is considered a discharge without just cause.
To establish just cause for a discharge, each of the following three elements must be satisfied:
The conduct causing the discharge must be so serious that continuing the employment relationship would jeopardize the employer's rightful interest. If the conduct was an isolated incident of poor judgment and there was no expectation it would be continued or repeated, potential harm may not be shown. The claimant's prior work record is an important factor in determining whether the conduct was an isolated incident or a good faith error in judgment. An employer might not be able to demonstrate that a single violation, even though harmful, would be repeated by a long-term employee with an established pattern of complying with the employer's rules. In this instance, depending on the seriousness of the conduct, it may not be necessary for the employer to discharge the claimant to avoid future harm.
The claimant must have had knowledge of the conduct the employer expected. There does not need to be evidence of a deliberate intent to harm the employer; however, it must be shown the claimant should have been able to anticipate the negative effect of the conduct. Generally, knowledge may not be established unless the employer gave a clear explanation of the expected behavior or had a written policy, except in the case of a violation of a universal standard of conduct. A specific warning is one way to show the claimant had knowledge of the expected conduct. After a warning the claimant should have been given an opportunity to correct the objectionable conduct. If the employer had a progressive disciplinary procedure in place at the time of the separation, it generally must have been followed for knowledge to be established, except in the case of very severe infractions, including criminal actions.
(a) The conduct causing the discharge must have been within the claimant's control. Isolated instances of carelessness or good faith errors in judgment are not sufficient to establish just cause for discharge. However, continued inefficiency, repeated carelessness or evidence of a lack of care expected of a reasonable person in a similar circumstance may satisfy the element of control if the claimant had the ability to perform satisfactorily.
(b) The Department recognizes that in order to maintain efficiency it may be necessary to discharge workers who do not meet performance standards. While such a circumstance may provide a basis for discharge, this does not mean benefits will be denied. To satisfy the element of control in cases involving a discharge due to unsatisfactory work performance, it must be shown the claimant had the ability to perform the job duties in a satisfactory manner. In general, if the claimant made a good faith effort to meet the job requirements but failed to do so due to a lack of skill or ability and a discharge results, just cause is not established.
In a discharge, the employer initiates the separation and therefore has the burden to prove there was just cause for discharging the claimant. The failure of the employer to provide information will not necessarily result in a ruling favorable to the claimant. Interested parties have the right to rebut information contrary to their interests.
The circumstances of the separation as found by the Department determine whether it was a quit or discharge. The conclusions on the employer's records, the separation notice, or the claimant's report are not controlling.
(1) Discharge Before Effective Date of Resignation.
If a claimant notifies the employer of an intent to leave work on a definite date, and the employer ends the employment relationship prior to that date, the separation is a discharge unless the claimant is paid through the resignation date. Unless there is some other evidence of disqualifying conduct, benefits will be awarded.
If the claimant gives notice of an intent to leave work on a particular date and is paid regular wages through the announced resignation date, the separation is a quit even if the claimant was relieved of work responsibilities prior to the effective date of resignation. A separation is also a quit if a claimant announces an intent to quit but agrees to continue working for an indefinite period, even though the date of separation is determined by the employer. The claimant is not considered to have quit merely by saying he or she is looking for a new job. If a claimant resigns but later decides to stay and announces an intent to remain employed, the reasonableness of the employer's refusal to continue the employment is the primary factor in determining whether the claimant quit or was discharged. If the employer had already hired a replacement, or had taken other action because of the claimant's impending quit, it may not be practical for the employer to allow the claimant to rescind the resignation, and it would be held the separation was a quit.
(2) Leaving in Anticipation of Discharge.
If a claimant leaves work in anticipation of a possible discharge and if the reason for the discharge would not have been disqualifying, the separation is a quit. A claimant may not escape a disqualification under the discharge provisions, Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(a), by quitting to avoid a discharge that would result in a denial of benefits. In this circumstance the separation is considered a discharge.
(3) Refusal to Follow Instructions.
If the claimant refused or failed to follow reasonable requests or instructions, and knew the loss of employment would result, the separation is a quit.
When a claimant is placed on a disciplinary suspension, the definition of being unemployed may be satisfied. If a claimant files during the suspension period, the matter will be adjudicated as a discharge, even though the claimant may have an attachment to the employer and may expect to return to work. A suspension that is reasonable and necessary to prevent potential harm to the employer will generally result in a disqualification if the elements of knowledge and control are established. If the claimant fails to return to work at the end of the suspension period, the separation is a voluntary quit and may then be adjudicated under Subsection 35A-4-405(1), if benefits had not been previously denied.
(1) The cause for discharge is the conduct that motivated the employer to make the decision to discharge the claimant. If a separation decision has been made, it is generally demonstrated by giving notice to the claimant. Although the employer may learn of other offenses following the decision to terminate the claimant's services, the reason for the discharge is limited to the conduct the employer was aware of prior to making the separation decision. If an employer discharged a claimant because of preliminary evidence, but did not obtain "proof" of the conduct until after the separation notice was given, it may still be concluded the discharge was caused by the conduct the employer was investigating.
(2) If the discharge did not occur immediately after the employer became aware of an offense, a presumption arises that there were other reasons for the discharge. The relationship between the offense and the discharge must be established both as to cause and time. The presumption that a particular offense was not the cause of the discharge may be overcome by showing the delay was necessary to accommodate further investigation, arbitration or hearings related to the claimant's conduct. If a claimant files for benefits while a grievance or arbitration process is pending, the Department shall make a decision based on the best information available. The Department's decision is not binding on the grievance process nor is the decision of an arbitrator binding upon the Department. If an employer elects to reduce its workforce and uses a claimant's prior conduct as the criteria for determining who will be laid off, the separation is a reduction of force.
Disqualifying conduct is not limited to offenses that take place on the employer's premises or during business hours. However, it is necessary that the offense be connected to the employment in such a manner that it is a subject of legitimate and significant concern to the employer. Employers generally have the right to expect that employees will refrain from acts detrimental to the business or that would bring dishonor to the business name or institution. Legitimate interests of employers include: goodwill, efficiency, employee morale, discipline, honesty and trust.
In the following examples, the basic elements of just cause must be considered in determining eligibility for benefits.
(1) Violation of Company Rules.
If a claimant violates a reasonable employment rule and just cause is established, benefits will be denied.
(a) An employer has the prerogative to establish and enforce work rules that further legitimate business interests. However, rules contrary to general public policy or that infringe upon the recognized rights and privileges of individuals may not be reasonable. If a claimant believes a rule is unreasonable, the claimant generally has the responsibility to discuss these concerns with the employer before engaging in conduct contrary to the rule, thereby giving the employer an opportunity to address those concerns. When rules are changed, the employer must provide appropriate notice and afford workers a reasonable opportunity to comply.
(b) If an employment relationship is governed by a formal employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, just cause may only be established if the discharge is consistent with the provisions of the contract.
(c) Habitual offenses may not constitute disqualifying conduct if the acts were condoned by the employer or were so prevalent as to be customary. However, if a claimant was given notice the conduct would no longer be tolerated, further violations may result in a denial of benefits.
(d) Culpability may be established if the violation of the rule did not, in and of itself, cause harm to the employer, but the lack of compliance diminished the employer's ability to maintain necessary discipline.
(e) Serious violations of universal standards of conduct do not require prior warning to support a disqualification.
(2) Attendance Violations.
(a) Attendance standards are usually necessary to maintain order, control, and productivity. It is the responsibility of a claimant to be punctual and remain at work within the reasonable requirements of the employer. A discharge for unjustified absence or tardiness is disqualifying if the claimant knew enforced attendance rules were being violated. A discharge for an attendance violation beyond the claimant's control is generally not disqualifying unless the claimant could reasonably have given notice or obtained permission consistent with the employer's rules, but failed to do so.
(b) In cases of discharge for violations of attendance standards, the claimant's recent attendance history must be reviewed to determine if the violation is an isolated incident, or if it demonstrates a pattern of unjustified absence within the claimant's control. The flagrant misuse of attendance privileges may result in a denial of benefits even if the last incident is beyond the claimant's control.
(3) Falsification of Work Record.
The duty of honesty is inherent in any employment relationship. An employee or potential employee has an obligation to truthfully answer material questions posed by the employer or potential employer. For purposes of this subsection, material questions are those that may expose the employer to possible loss, damage or litigation if answered falsely. If false statements were made as part of the application process, benefits may be denied regardless of whether the claimant would have been hired if all questions were answered truthfully.
An employer generally has the right to expect lines of authority will be followed; reasonable instructions, given in a civil manner, will be obeyed; supervisors will be respected and their authority will not be undermined. In determining when insubordination becomes disqualifying conduct, a disregard of the employer's rightful and legitimate interests is of major importance. Protesting or expressing general dissatisfaction without an overt act is not a disregard of the employer's interests. However, provocative remarks to a superior or vulgar or profane language in response to a civil request may constitute insubordination if it disrupts routine, undermines authority or impairs efficiency. Mere incompatibility or emphatic insistence or discussion by a claimant, acting in good faith, is not disqualifying conduct.
(5) Loss of License.
If the discharge is due to the loss of a required license and the claimant had control over the circumstances that resulted in the loss, the conduct is generally disqualifying. Harm is established as the employer would generally be exposed to an unacceptable degree of risk by allowing an employee to continue to work without a required license. In the example of a lost driving privilege due to driving under the influence (DUI), knowledge is established as it is understood by members of the driving public that driving under the influence of alcohol is a violation of the law and may be punishable by the loss of driving privileges. Control is established as the claimant made a decision to risk the loss of his or her license by failing to make other arrangements for transportation.
When a claimant engages in illegal activities, it must be recognized that the possibility of arrest and detention for some period of time exists. It is foreseeable that incarceration will result in absence from work and possible loss of employment. Generally, a discharge for failure to report to work because of incarceration due to proven or admitted criminal conduct is disqualifying.
(7) Abuse of Drugs and Alcohol.
(a) The Legislature, under the Utah Drug and Alcohol Testing Act, Section 34-38-1 et seq., has determined the illegal use of drugs and abuse of alcohol creates an unsafe and unproductive workplace. In balancing the interests of employees, employers and the welfare of the general public, the Legislature has determined the fair and equitable testing for drug and alcohol use is a reasonable employment policy.
(b) An employer can establish a prima facie case of ineligibility for benefits under the Employment Security Act based on testing conducted under the Drug and Alcohol Testing Act by providing the following information:
(i) A written policy on drug or alcohol testing consistent with the requirements of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Act and that was in place at the time the violation occurred.
(ii) Reasonable proof and description of the method for communicating the policy to all employees, including a statement that violation of the policy may result in discharge.
(iii) Proof of testing procedures used which would include:
(A) Documentation of sample collection, storage and transportation procedures.
(B) Documentation that the results of any screening test for drugs and alcohol were verified or confirmed by reliable testing methods.
(C) A copy of the verified or confirmed positive drug or alcohol test report.
(c) The above documentation shall be admissible as competent evidence under various exceptions to the hearsay rule, including Rule 803(6) of the Utah Rules of Evidence respecting "records of regularly conducted activity," unless determined otherwise by a court of law.
(d) A positive alcohol test result shall be considered disqualifying if it shows a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or greater per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath. A blood or breath alcohol concentration of less than 0.08 grams may also be disqualifying if the claimant worked in an occupation governed by a state or federal law that allowed or required discharge at a lower standard.
(e) Proof of a verified or confirmed positive drug or alcohol test result or refusal to provide a proper test sample is a violation of a reasonable employer rule. The claimant may be disqualified from the receipt of benefits if his or her separation was consistent with the employer's written drug and alcohol policy.
(f) In addition to the drug and alcohol testing provisions above, ineligibility for benefits under the Employment Security Act may be established through the introduction of other competent evidence.
A disqualification based on a job separation begins the Sunday of the week in which the job separation took place. If the claimant did not file for benefits the week of the separation, the disqualification begins with the effective date of the new or reopened claim. The disqualification ends when the claimant earns requalifying wages equal to six times his or her WBA in bona fide covered employment as defined in R994-201-101(9). The WBA used to determine requalifying wages under this section is the WBA of the original claim. A disqualification that begins in one benefit year will continue into a new benefit year unless the claimant has earned requalifying wages. Severance or vacation pay cannot be used as requalifying wages.
(1) A crime is a punishable act in violation of law, an offense against the State or the United States. Though in common usage "crime" is used to denote offenses of a more serious nature, the term "crime" as used in these sections, includes "misdemeanors". An insignificant, although illegal act, or the taking or destruction of something that is of little or no value, or believed to have been abandoned may not be sufficient to establish a crime was committed for the purposes of Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(b), even if the claimant was found guilty of a violation of the law. Before a claimant may be disqualified under the provisions of Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(b), it must be established the claimant was discharged for a crime that:
(a) was in connection with work,
(b) involved dishonesty constituting a crime or a felony or class A misdemeanor, and
(c) was admitted or established by a conviction in a court of law.
(2) Discharges that are not disqualifying under Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(b), discharge for crime, must be adjudicated under Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(a), discharge for just cause.
Connection to the work is not limited to offenses that take place on the employer's premises or during business hours nor does the employer have to be the victim of the crime. However, the crime must have affected the employer's rightful interests. The offense must be connected to the employment in such a manner that it is a subject of legitimate and significant concern to the employer. Employers generally have the right to expect that employees will refrain from acts detrimental to the business or that would bring dishonor to the business name or institution. Legitimate employer interests include goodwill, efficiency, business costs, employee morale, discipline, honesty, trust and loyalty.
(1) For the purposes of this subsection, dishonesty generally means theft. Theft is defined as taking property without the owner's consent. Theft also includes swindling, embezzlement and obtaining possession of property by lawful means and thereafter converting it to the taker's own use. Theft includes:
(a) obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over property;
(b) obtaining control over property by threat or deception;
(c) obtaining control knowing the property was stolen; and,
(d) obtaining services from another by deception, threat, coercion, stealth, mechanical tampering or by use of a false token or device.
(2) Felonies and Class A misdemeanors are also disqualifying even if they are not theft-related such as assault, arson, or destruction of property. Whether the crime is a felony or misdemeanor is determined by the court's verdict and not by the penalty imposed.
(3) A disqualification under this Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(b) may be assessed against Utah claimants based upon equivalent convictions in other states.
(1) An admission offered to satisfy the requirements of R994-405-210(1)(c), must be a voluntary statement, verbal or written, in which a claimant acknowledges committing an act that is a violation of the law. The admission does not necessarily have to be made to a Department representative, however, the admission must have been made freely and not a false statement given under duress or made to obtain some concession.
(2) If the requirements of R994-405-210(1) have been met, a disqualification may be assessed even if no criminal charges have been filed and even if it appears the claimant will not be prosecuted. If the claimant agrees to a diversionary program as permitted by the court or enters a plea in abeyance, there is a rebuttable presumption, for the purposes of this subsection, that the claimant has admitted to the criminal act.
(3) A conviction occurs when a claimant has been found guilty by a court of committing an act in violation of the criminal code. Under Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(b), a plea of "no contest" is considered a conviction.
The 52-week disqualification period for Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(b) begins the Sunday immediately preceding the discharge even if this date precedes the effective date of the claim. A disqualification which begins in one benefit year shall continue into a new benefit year until the 52-week disqualification has ended.
The wage credits to be deleted are those from the employer who discharged the claimant under circumstances resulting in a denial under Subsection 35A-4-405(2)(b), "Discharge for Crime." All base period and lag period wages from this employer will be unavailable for current or future claims. Lag period wages are wages paid after the base period but prior to the effective date of the claim.
If a claimant is disqualified from the receipt of unemployment benefits because he or she was discharged for a crime in connection with work, the claim will be established for 52 weeks and cannot be canceled as provided in R994-403-102a(3).
(1) The primary obligation of a claimant is to become reemployed. The intent of the unemployment insurance program is to assist people during periods of unemployment when suitable work is not available. However, if suitable work is available, the claimant has an obligation to properly apply for and accept offered work.
(2) A claimant will not be disqualified for failing to apply for or accept suitable work unless all of the following elements are established:
(a) Availability of a Job.
There must be an actual job opening the claimant could reasonably expect to obtain.
It must be shown that the claimant knew, or should have known, about the job including the wage, type of work, hours, general location, and conditions of the job. The claimant must understand a referral for work is being offered as opposed to a general discussion of job possibilities or labor market conditions. If a job offer is made, it must be clearly communicated as an offer of work.
The failure of the claimant to obtain the employment must be the result of the claimant's own actions or behavior in failing to:
(i) accept a referral, or
(ii) properly apply for work, or
(iii) accept work when offered.
(3) If the elements of Subsection (2) above have been met, benefits will be denied under Subsection 35A-4-405(3) unless:
(a) the job is not suitable;
(b) the claimant had good cause for refusing a referral, the failure to apply for or accept the job; or
(c) a denial of benefits would be contrary to equity and good conscience.
(1) Definition of a Referral. A referral occurs when the department provides information about a job opening to the claimant and the claimant is given the opportunity to apply. The information must meet the requirements of R994-405-301(2)(b).
(2) Failure to Accept a Referral. A claimant fails to accept a referral when he or she prevents or discourages the Department from providing the necessary referral information. Failing to respond to a notice to contact the Department for the purpose of being referred to a specific job is the same as refusing a referral for possible employment.
(3) If there was a suitable job opening to which the claimant would have been referred, benefits will be denied unless good cause is established for not responding as directed, or the elements of equity and good conscience are established.
A proper application for work is established if the claimant does those things normally done by applicants who are seriously and actively seeking work. Generally, the claimant must:
(1) meet with the employer at the designated time and place,
(2) report to the employer dressed and groomed in a manner appropriate for the type of work being sought,
(3) present no unreasonable conditions or restrictions on acceptance of the available work and
(4) report for and pass a drug test if necessary.
It will be considered to be a refusal of new work if the claimant engages in conduct which discourages an offer of work, places unreasonable barriers to employment, or accepts an offer of new work but imposes unreasonable conditions which causes the offer to be rescinded. A refusal of work will not result in a denial of benefits if the claimant has accepted a definite offer of full-time employment which is expected to start within three weeks or has a date of recall to full-time work expected to begin within three weeks.
(1) The unemployment compensation system is not intended to exert downward pressure on existing labor standards, nor is it intended to allow claimants to restrict availability to jobs with increased wages or improved working conditions.
(2) Workers should not feel compelled, through a threatened or potential denial of benefits, to accept work under less favorable conditions than those generally available in the area for similar work. The phrase "similar work" does not mean "identical work." Similar work is work in the same occupation or a different occupation which requires essentially the same skills.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no work shall be deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied under this chapter to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:
(a) If the position offered is vacant due to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute;
(b) If the wages, hours, or other conditions of work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality; or
(c) If as a condition of being employed, the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization.
A claimant is not required to accept an offer of new work unless the work is suitable. Whether a job is suitable depends on the length of time the claimant has been unemployed. As the length of unemployment increases, the claimant's demands with respect to earnings, working conditions, job duties, and the use of prior training must be systematically reduced unless the claimant has immediate prospects of reemployment. The following elements must be considered in determining the suitability of employment:
(1) Prior Earnings.
Work is not suitable if the wage is less than the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is applicable.
The claimant's prior earnings, length of unemployment and prospects of obtaining work are the primary factors in determining whether the wage is suitable. If a claimant's former wage was earned in another geographical area, the prevailing wage is determined by the new area.
(a) Until the claimant has received 50% of the maximum benefit amount (MBA) for his or her regular claim, work paying at least the customary wage earned during the base period is suitable. Customary wage is defined as the wage earned during the majority of the base period.
(b) After a claimant has received 50% of the MBA for his or her regular claim, any work paying a wage that is at least 75% of the customary wage earned during the base period is suitable.
(2) Prior Experience.
A claimant must be given a reasonable time to seek work that will preserve his or her customary skills. Customary skills or skill level, as used in this subsection, is defined as skills used during a majority of the base period. However, if a claimant has no realistic expectation of obtaining employment in an occupation utilizing his or her customary skill level, work in related occupations becomes suitable.
After the claimant has received 50% of the MBA for his or her regular claim, any work that he or she can reasonably perform consistent with the claimant's past work experience, training and skills is considered suitable.
(3) Working Conditions.
"Working conditions" refers to the provisions of the employment agreement whether express or implied as well as the physical conditions of the work.Working conditions include the following:
(a) Hours of Work.
Claimants are expected to make themselves available for work during the usual hours for similar work in the area provided they are not in violation of the law. However, the hours the claimant worked during his or her base period are generally considered suitable. A claimant's preference for certain hours or shifts based on mere convenience is not good cause for failure to accept otherwise suitable employment.
(b) Fringe Benefits.
Working conditions include fringe benefits such as health insurance, pensions, and retirement provisions.
(c) Labor Disputes or Law Violations.
Work is not suitable if the working conditions are in violation of any state or federal law, or the job opening is due to a strike, lockout, or labor dispute. If a claimant was laid off or furloughed prior to the labor dispute, and the former employer makes an offer of employment after the dispute begins, it is considered an offer of new work. The vacancy must be presumed to be the result of the labor dispute unless the claimant had a definite date of recall, or recall has historically occurred at a similar time.
(4) Prior Training.
The type of work performed during the claimant's base period is suitable unless there is a compelling circumstance that would prevent returning to work in that occupation. If a claimant has training that would now meet the qualifications for a new occupation, work in that occupation may also be suitable, particularly if the training was obtained, at least in part, while the claimant was receiving unemployment benefits under Department approval, or the training was subsidized by another government program.
(5) Risk to Health and Safety.
Work is not suitable if it presents a risk to a claimant's physical or mental health greater than the usual risks associated with the occupation. If a claimant would be required, as a condition of employment, to perform tasks that would cause or substantially aggravate health problems, the work is not suitable.
(6) Physical Fitness.
The claimant must be physically capable of performing the work. Employment beyond the claimant's physical capacity is not suitable.
(7) Distance of the Available Work from the Claimant's Residence.
To be considered suitable, the work must be within customary commuting patterns as they apply to the occupation and area. A claimant's failure to provide his or her own transportation within the normal or customary commuting pattern in the area, or failure to utilize alternative sources of transportation when available, does not establish good cause for failing to apply for or accept suitable work. Work is not suitable if accepting the employment would require a move from the current area of residence unless that is a usual practice in the occupation.
(8) Religious or Moral Convictions.
The work must conflict with sincerely held religious or moral convictions before a conscientious objection could support a conclusion that the work was not suitable. This does not mean all personal beliefs are entitled to protection. However, beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others, or shared with members of a religious or other organized group in order to show the conviction is held in good faith.
(9) Part-time or Temporary Work.
Part-time or temporary work may be suitable depending on the claimant's work history. If the major portion of a claimant's base period work history consists of part-time or temporary work, then any work which is otherwise suitable would be considered suitable even if the work is part-time or temporary. If the claimant has no recent history of temporary or part-time work, the work may still be considered suitable, particularly if the claimant has been unemployed for an extended period and does not have an immediate prospect of full-time work.
(1) All work is performed under a contract of employment between a worker and an employer whether written, oral, or implied. The contract addresses the job duties, as well as the terms and conditions under which the work is to be performed. A substantial change in the duties, terms, or conditions of the work, not authorized by the existing employment contract, is in effect a termination of the existing contract and the offer of a new contract and constitutes a separation and an offer of new work.
(2) The provisions of R994-405-310 are used to determine if the new contract constitutes suitable work. A request to perform different duties that are customary in the occupation and that do not result in a loss of skills, wages, or benefits, does not constitute an offer of a new work, even if those duties are not specified as part of the official job requirements. The contract of employment has not changed if it is customary for workers to perform short-term tasks involving different or new duties and those assignments do not replace the regular duties of the worker. It is not considered to be a termination of the existing contract and an offer of new work if the claimant fails to return after a vacation, with or without pay, or a short-term layoff for a definite period. A short-term layoff must meet the requirements for a deferral under R994-403-108b(1)(c).
(3) New work is defined as:
(a) work offered by an employer for whom the individual has never worked;
(b) work offered by an individual's current employer involving duties, terms, or conditions substantially different from those agreed upon as part of the existing contract of employment; or
(c) reemployment offered by an employer for whom the individual is not working at the time the offer is made, whether the conditions of employment are the same or different from the previous job.
(1) The statute requires that the wage, hours, and other conditions of the work shall not be substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the area in order to be considered suitable work. The Department has the burden to prove that the work offered meets these minimum standards before benefits can be denied. Before benefits may be denied, the Department must show:
(a) the job was available,
(b) the claimant had an opportunity to learn about the conditions of employment,
(c) the claimant had an opportunity to apply for or accept the job, and
(d) the claimant's action or inaction resulted in the failure to obtain the job.
(2) When the Department has established all of the elements in paragraph (1) of this subsection, a disqualification must be assessed unless it can be established that the work was not suitable, that there was good cause for failing to obtain the job, or the claimant or the Department can show that a disqualification would be contrary to equity and good conscience.
(3) The Department has the option, but not the obligation, to review Department records concerning the claimant's wages and work history to determine suitability in cases where the claimant has not provided a reason for refusing the job, or the claimant's stated reason for refusing the job was for a reason other than suitability. In these cases, department intervention would only be appropriate if the available information establishes that a denial would be an affront to fairness.
(1) The disqualification period imposed under Subsection 35A-4-405(3) begins the Sunday of the week in which the claimant's action or inaction resulted in the failure to obtain employment or the first week the work was available, whichever is later. The disqualification ends when the claimant earns requalifying wages equal to six times his or her WBA in bona fide covered employment as defined in R994-201-101(9). The WBA used to determine requalifying wages under this section is the WBA of the original claim. A disqualification that begins in one benefit year will continue into a new benefit year unless the claimant has earned requalifying wages. Severance or vacation pay cannot be used as requalifying wages.
(2) A disqualification will be assessed as of the effective date of a new claim if the claimant refused an offer of suitable work after his or her last job ended and prior to the effective date of the claim. A disqualification will also be assessed as of the reopening date, if the claimant refused an offer of suitable work after his or her last job ended and prior to the reopening date.
(1) Good cause for failing to accept available work is established if the work is not suitable or accepting the job would cause hardship which the claimant was unable to overcome. Hardship can only be established if the claimant can show that the employment would result in actual or potential physical, mental, economic, personal, or professional harm.
(2) Good cause is limited to circumstances which were beyond the claimant's control or were compelling and reasonable.
(3) A claimant may have good cause for failing to obtain employment due to personal circumstances if acceptance of the employment would cause a substantial hardship and there are no reasonable alternatives. However, if a personal circumstance prevents the acceptance of suitable employment, there is a presumption the claimant is not able or available for work.
(4) Good cause is not established if a claimant refuses suitable work because the work will interfere with school or training. Claimants attending school full-time with Department approval are not required to seek work.
A claimant will not be denied benefits for failing to apply for or accept work if it would be contrary to equity and good conscience, even though good cause has not been established. If there are mitigating circumstances and a denial of benefits would be unreasonably harsh or an affront to fairness, benefits may be allowed. A mitigating circumstance is one that may not be sufficiently compelling to establish good cause, but would motivate a reasonable person to take similar action. In order to establish eligibility under the equity and good conscience standard the following elements must be shown:
The claimant must have acted reasonably and the decision to refuse the offer of work was logical, sensible, or practical.
(2) Continuing Attachment to the Labor Market.
The claimant must show evidence of a genuine and continuing attachment to the labor market by making an active and consistent effort to become reemployed. The claimant must have a realistic plan for obtaining suitable employment and show evidence of employer contacts prior to, during, and after the week the job in question was available.
Claimants may be ineligible for unemployment benefits when the unemployment is due to a strike.
All of the following elements must be present before a disqualification will be assessed under Subsection 35A-4-405(4):
(1) the claimant's unemployment must be the result of an ongoing strike,
(2) the strike must involve workers at the factory or establishment of the claimant's last employment;
(3) the strike must have been initiated by the workers,
(4) the employer must not have conspired, planned or agreed to foment the strike,
(5) there must be a stoppage of work,
(6) the strike must involve the claimant's grade, group or class of workers, and,
(7) the strike must not have been caused by the employer's failure to comply with State or Federal laws governing wages, hours or other conditions of work.
(1) The claimant's unemployment must be the result of an ongoing strike. A strike exists when combined workers refuse to work except upon a certain contingency involving concessions either by the employer or the bargaining unit. A strike consists of at least four components in addition to the suspended employer-employee relationship:
(a) a demand for some concession,
(b) a refusal to work with intent to bring about compliance with demands,
(c) an intention to return to work when an agreement is reached, and
(d) an intention on the part of the employer to re-employ the same employees or employees of a similar class when the demands are acceded to or withdrawn or otherwise adjusted.
(2) A strike may exist without such actions as a proclamation preceding a stoppage of work or pickets at the business or industry announcing an intent and purpose to go out on strike. Although a strike involves a labor dispute, a labor dispute can exist without a strike and a strike can exist without a union. The party or group who first resorts to the use of economic sanctions to settle a dispute must bear the responsibility. A strike occurs when workers withhold services. A lockout occurs when the employer withholds work because of a labor dispute including: the physical closing of the place of employment, refusing to furnish available work to regular employees, or by imposing such terms on their continued employment so that the work becomes unsuitable or the employees could not reasonably be expected to continue to work.
(3) The following are examples of when unemployment is due to a strike;
(a) a strike is formally and properly announced by a union or bargaining group, and as a result of that announcement, the affected employer takes necessary defensive action to discontinue operations,
(b) after a strike begins the employer suspends work because of possible destruction or damage to which the employer's property would not otherwise be exposed, provided the measures taken are those that are reasonably required,
(c) if the employer is not required by contract to submit the dispute to arbitration and the workers ceased working because the employer rejects a proposal by the union or bargaining group to submit the dispute to arbitration, or
(d) upon the expiration of an existing contract, whether or not negotiations have ceased, the employer is willing to furnish work to the employees upon the terms and conditions in force under the expired contract.
(4) The following are examples of when unemployment is not due to a strike;
(a) the claimant was separated from employment for some other reason that occurred prior to the strike, for example: a quit, discharge or a layoff even if the layoff is caused by a strike at an industry upon which the employer is dependent,
(b) the claimant was replaced by other permanent employees,
(c) the claimant was on a temporary layoff, prior to the strike, with a predetermined date of recall; however, if the claimant refuses to return to his or her regular job when called on the predetermined date his or her subsequent unemployment is due to a strike,
(d) as a result of start up delays, the claimant is not recalled to work for a period after the settlement of the strike,
(e) the employer refuses to agree to binding arbitration when the contract provides that the dispute shall be submitted to arbitration, or
(f) the claimant is unemployed due to a lockout. The immediate cause of the work stoppage determines if it is a strike or a lockout depending on who first imposes economic sanctions. A lockout occurs when;
(i) the employer takes the first action to suspend operations resulting from a dispute with employees over wages, hours, or working conditions,
(ii) an employer, anticipating that employees will go on strike, but prior to a positive action by the workers, curtails operations by advising employees not to report for work until further notice. Positive action can include a walkout or formal announcement that the employees are on strike. In this case the immediate cause of the unemployment is the employer's actions, even if a strike is subsequently called., or
(iii) upon expiration of an existing contract where the employer is seeking to obtain unreasonable wage concessions, the employees offer to work at the rate of the expired agreement and continue to bargain in good faith.
(1) "At the factory or establishment" of last employment may include any job sites where the work is performed by any members of the grade, group or class of employees involved in the labor dispute, and is not limited to the employer's business address.
(2) "Last employment" is not limited to the last work performed prior to the filing of the claim, but means the last work prior to the strike. If the claimant becomes unemployed due to a strike, the provisions of Subsection 35A-4-405(4) apply beginning with the week in which the strike began even if the claimant did not file for benefits immediately and continues until the strike ends or until the claimant establishes subsequent eligibility as required by Subsection 35A-4-405(4)(c). For example: the claimant left work for employer A due to a disqualifying strike, and then obtained work for employer B where he or she worked for a short period of time before being laid off due to reduction of force. If he or she then files for unemployment benefits, and cannot qualify monetarily for benefits based solely on his or her employment with employer B, the claimant is not eligible for unemployment benefits.
A strike will not result in a denial of benefits to claimants if the employer or any of its agents or representatives conspired, planned or agreed with any of the workers in promoting or inciting the development of the strike.
Work stoppage means that the claimant is no longer working but it is not necessary for the employer to be unable to continue to conduct business. For the purposes of this rule, a work stoppage exists when an employee chooses to withhold his services in concert with fellow employees.
(1) A claimant is a member of the grade, group or class if:
(a) the dispute affects hours, wages, or working conditions of the claimant, even if the claimant is not a member of the group conducting the strike or not in sympathy with its purposes,
(b) the labor dispute concerns all of the employees and as a direct result causes a stoppage of their work,
(c) the claimant is covered either by the bargaining unit or is a member of the union, or
(d) the claimant voluntarily refuses to cross a peaceful picket line even when the picket line is being maintained by another group of workers.
(2) A claimant is not included in the grade, group or class if:
(a) the claimant is not participating in, financing, or directly interested in the dispute or is not included in any way in the group that is participating in or directly interested in the dispute,
(b) the claimant was an employee of a company that has no work for him or her as a result of the strike, but the company is not the subject of the strike and whose employee's wages, hours or working conditions are not the subject of negotiation,
(c) the claimant was an employee of a company that is out of work as a result of a strike at one of its work sites but he or she is not participating in the strike, will not benefit from the strike, and the constitution of the union leaves the power to join a strike with the local union, provided the governing union has not concluded that a general strike is necessary, or
(d) work continues to be available after a strike begins and the claimant reported for work and performed work after the strike began and was subsequently unemployed.
(3) The burden of proof is on the claimant to show that he or she is not participating in any way in the strike.
If the strike was caused by the employer's failure to comply with state or federal laws governing wages, hours, or working conditions, the claimant is not disqualified as a result of the strike. However, to establish the strike was caused by unlawful practices, the issue of an unfair labor practice must be one of the grievances still subject to negotiation at the time the strike occurs. The making of such an allegation after the strike begins will not enable workers to claim that such a violation was the initiating factor in the strike.
The period of disqualification begins on the effective date of the new or reopened claim and continues as long as all the elements are present. If the claimant has other employment subsequent to the beginning of the strike which is insufficient when solely considered to qualify for a new claim, the disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(4) would continue to apply. It is not necessary for the employer involved in the strike to be a base period employer for a disqualification to be assessed.
(1) Ineligibility following a strike. A disqualification must be assessed if the elements for disqualification are present, even if the claim is not based on employment with the employer involved in the labor dispute. Wages for an employer not involved in the strike that are concurrent with employment for an employer that is involved in the strike will not be used independently to establish a claim in order to avoid a disqualification.
(2) New claim following strike. If a claimant is ineligible due to a strike, wages used in establishing a new claim must have been earned after the strike began. The job does not have to be obtained after the strike but only those wage credits obtained after the strike may be used to establish a new claim. If the claimant has sufficient wages to qualify for a new benefit year after his or her unemployment due to a strike, a new claim may be established even if the claimant has a current benefit year under which benefits have been denied due to a strike.
(3) Redetermination after strike ends. No wages from the employer involved in the strike will be used to compute the new benefit amount, until after the provisions of Subsection 35A-4-405(4) no longer apply. Any such redetermination must be requested by the claimant and will be effective the beginning of the week in which the request for a redetermination is made.
If benefits are not denied under Subsection 35A-4-405(4), the claimant's availability for work will be considered including the amount of time spent walking picket lines and working for the bargaining unit. A refusal to seek work except with employers involved in a lockout or strike is a restriction on availability that will be considered in accordance with Subsection 35A-4-405(3) and R994-403-115c. A refusal to accept work with an employer involved in a lockout or strike is not disqualifying.
Subsection 35A-4-405(3)(b) provides that new work is not suitable and benefits will not be denied if the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout or other labor dispute. If the claimant was laid off or furloughed prior to the strike, and an offer of employment is made after the strike begins by the former employer, it is considered an offer of new work. The vacancy must be presumed to be the result of the strike unless the claimant had a definite date of recall, or recall has historically occurred at a similar time.
Strike benefits received by a claimant, which are paid contingent upon walking a picket line or for other services, are reportable income that must be deducted from any weekly benefits to which the claimant is eligible in accordance with provisions of Subsection 35A-4-401(3). Money received for performance of services in behalf of a striking union may not be subject wages used as wage credits in establishing a claim. However, money received as a general donation from the union treasury that requires no personal services is not reportable income.
Vacation and severance payments which a claimant is receiving, has received or is entitled to receive are treated as wages and the claimant's WBA is reduced as provided in R994-401-301(1). This is true even though vacation or severance payments do not meet the statutory definition of wages.
(1) Before a disqualification is assessed, the claimant must be entitled to vacation or severance pay in addition to regular wages.
(a) Entitled To Receive. The claimant may not receive unemployment benefits for any week if he or she is eligible to receive payment from the employer whether the payment has already been made or will be made. The week in which the payment is actually received is not controlling in determining when the payment is deductible. It is not necessary for the employer to assign such payment to a particular week on the payroll records.
(b) Severance or Vacation Pay Which Is Subject to Negotiation. If there is a question of whether the claimant is entitled to receive a payment and the matter is being negotiated by the court, a union, or the employer, it has not been established the claimant is entitled to payment and therefore a disqualification cannot be assessed. However, when it is determined the claimant is entitled to receive payment from the employer, a disqualification will be assessed beginning with the week in which the agreement is made establishing the right to payment, provided the other elements are present. An overpayment will be established as appropriate.
(2) Vacation Pay.
Vacation pay is not considered earned during the period of time the claimant worked to qualify for the vacation pay, even if the amount of vacation pay is dependent upon length of service.
(3) Separation Payments.
(a) Any form of separation payment may subject the claimant to disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(7) if the payment would not have been made except for the severance of the employment relationship. If the payment is given at the time of the separation but would have been made even if the claimant was not separated, it is not a separation payment, but is considered earnings assignable to the period of employment subject to the provisions of Subsection 35A-4-401(7). The controlling factor is not the method used by the employer to determine the amount of the payment, but the reason the payment is being made. The history of similar payments is indicative of whether the payment is a bonus or is being made as the result of the separation. Whether a payment is based on the number of years of service or some other factor does not determine if the payment is disqualifying. Payments made directly to the claimant after separation and intended for the purchase of health insurance, whether made in a lump sum or periodically, are considered separation payments. When a business changes owners and some employees are retained by the new owners, but all employees receive a similar payment from the prior owner, the payment is not made subject to the separation of the employees and therefore would be a bonus and not a separation payment. Accrued sick leave, paid at the time of separation not because of an illness or injury is not considered a separation payment and will not result in a disqualification or a reduction in benefits under Subsection 35A-4-405(7).
(b) Payments for Remaining on the Job.
When an employer offers an additional payment for remaining on the job until a job is completed, the additional remuneration will be considered an increased wage or bonus attributable to a period of time prior to the date of separation, not a severance payment.
(4) Attributable to Weeks Following the Last Day of Work.
All vacation and severance payments are attributable to a period of time following the last day worked after a permanent separation and assigned to weeks according to the following guidelines:
(a) Designated as Covering Specified Weeks. If the employer specified that the payment is for a number of weeks which is consistent with the average weekly wage, the payment is attributable to those weeks. For example, if the claimant was entitled to two weeks of vacation or severance pay at his or her regular wage or salary, the last day worked was a Wednesday, and his or her normal working days were Monday through Friday, the claimant is considered to have two weeks of pay beginning on the Thursday following the last day of work. The claimant's earnings for the first week, including his or her wages would normally exceed the weekly benefit amount; the claimant would have a full week of pay for the second week, and would have reportable earnings for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week.
(b) Lump Sum Payments. A lump sum payment is assigned to a period of time by comparison to the employee's most recent rate of pay. The period of assignment following the last day of work is equivalent to the number of days during which the worker would have received a similar amount of his or her regular pay. For example, if the claimant received $500 in severance pay, and last earned $10 an hour working a 40 hour week, the claimant's customary weekly earnings were $400 a week. The claimant is denied benefits for one week and must report $100 as if it were earnings on the claim for the following week. The Department will ordinarily use a claimant's base salary for calculations in this paragraph but if the claimant provides verifiable evidence of a rate of pay higher than the base salary in the period immediately preceding separation, that can be used.
(c) Payments Less than Weekly Benefit Amount. If separation payments are paid out over a specific period of time and the claimant does not have the option to receive a lump sum payment, the claimant will be entitled to have benefits reduced as provided by Subsection 35A-4-401(3), pursuant to offset earnings if the amount attributed to the week is less than the weekly benefit amount.
(d) If the claimant is entitled to both vacation and separation pay, the payments are assigned consecutively, not concurrently.
(5) Temporary Separation.
A claimant is not entitled to benefits if it is established that the week claimed coincides with a week:
(a) Designated as a week of vacation. If the separation from the employer is not permanent and the claimant chooses to take his or her vacation pay, or is filing during the time previously agreed to as his or her vacation, the vacation pay is assigned to that week. If the employer has prepaid vacation pay and at the time of a temporary layoff the claimant may still take his or her vacation time after being recalled, the vacation pay is not assigned to the weeks of the layoff unless the claimant chooses to have the vacation pay assigned to those weeks, or the employer, because of contractual obligations, must pay any outstanding vacation due the claimant.
(b) Designated as a vacation shutdown. If the claimant files during a vacation shutdown, and is entitled to vacation pay equivalent to the length of the vacation shutdown, the vacation pay is attributable to the weeks designated as a vacation shutdown, even if the claimant chooses to actually take his or her time off work before or after the vacation shutdown. A holiday shutdown is treated the same as a vacation shutdown.
Only those payments equal to or greater than the claimant's weekly benefit amount require a disqualification. Payments less than the weekly benefit amount are treated the same as earnings and deductions are made as provided by Subsection 35A-4-401(3).
If the claimant has been disqualified as the result of his or her separation under either Subsections 35A-4-405(1) or 35A-4-405(2), the vacation or separation pay cannot be used to satisfy the requirement to earn six times the weekly benefit amount in bona fide covered employment.
Vacation pay is used as base period wages. Separation payments attributable to weeks following the separation can be used as base period wages if the employer was legally required to make such payments as provided in Section 35A-4-208. Separation payments that are treated as wages will be assigned to weeks in the manner explained in Subsections R994-405-702(4).
Subsection 35A-4-405(8) denies unemployment benefits during periods when the claimant's unemployment is due to school not being in session provided the claimant has been given a reasonable assurance that he or she can return to work when school resumes and the claimant intends to return when school resumes. Schools have traditionally not been in session during the summer months, holidays and between terms. This circumstance is known to employees when they accept work for schools. In extending coverage to school employees, it was intended such coverage would only be available when the claimant is no longer attached in any way to a school and the reason for the unemployment is not due to normal school recesses or paid sabbatical leave.
(1) The claimant is ineligible if all of the following elements are met:
(a) The Claimant is an Employee of an Educational Institution.
The claimant's benefits are based on employment for an educational institution or a governmental agency established and operated exclusively for the purpose of providing services to an educational institution. The service performed for the educational institution may be in any capacity including professional employees teachers, researchers and principals and all non-professional employees including secretaries, lunch workers, teacher's aides, and janitors.
(b) School is Not in Session or the Claimant is on a Paid Sabbatical Leave.
Benefits are only denied if the week for which benefits are claimed is during a period between two successive academic years or a similar period between two regular terms whether or not successive, during a period of paid sabbatical leave provided in the contract, or during holiday recesses and customary vacation periods.
(c) The claimant has a reasonable assurance of returning to work for one or more educational institutions at the next regular year or term as set forth in Rule R994-405-805.
(1) To be considered an educational institution it is not necessary the school be non-profit or that it be funded or controlled by a school district. However, the instruction provider must be sponsored by an "institution" that meets all of the following elements:
(a) An institution in which participants, trainees, or students are offered an organized course of study or training designed to transfer to them knowledge, skills, information, doctrines, attitudes or abilities from, by or under the guidance of an instructor or teacher.
(b) The course of study or training is academic, technical, trade, or preparation for gainful employment in an occupation.
(c) The instruction provider is approved or licensed to operate as a school by the State Board of Education or other government agency authorized to issue such license or permit.
(2) Head start programs operated by community based organizations, Indian tribes, or governmental associations as a side activity in a sponsorship role do not meet the definition of educational institution and therefore are not subject to the disqualifying provisions of this rule.
(1) All employees of an educational institution, even though not directly involved in educational activities, are subject to the disqualifying provisions of Subsection 35A-4-405(8). Also, employees of a state or local governmental entity are not eligible for benefits provided the entity was established and operated exclusively for the purpose of providing services to or on behalf of an educational institution. For example, if a school bus driver is employed by the city rather than the school district, he or she is not subject to a disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(8).
(2) Ineligibility under Subsection 35A-4-405(8) shall only apply if there are base period wages from an educational institution. If the claimant had sufficient non-school employment in the base period to qualify for benefits, the claimant may establish a claim based only on the non-school employment and benefits would be payable during the period between successive school terms, provided he or she is otherwise eligible. If the claimant continues to be unemployed when school commences, he or she may be entitled to benefits based upon the combined school and non-school employment. In most cases this would result in higher weekly and maximum benefit amounts, less the benefits already received. A revision of the monetary determination will be made effective the beginning of the week in which the claimant submits a request for a revision to include school employment.
(1) "Reasonable assurance" is defined as a written, oral, or implied agreement that the employee will perform service in the same or similar capacity during the ensuing academic year, term, or remainder of a term.
(2) Reasonable Assurance Presumed.
A claimant is presumed to have implied reasonable assurance of employment during the next regular school year or term with an educational institution if he or she worked for the educational institution during the prior school term and there has been no change in the conditions of his or her employment that would indicate severance of the employment relationship. Under such circumstances benefits initially will be denied.
(3) Advised on Non-Recall.
If the claimant has been advised by proper school administrative authorities that he or she will not be offered employment when the next school term begins, benefits would not be denied under Subsection 35A-4-405(8) unless the claimant otherwise has a reasonable assurance of returning to work that is not substantially less suitable under Subsection (4) below.
(4) Offer of New Work by an Educational Institution.
Reasonable assurance is not limited to the same school where the claimant was employed during the base period or the same type of work. Reasonable assurance exists if the terms and conditions of the new work offered in the second term are not substantially less suitable, as defined by Subsection 35A-4-405(3), than the terms and conditions of the work performed during the first term. For purposes of this section, new work in the educational field is considered to be substantially less suitable if the claimant will not earn from all educational employers at least 90% of the amount earned from all educational employers during the previous academic year or term at issue. A disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(8) would begin with the week the employment is offered, and a disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(3) may begin with the week in which the offered employment would become available. For example: if a claimant was advised that due to reduction in enrollment he or she will not be recalled by the school where he or she last worked as a teacher's aide, but then obtains an offer of employment as a librarian from another school or another school district, a disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(8) would be assessed beginning with the week in which the offer of employment was made to the claimant, and a disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(3) would begin at the beginning of the school term if the work is not accepted.
(5) Separated Due to a Quit or Discharge.
If the employment relationship is severed either due to a quit or discharge, the provisions of Subsection 35A-4-405(8) do not apply, but Subsections 35A-4-405(1) or 35A-4-405(2) may apply and a disqualification, if assessed, would begin with the effective date of the separation or the claim, whichever is later.
A substitute teacher is treated the same as any other school employee. If the claimant worked as a substitute teacher during the prior school term, he or she is presumed to have a reasonable assurance of having work under similar conditions during the next term and benefits will be denied when school is not in session. However, for any weeks the claimant is not called to work when school is in session, a disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(8) would not apply.
The effective date of the unemployment insurance claim does not have to begin between regular school terms for a disqualification to apply, but benefits will be denied for a week that begins during a period when school is not in session or the claimant is on a paid sabbatical leave. A disqualification under Subsection 35A-4-405(8) can only be assessed for weeks:
(1) between two successive academic years or terms, or
(2) during a break in school activity between two regular terms even if the terms are not successive, including school vacations and holidays as well as the break between academic terms, or
(3) when the claimant is on a paid sabbatical leave if the claimant worked during the prior school year and has a contract or reasonable assurance (as defined in Rule R994-405-805) of working in any capacity for one or more educational institutions in the school term following the sabbatical leave. When the claimant is on an unpaid sabbatical leave, benefits may be allowed provided he or she is otherwise eligible including meeting the eligibility requirements of Subsection 35A-4-403(1)(c) and R994-405-106(4).
Retroactive payments under Subsection 35A-4-406(2) may be made after a disqualification has been assessed only if the claimant:
(1) is not a professional employee in an instructional, research or administrative capacity,
(2) was not offered reasonable assurance of employment, as defined in Rule R994-405-805, for one or more educational institutions for the second academic years or terms,
(3) filed weekly claims in a timely manner as instructed, and
(4) benefits were denied solely by reason of Subsection 35A-4-405(8).
(1) Eligibility for Professional Athletes.
A claimant who has performed services as a professional athlete for substantially all of his or her base period is not eligible for benefits between successive sports seasons or similar periods when the claimant has a reasonable assurance of performing those services in the next sports season or similar period.
(2) Substantially All Services Performed in a Base Period.
A claimant has performed services as a professional athlete for substantially all of his or her base period when the base period wages from that work equal 90 percent or more of the claimant's total base period wages.
(3) Definition of Professional Athlete.
For the purposes of determining eligibility for benefits, a claimant is a professional athlete when he or she is employed as a competitive athlete or works as a specified ancillary employee. Employment as a competitive athlete includes preparing for and participating in competitive sports events. Specified ancillary employees are managers, coaches, and trainers who are employed by professional sports organizations and referees and umpires employed by professional sports leagues or associations.
(4) Reasonable Assurance.
(a) The claimant has a reasonable assurance of performing services as a professional athlete during the next sports season or similar period when the claimant has:
(i) a multi-year contract with a professional sports organization, league or association;
(ii) a year-to-year contract and no indication of release;
(iii) no contract but the employer affirms intent to recall;
(iv) no contract but an employer representative confirms that the claimant is being considered for next season; or
(v) no contract but plans to pursue employment as a professional athlete.
(b) The claimant does not have a reasonable assurance if he or she has no contract and has withdrawn from sports as a professional athlete.
(1) If the claimant has a reasonable assurance of performing services as a professional athlete during the next sports season or similar period and 90 percent or more of the claimant's base period wage credits were earned as a professional athlete, neither those wage credits nor any other base period wage credits can be used to establish monetary eligibility for any weeks that begin during a period between the applicable sports seasons or similar periods.
(2) All of the claimant's base period wage credits can be used if the claimant did not earn 90 percent or more of his or her base period wage credits as a professional athlete.
(3) All of the claimant's base period wages credits can be used to establish monetary eligibility for any weeks that begin during the applicable sports season or similar period.
The protection provided by the unemployment insurance program is limited to American citizens and people who are lawfully admitted to the United States. It is not the intent of this program to subsidize people who have worked unlawfully or who cannot legally accept employment. All claimants will be required, as a condition of eligibility, to sign a declaration under penalty of perjury stating whether the claimant is a citizen or national of the United States, or if not, whether the claimant is lawfully admitted to the United States with permission to work. A claimant who certifies to lawful admission must present documentary evidence. A denial of benefits under Subsection 35A-4-405(10) can only be made if there is a preponderance of evidence the claimant is not legally admitted to work. Benefits must be denied to claimants who are NOT United States citizens unless they are lawfully present BOTH during the base period of the claim and while filing for benefits. In addition, to be considered "available for work," a claimant must be legally authorized to work at the time benefits are claimed.
(1) An alien may establish wage credits and qualify for benefit payments if he or she was:
(a) Lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time the services were performed, or
(b) Lawfully present for the purpose of performing the services, or
(c) Permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time the services were performed, or
(d) Granted the status of "refugee" or "asylee" by the Immigration and Nationality Act, United States Code Title 8, Section 1101 et seq.
(2) The status of temporary residence or the granting of work authorization does not confer retroactive lawful presence for purposes of monetary entitlement or work authorization.
A claimant who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence must be given a dated employment authorization or other appropriate work permit by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
These are aliens with work permits issued by USCIS who have received permission to work in the United States. Aliens who do not possess USCIS documentation have not been processed through USCIS procedures and are not lawfully present in the United States. Aliens permitted to reside in the United States temporarily have privileges accorded by USCIS which may include work authorization. The claimant's work authorization must be printed on the document or stamped on the form.
Eligibility can be established if:
(1) The USCIS knows of the alien's presence and has provided the alien with written assurance that deportation is not planned, and
(2) The alien is "permanently residing" which means the USCIS has given the alien permission to remain in the U.S. for an indefinite period of time. Individuals who have been granted the status of refugees or have been granted asylum have been defined by the USCIS as individuals who are permanently residing "under color of law."
For reference, 8 USC 1182(d)(5)(A) includes people, referred to as parolees, admitted under specific authorization given by the United States Attorney General and those paroled into the United States temporarily for emergent reasons or for reasons rooted in the public interest, including crew members refused shore leave who are admitted on parole for medical treatment. All of these individuals are issued USCIS forms endorsed to show work status.
(1) Verification of Status.
If the claimant states he or she is an alien, the claimant must present documentary evidence of alien status. Acceptable evidence includes:
(a) An alien registration document or other proof of immigration registration from USCIS that contains the claimant's alien admission number or alien file number, or
(b) Other documents that constitute reasonable evidence indicating a satisfactory alien status such as a passport.
(2) Verification by the Department.
The Department must verify documentation referred to in Subsection R994-405-1007(1) with the USCIS through an automated system or other system designated by the USCIS. This system must protect the claimant's privacy as required by law. The Department must use the claimant's alien file number or alien admission number as the basis for verifying the alien status. If the claimant provides other documents, the Department must submit a photocopy of the documents to USCIS for verification. Pending verification of the alien's documentation, the Department may not delay, deny, reduce or terminate the claimant's eligibility for benefits.
(3) Claimant Rights.
(a) Reasonable Opportunity to Submit Documentation.
The Department will provide the claimant with a reasonable opportunity to submit documentation establishing satisfactory alien status if such documentation is not presented at the time of filing. The Department will also provide the claimant reasonable opportunity to submit evidence of satisfactory alien status if the documentation presented is not verified by the USCIS. The claimant will initially be given three weeks to provide documentation or advise the Department as to any circumstances that would justify an extension of the time allowed. Failure to provide documentation or request an extension of time will result in a denial of benefits under Subsection 35A-4-403(1)(e) or Sections R994-403-122e through R994-403-128e.
(b) Disqualification Restrictions.
The Department will not delay, deny, reduce or terminate a claimant's eligibility for benefits on the basis of alien status until a reasonable opportunity has been provided for the claimant to present required documentation or pending its verification after the claimant presents the documents. The claimant will be considered at fault in the creation of any overpayment if benefits were paid based on the claimant's unverifiable assertion of legal admission.
(c) Notice of Disqualification.
When benefits are denied by reason of alien status, a written, appealable decision must be issued to the claimant stating the evidence upon which the denial is based, the findings of fact, and the conclusion of law.
Benefits will be denied only if the preponderance of evidence supports denial. Aliens are presumed lawfully admitted or lawfully present under the Immigration and Nationality Act until it is established by a preponderance of evidence they are not lawfully admitted. The preponderance of evidence required to support a denial of benefits is not satisfied by a lack of evidence. Therefore, the claimant's certification as to citizenship or legal alien status should be accepted while USCIS is being contacted for verification.
While filing for benefits, an alien must show authorization to work to be considered available for work as required under Subsection 35A-4-403(1)(c). An alien with temporary resident status may be granted authorization to engage in employment in the United States. In such cases the alien will be provided with an "employment authorized" endorsement or other appropriate work permit. Termination of "temporary residence status" can be made by the United States Attorney General only upon a determination the alien is deportable.
Any wages earned during a period of time when the alien was not in legal status, cannot be used in the monetary determination, and a disqualification must be assessed under Subsection 35A-4-405(10). If the claimant was in legal status during a portion of the base period, only wages earned during that portion may be used to establish a claim. If the alien did earn sufficient wage credits while in legal status, but is no longer in legal status at the time the benefits are claimed, the claimant is ineligible under Subsection 35A-4-403(1)(c) because he or she cannot legally obtain employment.
unemployment compensation, employment, employee's rights, employee terminations
June 21, 2017
March 29, 2018
35A-4-502(1)(b); 35A-1-104(4); 35A-4-405
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R994, please contact the promulgating agency (Workforce Services, Unemployment Insurance). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.