2020 Code of Alabama
Title 25 - Industrial Relations and Labor.
Chapter 4 - Unemployment Compensation.
Article 4 - Benefits.
Section 25-4-77 - Benefits Eligibility Conditions; "Suitable Employment" and Jury Duty Defined; Applicability of Subdivision (A)(5).

Universal Citation: AL Code § 25-4-77 (2020)

Section 25-4-77

Benefits eligibility conditions; "suitable employment" and jury duty defined; applicability of subdivision (a)(5).

(a) An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week in a benefit year which begins on or after January 1, 1989, only if the secretary finds that:

(1) He has made a claim for benefits with respect to such week in accordance with such regulations as the secretary may prescribe.

(2) He has registered for work at, and thereafter continued to report at, a state employment office in accordance with such regulations as the secretary may prescribe; except, that the secretary may by regulation waive or alter either or both of the requirements of this subdivision (2) as to individuals attached to regular jobs and as to such other types of cases or situations with respect to which he finds that compliance with such requirements would be oppressive, or would be inconsistent with purposes of this chapter.

(3) He is physically and mentally able to perform work of a character which he is qualified to perform by past experience or training, and he is available for such work either at a locality at which he earned wages for insured work during his base period or at a locality where it may reasonably be expected that such work may be available. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this subdivision, no otherwise eligible individual shall be denied benefits for any week because he or she is:

a. Enrolled in a course of training with the approval of the secretary. Such approval shall be conditioned upon the following:

1. The individual's skills are obsolete or such that there are minimal opportunities for employment;

2. Training is for an occupation for which there is a substantial and recurring demand;

3. Training is not a course of education for credit toward a degree;

4. The individual possesses aptitudes or skills which can be supplemented by retraining within a reasonable time; or

5. The individual produces satisfactory evidence of continued attendance and satisfactory progress;

b. In training approved by the secretary under Section 236 (a)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, nor shall such individual be denied benefits (any other provision of this chapter requiring denial notwithstanding) by reason of leaving work to enter such training; provided,

1. The work left is not suitable employment as defined in paragraph c. of this subdivision (3), or

2. Because of the application to any such week in training of provisions in this chapter (or any applicable federal unemployment compensation law) relating to availability for work, active search for work or refusal to accept work.

c. For purposes of paragraph b. of this subdivision (3), and only therefor, the term "suitable employment" means with respect to an individual, work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the individual's past adversely affected employment (as defined for purposes of the Trade Act of 1974), and wages for such work at not less than 80 percent of the individual's average weekly wage as determined for the purposes of the Trade Act of 1974.

(4) He has been totally or partially unemployed in such week.

(5) He has made a reasonable and active effort to secure work which he is qualified to perform by past experience and training, unless such failure is because the individual is before any court of the United States or any state pursuant to a lawfully issued summons to appear for jury duty. For the purposes of this subdivision (5), the entitlement to regular or extended benefits of any individual who is determined not to be actively engaged in seeking work during any week for the aforesaid reason, shall be determined pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (3) of this subsection (a) without regard to the disqualification provisions otherwise applicable under paragraph b. of subdivision (i)(1) of Section 25-4-75 and subdivision (i)(2) of Section 25-4-75. Further, for the purposes of this subdivision (5), the term "jury duty" means the performance of service as a juror, during all periods of time an individual is engaged in such service, in any court of a state or the United States pursuant to the law of the state or the United States and the rules of the court in which the individual is engaged in the performance of such service.

(6) He has during his base period been paid wages for insured work equal to or exceeding one and one-half times the total of the wages for insured work paid to him in that quarter of such base period in which such total wages were the highest and in addition, qualifies for benefits under the provisions of Section 25-4-72; provided, however, that no otherwise eligible individual who shall have received benefits in a preceding benefit year shall be eligible to receive benefits in a succeeding benefit year unless and until such otherwise eligible individual, subsequent to the beginning date of the preceding benefit year, shall have worked in insured employment for which work he earned wages equal to at least eight times the weekly benefit amount established for such individual in the preceding benefit year.

(7) He has pursuant to Section 4 of Public Law 103-152 been selected and referred to reemployment services and participates in reemployment services, such as job search assistance services, if the individual has been determined to be likely to exhaust regular benefits and need reemployment services pursuant to a profiling system established by the secretary unless it is determined by the secretary that:

a. Such claimant has completed such services; or

b. There is justifiable cause for such claimant's failure to participate in such service.

(b) With respect to any week which begins prior to January 1, 1989, an unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits as provided in this section prior to that date.

(c) The provisions of subdivision (5) of subsection (a) shall be applied only to any week which begins on or after March 22, 1984.

(Acts 1939, No. 497, p. 721; Code 1940, T. 26, §213; Acts 1943, No. 310, p. 281, §7; Acts 1945, No. 283, p. 449, §9; Acts 1949, No. 524, p. 804; Acts 1951, No. 598, p. 1029; Acts 1955, No. 353, p. 852; Acts 1961, Ex. Sess., No. 274, p. 2298, §8; Acts 1965, No. 390, p. 548, §4; Acts 1971, No. 88, p. 349, §5; Acts 1975, No. 801, p. 1604, §8; Acts 1982, No. 82-372, p. 533, §2; Acts 1983, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 83-155, p. 264, §11; Acts 1984, No. 84-73, p. 94, §7; Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-784, p. 213, §4; Acts 1989, No. 89-405, p. 822, §6; Acts 1994, No. 94-718, p. 1390, §2.)

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