After the holiday season, there is typically a national spike in unemployment claims. This year is no exception. For employers and employees in Pennsylvania, 2012 also brings changes to the state’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) laws. In a series of posts, we will discuss aspects of the amended UC laws that will impact both claimants and employers.
Is Your Job Search Meeting the UC Requirements?
Until 2012, Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) laws required claimants to "register" for work, then continue to "report" to an unemployment office to be eligible for benefits. As of January 1, 2012, only claimants who are "making an active search for suitable employment" will be eligible for UC benefits within the meaning of Section 401 of Act 6 of 2011, "Qualifications Required to Secure Compensation."
What does it mean to make an "active search," and what qualifies as "suitable employment"? At a minimum, the new requirements are:
- Registering for employment search services through Pennsylvania CareerLink within 30 days of the initial application for benefits.
- Posting a resume on CareerLink’s database.
- Applying for positions that offer employment and wages similar to those that the claimant had prior to unemployment and which are within a 45-minute commuting distance.
The statute provides that an active search for suitable employment has been made "if the claimant’s efforts include actions comparable to those traditional actions in their trade or occupation by which jobs have been found by others in the community and labor market in which the claimant is seeking employment."