A home health aide refused an assignment located in New York City because it was too far to travel for $9.00 an hour. The employer, a premier provider of home care in New York, offered the employee this assignment for a specific reason. The employee had filed for unemployment benefits after the employer offered no work over the past few weeks. Though a current assignment became available, she still refused.
Since the employee had filed for unemployment compensation and was going to collect, the employer made looking for an open assignment for this employee, now a claimant, a top priority. The employer did what was perceived to be best and offered the claimant work, thinking it would be acceptable. It would serve the interests of the employer because the claimant would be working and would not have to collect unemployment insurance.
Unfortunately, the claimant refused the assignment because it was too far to travel in distance. The employer believed they had a strong unemployment case as the claimant refused suitable work. The travel time from the claimant’s home to the assignment offered was approximately 30 minutes. The acceptable travel time to a place of employment is 90 minutes each way, according to the New York State Department of Labor.
The claimant was eligible for unemployment benefits. The prevailing wage cut-off for a home health aide in NYC is $9.33. Because the employer offered the claimant an assignment below $9.33, the claimant was able to collect. For unemployment purposes, it is extremely important that employers offer employees the prevailing wage cut-off.