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Legal Statutes: New York

UPDATED April 20, 2017

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Title 7. Benefits and Claims

back to topSec. 593. Disqualification for benefits

1. Voluntary separation; separation for a compelling family reason. (a) No days of total unemployment shall be deemed to occur after a claimant's voluntary separation without good cause from employment until he or she has subsequently worked in employment and earned remuneration at least equal to ten times his or her weekly benefit rate. In addition to other circumstances that may be found to constitute good cause, including a compelling family reason as set forth in paragraph (b) of this subdivision, voluntary separation from employment shall not in itself disqualify a claimant if circumstances have developed in the course of such employment that would have justified the claimant in refusing such employment in the first instance under the terms of subdivision two of this section or if the claimant, pursuant to an option provided under a collective bargaining agreement or written employer plan which permits waiver of his or her right to retain the employment when there is a temporary layoff because of lack of work, has elected to be separated for a temporary period and the employer has consented thereto.

(b) A claimant shall not be disqualified from receiving benefits for separation from employment due to any compelling family reason. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “compelling family reason” shall include, but not be limited to, separations related to any of the following:

(i) domestic violence, verified by reasonable and confidential documentation which causes the individual reasonably to believe that such individual's continued employment would jeopardize his or her safety or the safety of any member of his or her immediate family.

(ii) the illness or disability of a member of the individual's immediate family. For the purposes of this subparagraph:

(A) The term “illness” means a verified illness which necessitates the care of the ill person for a period of time longer than the employer is willing to grant leave (paid or otherwise).

(B) The term “disability” means a verified disability which necessitates the care of the disabled person for a period of time longer than the employer is willing to grant leave (paid or otherwise). “Disability” encompasses all types of disability, including: (1) mental and physical disability; (2) permanent and temporary disabilities; and (3) partial and total disabilities.

(iii) the need for the individual to accompany such individual's spouse (A) to a place from which it is impractical for such individual to commute and (B) due to a change in location of the spouse's employment.

(c) A disqualification as provided in this subdivision shall also apply after a claimant's voluntary separation from employment if such voluntary separation was due to claimant's marriage.

2. Refusal of employment. No days of total unemployment shall be deemed to occur beginning with the day on which a claimant, without good cause, refuses to accept an offer of employment for which he or she is reasonably fitted by training and experience, including employment not subject to this article, until he or she has subsequently worked in employment and earned remuneration at least equal to ten times his or her weekly benefit rate. Except that claimants who are not subject to a recall date or who do not obtain employment through a union hiring hall and who are still unemployed after receiving ten weeks of benefits shall be required to accept any employment proffered that such claimants are capable of performing, provided that such employment would result in a wage not less than eighty percent of such claimant's high calendar quarter wages received in the base period and not substantially less than the prevailing wage for similar work in the locality as provided for in paragraph (d) of this subdivision. No refusal to accept employment shall be deemed without good cause nor shall it disqualify any claimant otherwise eligible to receive benefits if:

(a) a refusal to accept employment which would interfere with a claimant's right to join or retain membership in any labor organization or otherwise interfere with or violate the terms of a collective bargaining agreement shall be with good cause;

(b) there is a strike, lockout, or other industrial controversy in the establishment in which the employment is offered; or

(c) the employment is at an unreasonable distance from his residence, or travel to and from the place of employment involves expense substantially greater than that required in his former employment unless the expense be provided for; or

(d) the wages or compensation or hours or conditions offered are substantially less favorable to the claimant than those prevailing for similar work in the locality, or are such as tend to depress wages or working conditions; or

(e) the claimant is seeking part-time work as provided in subdivision five of section five hundred ninety-six of this title and the offer of employment is not comparable to his or her part-time work as defined in such subdivision.

3. Misconduct. No days of total unemployment shall be deemed to occur after a claimant lost employment through misconduct in connection with his or her employment until he or she has subsequently worked in employment and earned remuneration at least equal to ten times his or her weekly benefit rate.

4. Criminal acts. No days of total unemployment shall be deemed to occur during a period of twelve months after a claimant loses employment as a result of an act constituting a felony in connection with such employment, provided the claimant is duly convicted thereof or has signed a statement admitting that he or she has committed such an act. Determinations regarding a benefit claim may be reviewed at any time. Any benefits paid to a claimant prior to a determination that the claimant has lost employment as a result of such act shall not be considered to have been accepted by the claimant in good faith. In addition, remuneration paid to the claimant by the affected employer prior to the claimant's loss of employment due to such criminal act may not be utilized for the purpose of establishing entitlement to a subsequent, valid original claim. The provisions of this subdivision shall apply even if the employment lost as a result of such act is not the claimant's last employment prior to the filing of his or her claim.

5. Terms of disqualification. A disqualification pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not be confined to a single benefit year.

6. Determinations and hearings. The commissioner shall issue a determination for any protest that is filed by any base period employer with-in the time specified in the notification of potential charges based on voluntary separations or misconduct. An employer or claimant may request a hearing of such determination pursuant to section six hundred twenty of this article.
(Added L.1944, c. 705, § 1; amended L.1958, c. 387, § 3; L.1960, c. 783, § 3; L.1981, c. 234, § 1; L.1983, c. 415, § 8; L.1983, c. 554, § 2; L.1987, c. 418, § 1; L.1991, c. 248, § 2; L.1998, c. 589, §§ 31 to 35, eff. April 1, 1999; L.1999, c. 268, § 1, eff. July 20, 1999; L.2000, c. 5, § 15, eff. Feb. 15, 2000; L.2002, c. 282, § 2, eff. Aug. 6, 2002; L.2009, c. 35, §§ 1, 2, eff. May 20, 2009; L.2013, c. 57, pt. O, § 15, eff. March 29, 2013.)