COVID-19 & the Maryland Department of Labor’s Stance on Job Refusals

By June 25, 2020COVID-19

The Maryland Department of Labor notified all individuals who are currently on temporary layoff or are furloughed due to COVID-19 that they must return to work if called back to work. Any individual who refuses a work offer will be subject to delayed or denied unemployment benefits. Also, the state requires employers to report the below information, within 15 days, should their associates refuse work offers:

  • Associate’s full name and social security number
  • Date the associate was offered work
  • Date the associate refused the offer of work

Employers with a valid Maryland account number and FEIN may report job refusals and update return to work dates with the state’s online application at The application will accept an updated return to work date up to 30 days in the past and up to 12 months in the future. However, employers without a valid Maryland account number, such as federal employers and those who are out-of-state, should report job refusals and update return to work dates by emailing On receipt of job refusals, the state will schedule a telephonic fact-finding call with the individual so that they can address the job refusal issue. The state will also contact the employer to review the circumstances of the job offer. A determination will be made after the state reviews information received from both parties.

Yet please be aware that there are circumstances where individuals can have “good cause” to refuse work offers:

  • Being sick or still isolated as the result of COVID-19.
  • An unreasonable risk of exposure at place of employment.
  • Caring for a family member who is sick or isolated as the result of COVID-19.
  • Caring for a child who is unable to attend school or a childcare facility.
  • The work is not “suitable.” In the context of an individual returning to work with the same employer in which the individual had been laid off or furloughed as a direct result of COVID-19, suitable employment means employment that the claimant is qualified for based on their customary occupation, experience, education level, and/or training.


Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.


Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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