2022 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 31 - Labor
Chapter 567 - Unemployment Compensation
Section 31-236. - Disqualifications. Exceptions.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 31-236. (2022)

(a) An individual shall be ineligible for benefits:

(1) If the administrator finds that the individual has failed without sufficient cause either to apply for available, suitable work when directed so to do by the Public Employment Bureau or the administrator, or to accept suitable employment when offered by the Public Employment Bureau or by an employer, such ineligibility to continue until such individual has returned to work and has earned at least six times such individual's benefit rate. Suitable work means either employment in the individual's usual occupation or field or other work for which the individual is reasonably fitted, provided such work is within a reasonable distance of the individual's residence. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the administrator may consider the degree of risk involved to such individual's health, safety and morals, such individual's physical fitness and prior training and experience, such individual's skills, such individual's previous wage level and such individual's length of unemployment, but, notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, no work shall be deemed suitable nor shall benefits be denied under this chapter to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept work under any of the following conditions: (A) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout or other labor dispute; (B) if the wages, hours or other conditions of work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality; (C) if, as a condition of being employed, the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization; (D) if the position offered is for work that commences or ends between the hours of one and six o'clock in the morning if the administrator finds that such work would constitute a high degree of risk to the health, safety or morals of the individual, or would be beyond the physical capabilities or fitness of the individual or there is no suitable transportation available from the individual's home to or from the individual's place of employment; or (E) if, as a condition of being employed, the individual would be required to agree not to leave such position if recalled by the individual's former employer;

(2) (A) If, in the opinion of the administrator, the individual has left suitable work voluntarily and without good cause attributable to the employer, until such individual has earned at least ten times such individual's benefit rate, provided whenever an individual voluntarily leaves part-time employment under conditions that would render the individual ineligible for benefits, such individual's ineligibility shall be limited as provided in subsection (b) of this section, if applicable, and provided further, no individual shall be ineligible for benefits if the individual leaves suitable work (i) for good cause attributable to the employer, including leaving as a result of changes in conditions created by the individual's employer, (ii) to care for the individual's spouse, child, or parent with an illness or disability, as defined in subdivision (16) of this subsection, (iii) due to the discontinuance of transportation, other than the individual's personally owned vehicle, used to get to and from work, provided no reasonable alternative transportation is available, (iv) to protect the individual, the individual's child, the individual's spouse or the individual's parent from becoming or remaining a victim of domestic violence, as defined in section 17b-112a, provided such individual has made reasonable efforts to preserve the employment, but the employer's account shall not at any time be charged with respect to any voluntary leaving that falls under subparagraph (A)(iv) of this subdivision, (v) for a separation from employment that occurs on or after July 1, 2007, to accompany a spouse who is on active duty with the armed forces of the United States and is required to relocate by the armed forces, but the employer's account shall not at any time be charged with respect to any voluntary leaving that falls under subparagraph (A)(v) of this subdivision, or (vi) to accompany such individual's spouse to a place from which it is impractical for such individual to commute due to a change in location of the spouse's employment, but the employer's account shall not be charged with respect to any voluntary leaving under subparagraph (A)(vi) of this subdivision; or

(B) If, in the opinion of the administrator, the individual has been discharged or suspended for felonious conduct, conduct constituting larceny of property or service, the value of which exceeds twenty-five dollars, or larceny of currency, regardless of the value of such currency, wilful misconduct in the course of the individual's employment, or participation in an illegal strike, as determined by state or federal laws or regulations, until such individual has earned at least ten times the individual's benefit rate; provided an individual who (i) while on layoff from regular work, accepts other employment and leaves such other employment when recalled by the individual's former employer, (ii) leaves work that is outside the individual's regular apprenticeable trade to return to work in the individual's regular apprenticeable trade, (iii) has left work solely by reason of governmental regulation or statute, or (iv) leaves part-time work to accept full-time work, shall not be ineligible on account of such leaving and the employer's account shall not at any time be charged with respect to such separation, unless such employer has elected payments in lieu of contributions;

(3) During any week in which the administrator finds that the individual's total or partial unemployment is due to the existence of a labor dispute other than a lockout at the factory, establishment or other premises at which the individual is or has been employed, provided the provisions of this subsection do not apply if it is shown to the satisfaction of the administrator that (A) the individual is not participating in or financing or directly interested in the labor dispute that caused the unemployment, and (B) the individual does not belong to a trade, class or organization of workers, members of which, immediately before the commencement of the labor dispute, were employed at the premises at which the labor dispute occurred, and are participating in or financing or directly interested in the dispute; or (C) the individual's unemployment is due to the existence of a lockout. A lockout exists whether or not such action is to obtain for the employer more advantageous terms when an employer (i) fails to provide employment to its employees with whom the employer is engaged in a labor dispute, either by physically closing its plant or informing its employees that there will be no work until the labor dispute has terminated, or (ii) makes an announcement that work will be available after the expiration of the existing contract only under terms and conditions that are less favorable to the employees than those current immediately prior to such announcement; provided in either event the recognized or certified bargaining agent shall have advised the employer that the employees with whom the employer is engaged in the labor dispute are ready, able and willing to continue working pending the negotiation of a new contract under the terms and conditions current immediately prior to such announcement;

(4) (A) Prior to January 1, 2024, during any week with respect to which the individual has received or is about to receive remuneration in the form of (i) (I) wages in lieu of notice or dismissal payments, including severance or separation payment by an employer to an employee beyond the employee's wages upon termination of the employment relationship, unless the employee was required to waive or forfeit a right or claim independently established by statute or common law, against the employer as a condition of receiving the payment, or any payment by way of compensation for loss of wages, or (II) any other state or federal unemployment benefits, except mustering out pay, terminal leave pay or any allowance or compensation granted by the United States under an Act of Congress to an ex-serviceperson in recognition of the ex-serviceperson's former military service, or any service-connected pay or compensation earned by an ex-serviceperson paid before or after separation or discharge from active military service, or (ii) compensation for temporary disability under any workers' compensation law; and

(B) On or after January 1, 2024, during any week with respect to which the individual has received or is about to receive remuneration in the form of (i) (I) wages in lieu of notice or dismissal payments, including severance or separation payment by an employer to an employee beyond the employee's wages upon termination of the employment relationship or any payment by way of compensation for loss of wages, (II) any other state or federal unemployment benefits, or (III) any vacation pay relating to an identifiable week or weeks designated as a vacation period by arrangement between the individual or the individual's representative and the individual's employer or that is the customary vacation period in the employer's industry. The following are excluded from this subparagraph: Mustering out pay, terminal leave pay or any allowance or compensation granted by the United States under an Act of Congress to an ex-serviceperson in recognition of the ex-serviceperson's former military service, or any service-connected pay or compensation earned by an ex-serviceperson paid before or after separation or discharge from active military service, or any payment of accrued vacation pay payable upon separation from employment, or (ii) compensation for temporary disability under any workers' compensation law;

(5) Repealed by P.A. 73-140;

(6) If the administrator finds that the individual has left employment to attend a school, college or university as a regularly enrolled student, such ineligibility to continue during such attendance;

(7) Repealed by P.A. 74-70, S. 2, 4;

(8) If the administrator finds that, having received benefits in a prior benefit year, the individual has not again become employed and been paid wages since the commencement of said prior benefit year in an amount equal to the greater of three hundred dollars or five times the individual's weekly benefit rate by an employer subject to the provisions of this chapter or by an employer subject to the provisions of any other state or federal unemployment compensation law;

(9) If the administrator finds that the individual has retired and that such retirement was voluntary, until the individual has again become employed and has been paid wages in an amount required as a condition of eligibility as set forth in subdivision (3) of section 31-235; except that the individual is not ineligible on account of such retirement if the administrator finds (A) that the individual has retired because (i) such individual's work has become unsuitable considering such individual's physical condition and the degree of risk to such individual's health and safety, and (ii) such individual has requested of such individual's employer other work that is suitable, and (iii) such individual's employer did not offer such individual such work, or (B) that the individual has been involuntarily retired;

(10) Repealed by P.A. 77-426, S. 6, 19;

(11) Repealed by P.A. 77-426, S. 6, 19;

(12) Repealed by P.A. 77-426, S. 17, 19;

(13) If the administrator finds that, having been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of thirty days or longer and having commenced serving such sentence, the individual has been discharged or suspended during such period of imprisonment, until such individual has earned at least ten times such individual's benefit rate;

(14) If the administrator finds that the individual has been discharged or suspended because the individual has been disqualified under state or federal law from performing the work for which such individual was hired as a result of a drug or alcohol testing program mandated by and conducted in accordance with such law, until such individual has earned at least ten times such individual's benefit rate;

(15) If the individual is a temporary employee of a temporary help service and the individual refuses to accept suitable employment when it is offered by such service upon completion of an assignment until such individual has earned at least six times such individual's benefit rate; and

(16) (A) For purposes of subparagraph (A)(ii) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, “illness or disability” means an illness or disability diagnosed by a health care provider that necessitates care for the ill or disabled person for a period of time longer than the employer is willing to grant leave, paid or otherwise, and “health care provider” means (i) a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery by the state in which the doctor practices; (ii) a podiatrist, dentist, psychologist, optometrist or chiropractor authorized to practice by the state in which such person practices and performs within the scope of the authorized practice; (iii) an advanced practice registered nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or clinical social worker authorized to practice by the state in which such person practices and performs within the scope of the authorized practice; (iv) Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts; (v) any medical practitioner from whom an employer or a group health plan's benefits manager will accept certification of the existence of a serious health condition to substantiate a claim for benefits; (vi) a medical practitioner, in a practice enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of this subparagraph, who practices in a country other than the United States, who is licensed to practice in accordance with the laws and regulations of that country; or (vii) such other health care provider as the Labor Commissioner approves, performing within the scope of the authorized practice.

(B) For purposes of subparagraph (B) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, “wilful misconduct” means deliberate misconduct in wilful disregard of the employer's interest, or a single knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule or policy of the employer, when reasonably applied, provided such violation is not a result of the employee's incompetence and provided further, in the case of absence from work, “wilful misconduct” means an employee must be absent without either good cause for the absence or notice to the employer which the employee could reasonably have provided under the circumstances for three separate instances within a twelve-month period. Except with respect to tardiness, for purposes of subparagraph (B) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, (i) prior to January 1, 2024, each instance in which an employee is absent for one day or two consecutive days without either good cause for the absence or notice to the employer which the employee could reasonably have provided under the circumstances constitutes a “separate instance”, and (ii) on or after January 1, 2024, each instance in which an employee is absent for one day without either good cause for the absence or notice to the employer which the employee could reasonably have provided under the circumstances constitutes a “separate instance”.

(C) For purposes of subdivision (15) of this subsection, “temporary help service” means any person conducting a business that consists of employing individuals directly for the purpose of furnishing part-time or temporary help to others; and “temporary employee” means an employee assigned to work for a client of a temporary help service.

(b) Any individual who has voluntarily left part-time employment under conditions which would otherwise render him ineligible for benefits pursuant to subparagraph (A) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section, who has not earned ten times his benefit rate since such separation and who is otherwise eligible for benefits shall be eligible to receive benefits only as follows: (1) If such separation from the individual's part-time employment precedes a compensable separation, under the provisions of this chapter, from his full-time employment, he shall be eligible to receive an amount equal to the benefits attributable solely to the wages paid to him for any employment during his base period other than such part-time employment; or (2) if such separation from the individual's part-time employment follows a compensable separation, under the provisions of this chapter, from his full-time employment, he shall be eligible to receive an amount equal to the lesser of the partial unemployment benefits he would have received under section 31-229 but for such separation from his part-time employment or the partial unemployment benefits for which he would be eligible under section 31-229 based on any subsequent part-time employment. In no event may the employer who provided such part-time employment for the individual be charged for any benefits paid pursuant to the subsection. For purposes of this subsection, “full-time employment” means any job normally requiring thirty-five hours or more of service each week, and “part-time employment” means any job normally requiring less than thirty-five hours of service each week.

(1949 Rev., S. 7508; 1953, S. 3073d, 3074d, 3076d; 1953, 1955, S. 3075d; 1967, P.A. 790, S. 14; October, 1970, P.A. 1, S. 12; 1971, P.A. 835, S. 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 20a; 1972, P.A. 279, S. 4; 291, S. 1; P.A. 73-76; 73-81; 73-140; 73-411; 73-536, S. 6, 12; P.A. 74-70, S. 1–4; 74-75; 74-229, S. 17, 22; P.A. 75-105; 75-427; P.A. 76-414, S. 2; P.A. 77-319; 77-323; 77-426, S. 6, 17, 19; P.A. 78-331, S. 40, 58; P.A. 79-376, S. 31; P.A. 80-78; 80-260, S. 3, 4; P.A. 81-12, S. 2; 81-318, S. 1, 6, 8; P.A. 82-262, S. 2; P.A. 85-26; 85-258, S. 1; 85-500; P.A. 86-55; 86-60; P.A. 88-88; P.A. 93-243, S. 5, 15; P.A. 95-323, S. 3, 8; P.A. 99-123; P.A. 01-37, S. 1, 2; P.A. 04-214, S. 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5, S. 17; P.A. 08-40, S. 1; P.A. 09-3, S. 3; P.A. 21-200, S. 3.)

History: 1967 act substantially rewrote provisions for clarity, specified applicability with regard to suspension from work, leaving part-time for full-time work, unemployment because of a lockout, pregnant women and re periods of substantial unemployment and revised provision re retired persons; 1970 act added reference to extended benefit periods in Subdiv. (8); 1971 act made technical changes in Subdiv. (2), set period of ineligibility following woman's refusal to accept reemployment in Subdiv. (5) at period until she registers for work, applies for work, etc. rather than until she has been paid wages of at least $100, deleted provision prohibiting wages paid prior to retirement as basis for benefits and added Subdiv. (10) re school personnel; 1972 acts added Subdiv. (11) re subsidiary education personnel; P.A. 73-76 changed amount of wages applicable in Subdiv. (8) from $150 to $300 and added alternate amount of ten times the weekly benefit rate; P.A. 73-81 added proviso re amount of wage offer in Subdiv. (1); P.A. 73-140 repealed Subdiv. (5) re pregnant women; P.A. 73-411 prohibited reduction of benefits paid to veterans in Subdiv. (9); P.A. 73-536 clarified disqualification in Subdiv. (2); P.A. 74-70 added exception in Subdiv. (4), repealed Subdiv. (7) re benefits to ex-servicemen under act of Congress in recognition of their service and changed wording of Subdiv. (9) slightly; P.A. 74-75 deleted proviso re amount of wage offer in Subdiv. (1); P.A. 74-229 substituted “next four following weeks” for “duration of the disqualification period” in Subdiv. (2); P.A. 75-105 changed alternate amount in Subdiv. (8) from ten to five times the weekly benefit rate; P.A. 75-427 prohibited refusing benefits to those who refuse work because a condition of employment is agreeing not to leave position if recalled by former employer; P.A. 76-414 added Subdiv. (12) re student work-study experience; P.A. 77-319 added proviso in Subsec. (1) re leaving suitable work for cause, authorized disqualification for felonious conduct or repeated misconduct and changed disqualification from four weeks to “until such individual has earned at least ten times his benefit rate”; P.A. 77-323 repeated amendment re leaving work for cause; P.A. 77-426 repealed Subdivs. (10) to (12) re school personnel; P.A. 78-331 made technical changes in Subdiv. (9); P.A. 79-376 substituted “workers' compensation” for “workmen's compensation” and redesignated Subparas. with capital letters; P.A. 80-78 changed basic period of ineligibility from four weeks to “until such individual has returned to work and has earned at least six times his benefit rate in Subdiv. (1)”; P.A. 80-260 changed calculation of weekly benefit rate in Subdiv. (9); P.A. 81-12 deleted the noncharging provisions concerning an employer whose employee quit or was fired under the terms of this section and later collects benefits, as such provisions have been transferred to Sec. 31-225a by P.A. 81-12; P.A. 81-318 disqualified claimants from eligibility for unemployment compensation if they had been discharged for conduct constituting larceny in the third degree and deleted any reference in Subdiv. (9) to an offset which reduced benefits by the amount of pension, retirement pay or annuity received by the claimant; P.A. 82-262 specified ineligibility for benefits for participation in illegal strike; P.A. 85-26 amended Subdiv. (2)(B) to redefine larcenous conduct to be the taking of a property or service whose value exceeds $50; P.A. 85-258 amended Subdiv. (2)(A) to limit compensable “quits” to instances when the claimant left suitable work for sufficient work-related causes, or he left to care for a seriously ill spouse, child or parent, or he left due to the discontinuance of his only means of transportation and defined “repeated wilful misconduct” as any acts of such misconduct which occur within one year of each other; P.A. 85-500 provided that claimants may be disqualified if discharged or suspended for “just cause”, and defined “just cause” to be a single act of wilful misconduct endangering life, safety or property; P.A. 86-55 added Subsec. (b), establishing limited eligibility rights for individuals who apply for unemployment compensation after having quit part-time employment, amending Subsec. (a) accordingly; P.A. 86-60 added Subsec. (a)(13), disqualifying any individual who is discharged or suspended from his employment during a term of imprisonment of 30 days or more to which he has been sentenced; P.A. 88-88 substituted “any employment during his base period other than such part-time” for “such full-time” in Subdiv. (1) and provided that an individual eligible for benefits under Subdiv. (2) would receive an amount equal to the lesser of the partial unemployment benefits he would have received but for the separation from the part-time employment or “the partial unemployment benefits for which he would be eligible under Sec. 31-229 based on any subsequent part-time employment”; P.A. 93-243 amended Subsec. (a)(2)(B) to expand the disqualification for larcenous conduct, amended Subdiv. (4)(A) to disqualify a claimant from eligibility for unemployment compensation while he is receiving severance or separation payments, and amended Subdiv. (13) to define “wilful misconduct”, effective June 23, 1993; P.A. 95-323 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute “good cause attributable to the employer” for “sufficient cause connected with his work”, to delete reference to “repeated” wilful misconduct in the course of employment, to amend the benefit level for employees discharged or suspended under state or federal drug or alcohol testing programs, to redefine “wilful misconduct” and to add definition of “temporary help service”, effective October 1, 1995, and applicable to any separation of employment occurring on or after that date; P.A. 99-123 made technical and gender neutral changes, and amended Subsec. (a)(2) to prohibit refusing benefits to an individual who leaves suitable work voluntarily to protect the individual or a child domiciled with the individual from becoming or remaining a victim of domestic violence; P.A. 01-37 amended Subsec. (a)(2) by deleting “just cause” as a reason for discharge or suspension and making technical changes and amended Subsec. (a)(16) to delete definition of “just cause”, redefine “wilful misconduct” to include absence without good cause or notice which could reasonably have been provided, and make a technical change; P.A. 04-214 amended Subsec. (a)(16) to change time period in definition of “wilful misconduct” from 18 months to 12 months and to define what constitutes a “separate instance”; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5 added Subsec. (a)(2)(A)(v) re separation from employment during period from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008, to accompany a spouse who is on active duty with the armed forces of the United States; P.A. 08-40 amended Subsec. (a)(2)(A)(v) by deleting language specifying period ending on June 30, 2008, re unemployment benefits for certain military spouses, effective July 1, 2008; P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (a)(2)(A)(ii) to replace exception re “seriously ill” spouse, child or parent domiciled with individual with exception re individual's spouse, child or parent “with an illness or disability, as defined in subdivision (16) of this subsection”, amended Subsec. (a)(2)(A)(iv) to extend protection to individual's child, spouse or parent, rather than a child domiciled with individual, added Subsec. (a)(2)(A)(vi) re accompanying individual's spouse to place from which commuting is impractical due to change in job location, and amended Subsec. (a)(16) by defining “illness or disability” and “health care provider”, effective April 15, 2009; P.A. 21-200 amended Subsec. (a) by making technical changes in Subdivs. (1) and (2)(B), redesignating existing provisions in Subdiv. (4) as Subpara. (A) and amending same to add reference to prior to January 1, 2024, and make conforming changes, and adding Subpara. (B) re certain remuneration received on or after January 1, 2024, and redesignating existing provisions in Subdiv. (16) as Subparas. (A) to (C), amending redesignated Subpara. (B) by redefining “separate instance” on or after January 1, 2024, and making conforming changes, effective January 1, 2022.

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