Mnuchin: Employees Who Reject Offer to Go Back to Work Cannot Receive Unemployment Benefits

By Jack Phillips

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that individuals who reject an offer from their company to return to their jobs after they are laid off due to the pandemic are no longer considered eligible to receive unemployment benefits from the federal government.

“If you offer a person a job … and that person does not take the job … then that person would not be allowed to get unemployment,” Mnuchin said Tuesday during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

The secretary added that companies receiving benefits under the Payment Protection Program, a measure that was included under the CARES Act, who then allow employees to return to work after they were laid off or furloughed have to now notify state unemployment offices of their offers.

If the employee turns down the job offer, they are considered ineligible to receive unemployment benefits, which were expanded under the CARES Act. The legislation was passed as tens of millions of Americans lost their jobs or were furloughed after businesses shut down to slow the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“If you offer back a worker and they don’t take that job, you will be required to notify the local unemployment insurance agency because that person will no longer be eligible for unemployment,” Mnuchin said.

It came after Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) questioned whether the expanded unemployment insurance, which saw a $600 per week boost, would disincentivize people to find work or return to work.

Steven Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin exits the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after meeting with McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on May 19, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Labor Department in April issued public guidance on the relationship between unemployment benefits and the Payment Protection Program. The program allows for banks to distribute government-backed loans to businesses that employ fewer than 500 employees, and a loan will be forgiven at least 75 percent if it is used to pay employee salaries and overhead costs such as rent.

“Barring unusual circumstances, a request that a furloughed employee return to his or her job very likely constitutes an offer of suitable employment that the employee must accept,” according to the Labor Department’s website.

Meanwhile, Mnuchin wrote to the Senate that he expects to see high unemployment numbers and other negative economic data during the second quarter. However, he believes that it will improve when the economy beings to reopen again.

“Working closely with governors, we are beginning to open the economy in a way that minimizes risks to workers and customers,” Mnuchin said in written testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, reported Reuters. “We expect economic conditions to improve in the third and fourth quarters.”

From The Epoch Times