South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) recently issued guidance on how an employer should manage a former employee who turns down an offer of suitable work.

DEW recommends that if an employer offers an individual a job and they refuse, the employer should report the incident to DEW through the Employer Self Service Portal or submit an Offer of Work Form (UCB-261) to South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, Attn: Offers of Work, P.O. Box 995, Columbia, SC 29202. Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Regulations Chapter 47, Section 23, an offer of employment must be made by one of the two following methods: (1) Oral Offer of Work or (2) Written Offer of Work.

If the employer makes an Oral Offer of Work, the employer must submit a sworn statement to DEW, under penalty of perjury, that an offer of work was made directly to the individual, the nature of work offered, the wages and the hours per week, the shift or daily hours of the proposed employment, the expected duration of the employment, the time and place the claimant should have reported for duty, and any reason given by the claimant for his refusal to accept the work.

If the employer makes a Written Offer of Work, the offer shall set out the nature of the work offered, the probable wages, and hours per week, the shift or daily hours of the proposed employment, the expected duration of employment, the time and place the claimant should report, and the name of the person to whom he is to report. In addition, the employer must submit a copy of such offer to DEW together with certification that it was either received and refused by the individual, or that it was directed by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the individual and that no response was made by the claimant.

If the employer fails to follow Regulation 47-23 in making an offer of work, the individual will not be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits if the individual denies the offer.

In conjunction with South Carolina Code of Regulations 47-23, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued updated guidance on May 3, 2020 clarifying the loan forgiveness calculation under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Specifically, the Treasury Department noted that if an employer obtained a PPP loan, an employer’s loan forgiveness amount would not be reduced if the employer laid off an individual, offered to rehire the same individual, but the individual declined the offer. Similarly, this offer must be in writing and documented by the employer.

Accordingly, in compliance with both South Carolina’s Regulation 47-23 and the Treasury Department’s guidance and in the event an employee refuses an employer’s offer of work, it is in the best interest of the employer to first provide a written offer of work to its former employees so that it is well documented for unemployment and loan forgiveness purposes.