☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 288

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  288.050.  Benefits denied unemployed workers, when — pregnancy, requirements for benefit eligibility. — 1.  Notwithstanding the other provisions of this law, a claimant shall be disqualified for waiting week credit or benefits until after the claimant has earned wages for work insured pursuant to the unemployment compensation laws of any state equal to ten times the claimant's weekly benefit amount if the deputy finds:

  (1)  That the claimant has left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work or to the claimant's employer.  A temporary employee of a temporary help firm will be deemed to have voluntarily quit employment if the employee does not contact the temporary help firm for reassignment prior to filing for benefits.  Failure to contact the temporary help firm will not be deemed a voluntary quit unless the claimant has been advised of the obligation to contact the firm upon completion of assignments and that unemployment benefits may be denied for failure to do so.  "Good cause", for the purposes of this subdivision, shall include only that cause which would compel a reasonable employee to cease working or which would require separation from work due to illness or disability.  The claimant shall not be disqualified:

  (a)  If the deputy finds the claimant quit such work for the purpose of accepting a more remunerative job which the claimant did accept and earn some wages therein;

  (b)  If the claimant quit temporary work to return to such claimant's regular employer; or

  (c)  If the deputy finds the individual quit work, which would have been determined not suitable in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision (3) of this subsection, within twenty-eight calendar days of the first day worked;

  (d)  As to initial claims filed after December 31, 1988, if the claimant presents evidence supported by competent medical proof that she was forced to leave her work because of pregnancy, notified her employer of such necessity as soon as practical under the circumstances, and returned to that employer and offered her services to that employer as soon as she was physically able to return to work, as certified by a licensed and practicing physician, but in no event later than ninety days after the termination of the pregnancy.  An employee shall have been employed for at least one year with the same employer before she may be provided benefits pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph;

  (e)  If the deputy finds that, due to the spouse's mandatory and permanent military change of station order, the claimant quit work to relocate with the spouse to a new residence from which it is impractical to commute to the place of employment and the claimant remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move.  The claimant's spouse shall be a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is on active duty, or a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces who is on active National Guard or reserve duty.  The provisions of this paragraph shall only apply to individuals who have been determined to be an insured worker as provided in subdivision (22) of subsection 1 of section 288.030;

  (2)  That the claimant has retired pursuant to the terms of a labor agreement between the claimant's employer and a union duly elected by the employees as their official representative or in accordance with an established policy of the claimant's employer; or

  (3)  That the claimant failed without good cause either to apply for available suitable work when so directed by a deputy of the division or designated staff of an employment office as defined in subsection 1 of section 288.030, or to accept suitable work when offered the claimant, either through the division or directly by an employer by whom the individual was formerly employed, or to return to the individual's customary self-employment, if any, when so directed by the deputy.  An offer of work shall be rebuttably presumed if an employer notifies the claimant in writing of such offer by sending an acknowledgment via any form of certified mail issued by the United States Postal Service stating such offer to the claimant at the claimant's last known address.  Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit the means by which the deputy may establish that the claimant has or has not been sufficiently notified of available work.

  (a)  In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the division shall consider, among other factors and in addition to those enumerated in paragraph (b) of this subdivision, the degree of risk involved to the individual's health, safety and morals, the individual's physical fitness and prior training, the individual's experience and prior earnings, the individual's length of unemployment, the individual's prospects for securing work in the individual's customary occupation, the distance of available work from the individual's residence and the individual's prospect of obtaining local work; except that, if an individual has moved from the locality in which the individual actually resided when such individual was last employed to a place where there is less probability of the individual's employment at such individual's usual type of work and which is more distant from or otherwise less accessible to the community in which the individual was last employed, work offered by the individual's most recent employer if similar to that which such individual performed in such individual's last employment and at wages, hours, and working conditions which are substantially similar to those prevailing for similar work in such community, or any work which the individual is capable of performing at the wages prevailing for such work in the locality to which the individual has moved, if not hazardous to such individual's health, safety or morals, shall be deemed suitable for the individual.

  (b)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this law, no work shall be deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied pursuant to this law to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new 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 the 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.

  2.  If a deputy finds that a claimant has been discharged for misconduct connected with the claimant's work, such claimant shall be disqualified for waiting week credit and benefits, and no benefits shall be paid nor shall the cost of any benefits be charged against any employer for any period of employment within the base period until the claimant has earned wages for work insured under the unemployment laws of this state or any other state as prescribed in this section.  In addition to the disqualification for benefits pursuant to this provision the division may in the more aggravated cases of misconduct cancel all or any part of the individual's wage credits, which were established through the individual's employment by the employer who discharged such individual, according to the seriousness of the misconduct.  A disqualification provided for pursuant to this subsection shall not apply to any week which occurs after the claimant has earned wages for work insured pursuant to the unemployment compensation laws of any state in an amount equal to six times the claimant's weekly benefit amount.  Should a claimant be disqualified on a second or subsequent occasion within the base period or subsequent to the base period the claimant shall be required to earn wages in an amount equal to or in excess of six times the claimant's weekly benefit amount for each disqualification.

  3.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 1 of this section, a claimant may not be determined to be disqualified for benefits because the claimant is in training approved pursuant to Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, (19 U.S.C.A. Sec. 2296, as amended), or because the claimant left work which was not suitable employment to enter such training.  For the purposes of this subsection "suitable employment" means, with respect to a worker, work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the worker's past adversely affected employment, and wages for such work at not less than eighty percent of the worker's average weekly wage as determined for the purposes of the Trade Act of 1974.


(L. 1951 p. 564, A.L. 1957 p. 531, A.L. 1975 S.B. 325, A.L. 1979 S.B. 477, A.L. 1982 H.B. 1521, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1251 & 1549, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1485, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1368, A.L. 1997 H.B. 472, A.L. 2004 H.B. 1268 & 1211, A.L. 2006 H.B. 1456, A.L. 2011 H.B. 136, A.L. 2014 S.B. 510)

(1954) Where substantial evidence supported finding that truck driver was discharged for drinking while on duty in violation of employer's rule and union contract, his disqualification for benefits was proper. Ritch v. Industrial Comm. (A.), 271 S.W.2d 791.

(1958) Offer of employment by former employer must be communicated to claimant so that where former employee who moved to new address and so did not receive letter offering him work would not be disqualified for failing to accept such work. ACF Industries v. Industrial Comm. (A.), 309 S.W.2d 676. Overruled (Mo.), 320 S.W.2d 484 (1959) where it was held that since claimant's own neglect or voluntary action prevented communication of offer and effected a breach of his contract, he was ineligible for benefits.

(1959) Word "attributable" as used in the statute as to the cause of leaving work requires a causal connection between the leaving and the work of claimant. Bussmann Mfg. Co. v. Industrial Comm.  of Mo., 327 S.W.2d 487.

(1960) Claimant who left her work with appellant solely because of pregnancy, and on being ready to return to work approximately two and one-half months after baby's birth, was told there was no work available, was not entitled to unemployment compensation as she had left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to her or to her employer. Bussmann Mfg. Co. v. Industrial Commission (A.), 335 S.W.2d 456.

(1960) Where a moving picture projectionist acted as a substitute for the regular projectionist and worked one day a week for several months and finally ceased working because the regular projectionist decided to work full time, the substitute was deemed to have voluntarily left his employment without good cause attributable to his work or employer since the employer had nothing to do with the arrangement between the regular projectionist and the substitute.  Kilgore v Industrial Commission (A.), 337 S.W.2d 91.

(1964) Where claimant, who was granted year's leave of absence due to pregnancy and was at first denied permission to return to work but was later allowed to return to work prior to expiration of leave, filed claim for benefits after having made five applications for work with other employers, commission's decision disqualifying claimant was proper. Neely v. Industrial Comm. of Mo., Div. of Emp.  Sec. (A.), 379 S.W.2d 201.

(1968) Held lack of cordiality of supervisor not good cause for quitting employment. Citizens Bank of Shelbyville v. Industrial Commission (A.), 428 S.W.2d 895.

(1973) Even though claimant received compensation at the approximate rate of $3.54 per hour at the time of her termination, her refusal to accept work at anything less than $3.23 per hour when offered $2.50 per hour justified the determination that she was ineligible for unemployment benefits on the grounds she was unavailable for work.  Blackman v. Industrial Commission, Div. of Emp. Sec. (A.), 491 S.W.2d 18.

(1976) Termination of employee for refusal to shave beard held not termination because of misconduct connected with work so as to disqualify employee from waiting week credit or benefits as provided in this section, where evidence was that employee had been assured by his immediate supervisor that employer's rule against beards did not apply to him, that employee had worn beard without question of a rule violation for over a year while receiving satisfactory ratings and a wage increase, and that employee had not acted in wanton or willful disregard of his employer's interest.  Laswell v. Industrial Com'n. of Missouri, etc. (A.),534 S.W.2d 613.

(1977) Refusal to accept transfer to another job with forty-four percent reduction in pay would not disqualify claimant for unemployment benefits. Armco Steel Corp. v. Labor and Indus. Relations Commission (A.), 553 S.W.2d 506.

(1978) Held employee who made fraudulent claims for insurance benefits on divorced wife committed action which constituted "misconduct connected with work" and disqualified him for unemployment compensation. Sain v. Labor and Industrial Relations Commission (A.), 564 S.W.2d 59.

(1984) Profane language of employer in criticizing employee did not constitute "good cause" for employee to leave his employment, particularly when employee was not called any profane names. Backer's Potato Chip v. Labor and Industrial Relations (Mo. App), 679 S.W.2d 909.

(1985) Claimant who voluntarily left her employment due to pregnancy was not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. Wimberly v. Labor and Industrial Relations Commission (Mo. banc), 688 S.W.2d 344.

(1987) This section has been held consistent with Federal law. Wimberly v. Labor and Industrial Relations Commission of Missouri, 107 S.Ct. 821.

(1987) This statute represents a neutral policy toward the fundamental right to bear children and decision to deny unemployment compensation to women who quit job to have a child pursuant to this statute is lawful. Sokol v. Smith, 671 F.Supp. 1243 (W.D. Mo.).

(2014) Employee's disregard of standards of behavior that an employer has a right to expect, such as falsification of a doctor's return-to-work certificate, need not be "misconduct" in determining eligibility for unemployment compensation.  Seck v. Department of Transportation, 434 S.W.3d 74 (Mo.banc).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2014 ----

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Effective End
288.050 8/28/2014
288.050 8/28/2011 8/28/2014
288.050 10/1/2006 8/28/2011
288.050 1/1/2005 10/1/2006
288.050 7/1/1951 7/1/1951

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