Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Reform: New Job Search Requirements

On Friday, Governor Corbett signed significant unemployment compensation reform into law. The law extends unemployment compensation benefits for about 45,000 Pennsylvania claimants, but also reforms existing UC law. The new law, a copy highlighting changes is available here, creates a new shared-work program, requires some claimants to exhaust severance pay prior to collecting UC, and requires that claimants actively seek new employment to collect UC benefits.

Today's post covers the new job-search requirements (I plan to cover some other aspects in futures posts). Under the new UC law, the claimant must make an "active search" for new employment:
The requirements for "active search" shall be established by the department and shall include, at a minimum, all of the following: 
(i) Registration by a claimant for employment search services offered by the Pennsylvania CareerLink system or its successor agency within thirty (30) days after initial application for benefits.  
(ii) Posting a resume on the system's database, unless the claimant is seeking work in an employment sector in which resumes are not commonly used. 
(iii) Applying for positions that offer employment and wages similar to those the claimant had prior to his unemployment and which are within a forty-five (45) minute commuting distance.
CareerLink will provide documentation to the PA UC Service Center. The law also includes various exceptions, including: taking "traditional actions" for finding jobs in your trade or occupation; approved training; layoffs with a scheduled return to work; and Department waiver under special circumstances. Note that the Department may also impose additional requirements.

Pictured: Centre County CareerLink (Photo by me).

Posted by Philip Miles, an attorney with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania in the firm's civil litigation and labor and employment law practice groups.