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May 24, 2024
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2021 Statute


44-705. Benefit eligibility conditions; procedure regarding refusals of suitable work; notice to claimant. Except as provided by K.S.A. 44-757, and amendments thereto, an unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week only if the secretary, or a person or persons designated by the secretary, finds that:

(a) The claimant has registered for work at and thereafter continued to report at an employment office in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the secretary, except that, subject to the provisions of K.S.A. 44-704(a), and amendments thereto, the secretary may adopt rules and regulations that waive or alter either or both of the requirements of this subsection.

(b) The claimant has made a claim for benefits with respect to such week in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the secretary.

(c) (1) The claimant is able to perform the duties of such claimant's customary occupation or the duties of other occupations that the claimant is reasonably fitted by training or experience, and is available for work, as demonstrated by the claimant's pursuit of the full course of action most reasonably calculated to result in the claimant's reemployment except that, notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, an unemployed claimant otherwise eligible for benefits shall not become ineligible for benefits:

(A) Because of the claimant's enrollment in and satisfactory pursuit of approved training, including training approved under section 236(a)(1) of the trade act of 1974;

(B) solely because such individual is seeking only part-time employment if the individual is available for a number of hours per week that are comparable to the individual's part-time work experience in the base period; or

(C) because a claimant is not actively seeking work:

(i) During a state of disaster emergency proclaimed by the governor pursuant to K.S.A. 48-924 and 48-925, and amendments thereto;

(ii) in response to the spread of the public health emergency of COVID-19; and

(iii) the state's temporary waiver of the work search requirement under the employment security law for such claimant is in compliance with the families first coronavirus response act, public law 116-127.

(2) The secretary shall develop and implement procedures to address claimants who refuse to return to suitable work or refuse to accept an offer of suitable work without good cause. Such procedures shall include the receipt and processing of job refusal reports from employers, the evaluation of such reports in consideration of the claimant's work history and skills and suitability of the offered employment and guidelines for a determination of whether the claimant shall remain eligible for unemployment benefits or has failed to meet the work search requirements of this subsection or the requirements of K.S.A. 44-706(c), and amendments thereto. In determining whether the employment offered is suitable, the secretary's considerations shall include whether the employment offers wages comparable to the claimant's recent employment and work duties that correspond to the claimant's education level and previous work experience. The secretary shall also consider whether the employment offers wages of at least the amount of the claimant's maximum weekly benefits.

(3) To facilitate the requirements of paragraph (2), the secretary shall provide readily accessible means for employers to notify the department when a claimant refuses to return to work or refuses an offer of employment, including by telephone, email or an online web portal. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as to require an employer to report such job refusals to the department.

(4) At the time of receipt of notice from an employer pursuant to paragraph (3), the secretary shall, within 10 business days of receipt of such notice from the employer, provide a notice to the claimant who has refused to return to work or to accept an offer of suitable work without good cause. The method of providing the notice to the claimant shall be consistent with other correspondence from the department to the claimant and may include mail, telephone, email or through an online web portal. The notice shall, at minimum, include the following information:

(A) A summary of state employment security law regarding a claimant's duties to return to work or accept suitable work;

(B) a statement that the claimant has been or may be disqualified and the claimant's right to collect benefits has been or may be terminated for refusal to return to work or accept suitable work without good cause, as provided by this subsection and K.S.A. 44-706(c), and amendments thereto;

(C) an explanation of what constitutes suitable work under the employment security law; and

(D) instructions for contesting a denial of a claim if the denial is based upon a report by an employer that the claimant has refused to return to work or has refused to accept an offer of suitable work.

(5) For the purposes of this subsection, an inmate of a custodial or correctional institution shall be deemed to be unavailable for work and not eligible to receive unemployment compensation while incarcerated.

(d) (1) Except as provided further, the claimant has been unemployed for a waiting period of one week or the claimant is unemployed and has satisfied the requirement for a waiting period of one week under the shared work unemployment compensation program as provided in K.S.A. 44-757(k)(4), and amendments thereto, and that period of one week, in either case, occurs within the benefit year that includes the week for which the claimant is claiming benefits. No week shall be counted as a week of unemployment for the purposes of this subsection:

(A) If benefits have been paid for such week;

(B) if the individual fails to meet with the other eligibility requirements of this section; or

(C) if an individual is seeking unemployment benefits under the unemployment compensation law of any other state or of the United States, except that if the appropriate agency of such state or of the United States finally determines that the claimant is not entitled to unemployment benefits under such other law, this subparagraph shall not apply.

(2) (A) The waiting week requirement of paragraph (1) shall not apply to:

(i) New claims by claimants who become unemployed as a result of an employer terminating business operations within this state, declaring bankruptcy or initiating a work force reduction pursuant to public law 100-379, the federal worker adjustment and retraining notification act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2101 through 2109, as amended; or

(ii) new claims filed on or after April 5, 2020, through December 26, 2020, in accordance with the families first coronavirus response act, public law 116-127 and the federal CARES act, public law 116-136.

(B) The secretary shall adopt rules and regulations to administer the provisions of this paragraph.

(3) If the waiting week requirement of paragraph (1) applies, a claimant shall become eligible to receive compensation for the waiting period of one week, pursuant to paragraph (1), upon completion of three weeks of unemployment consecutive to such waiting period. This paragraph shall not apply to initial claims effective on and after April 1, 2021.

(e) For benefit years established on and after the effective date of this act, the claimant has been paid total wages for insured work in the claimant's base period of not less than 30 times the claimant's weekly benefit amount and has been paid wages in more than one quarter of the claimant's base period, except that the wage credits of an individual earned during the period commencing with the end of a prior base period and ending on the date that such individual filed a valid initial claim shall not be available for benefit purposes in a subsequent benefit year unless, in addition thereto, such individual has returned to work and subsequently earned wages for insured work in an amount equal to at least eight times the claimant's current weekly benefit amount.

(f) The claimant participates in reemployment services, such as job search assistance services, if the individual has been determined to be likely to exhaust regular benefits and needs reemployment services pursuant to a profiling system established by the secretary, unless the secretary determines that: (1) The individual has completed such services; or (2) there is justifiable cause for the claimant's failure to participate in such services.

(g) The claimant is returning to work after a qualifying injury and has been paid total wages for insured work in the claimant's alternative base period of not less than 30 times the claimant's weekly benefit amount and has been paid wages in more than one quarter of the claimant's alternative base period if:

(1) The claimant has filed for benefits within four weeks of being released to return to work by a licensed and practicing health care provider;

(2) the claimant files for benefits within 24 months of the date the qualifying injury occurred; and

(3) the claimant attempted to return to work with the employer where the qualifying injury occurred, but the individual's regular work or comparable and suitable work was not available.

History: L. 1937, ch. 255, § 5; L. 1941, ch. 264, § 3; L. 1943, ch. 190, § 2; L. 1945, ch. 220, § 3; L. 1949, ch. 288, § 4; L. 1955, ch. 251, § 3; L. 1959, ch. 223, § 2; L. 1961, ch. 245, § 1; L. 1970, ch. 191, § 3; L. 1971, ch. 180, § 3; L. 1971, ch. 181, § 1; L. 1973, ch. 205, § 4; L. 1976, ch. 226, § 3; L. 1976, ch. 370, § 59; L. 1977, ch. 181, § 3; L. 1979, ch. 159, § 2; L. 1982, ch. 214, § 3; L. 1988, ch. 172, § 2; L. 1995, ch. 51, § 1; L. 1998, ch. 124, § 2; L. 2002, ch. 84, § 2; L. 2007, ch. 16, § 2; L. 2009, ch. 129, § 3; L. 2011, ch. 85, § 3; L. 2013, ch. 106, § 4; L. 2020, ch. 2, § 2; L. 2020, ch. 1, § 28 (Special Session); L. 2021, ch. 92, § 13; May 13.

2024. Powered by KLISS. Rendered: 2024-05-24T11:58:04. Head Rev No: 893617(E)