Tennessee to begin investigating people claiming unemployment who refuse work offers

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FILE – This May 7, 2020, file photo shows a man wearing a mask while walking under a Now Hiring sign at a CVS Pharmacy during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco. On Thursday, Nov. 12, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 709,000, the fourth straight drop and a sign that the job market is slowly healing. The figures coincide with a sharp resurgence in confirmed viral infections to an all-time high above 120,000 a day. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee will begin investigating people who claim unemployment benefits but refuse offers for suitable work.

According to a letter to businesses from the Kingsport Chamber on behalf of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, employers can report complaints of refused offers to an investigative unit.

“Staff can also work with you to investigate unemployment claimants who refuse an offer of suitable work,” the letter states. “If an investigation determines a claimant refused an offer, the Department can take steps to stop their benefits.”

Employers who would like to submit a complaint regarding a “refusal of suitable work” can click here. The complaint will be sent to the TDLWD’s Benefit Integrity Unit.

According to TDLWD, employees who were laid off earlier in the pandemic can also be investigated if they are refusing to answer calls to bring them back to work.

 “If the Department determines they refuse to return to work, they could be deemed ineligible to continue receiving unemployment benefits,” the letter reads.

TDLWD says they will assist local business owners and employers in filling positions and offering training opportunities at no cost.

“Department leadership understands this is a critical time for Tennessee businesses,” the letter states. “You, and your fellow business owners, have tens of thousands of jobs to fill and we are committed to helping businesses across the state thrive in the post-pandemic economy.”

Tennessee employers can click here to see find out how to contact the Regional Director for their Local Workforce Development Area.

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