Amendment to MDES Regulation 305.02 – Work Search
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security has made revisions to MDES Regulation 305.02 regarding Work Search Requirements. The Amended Regulation will go into effect on May 29, 2021. The revisions to this Regulation are noted in bold below:
Regulation 305.02. Work Search
In accordance with Mississippi Code Annotated Section 71-5-11, individuals must make an active search for full-time (35 hours or more) work in order to maintain continuing eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. The Agency defines “actively seeking work” as follows:
- The individual must register for employment services as prescribed by MDES.
- The individual must engage in a course of action which is reasonably designed to result in his/her prompt reemployment in suitable full-time work. This includes making contact with at least three (3) employers each week. At least one (1) employer contact must include the submission of an application for employment. Additionally, the work applied for must be appropriate in light of the labor market and the individual's skills and capabilities. An “application for employment” is defined as any completed application or resume submitted to an employer that may reasonably be expected to have an opening for suitable work, either in-person, via mail, or via electronic communication; or any telephonic or in-person interview with an employer that may reasonably be expected to have an opening for suitable work.
- The individual must make a written list of his/her work search each week and, if requested by MDES, send a copy of this list, other documents, or evidence demonstrating his/her weekly work search activity to MDES, including the name, address and phone number of the employer contacted; and, if contacted via electronic means, the website, email address, or fax number of the employer, the name of the individual contacted, the platform used (employer site, Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, etc.), and the date of contact.
- The individual cannot report the same employer contact until three (3) weeks after it was first reported to MDES, unless the employer contact is part of a progressive hiring process.
- The individual may be deemed to have failed to make a reasonable effort to seek work on his/her own behalf if the individual has willingly followed a course of action to discourage prospective employers from hiring him/her for suitable work. This includes, but is not limited to, failing to return a phone call from an employer or failing to appear for a scheduled interview with an employer without good cause.
The facts and circumstances in each case shall be considered in determining whether a claimant has made a reasonable effort to search for suitable work. If an individual fails to comply with any of the above stated requirements, the individual shall be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for the week or weeks in which the violation or violations occurred. The agency may impose more stringent penalties in situations in which an individual is shown to be a habitual violator of the requirements contained in this regulation.
Acceptable employer contacts may include, but are not limited to:
- Making a self-referral for job openings via the MDES Online Employment Services System through the MDES Web site at www.mdes.ms.gov.
- Visiting a local WIN Job Center for staff-assisted job referrals and making employer contacts based on those referrals.
- Completing a job application with employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings for suitable work. The job application may be submitted in person, online, by fax, or in any other manner directed by the employer and appropriate for the type of work the individual is seeking.
- Mailing a job application and/or resume as instructed by a job notice.
- Making in-person visits with employers that may reasonably be expected to have openings for suitable work.
- Interviewing with potential employers in person, by telephone, or in any other manner directed by the employer and appropriate for the type of work the individual is seeking.
- Attending a job fair and submitting an application or providing a resume to employers in attendance.
The work search requirements for certain individuals may be waived by the Agency for the following reasons: job attached (as defined by the Agency), Jury Duty, Approved Training, Approved Self-Employment Assistance Program, and individuals who are members in good standing of a union that maintains a nondiscriminatory hiring hall, as that term is defined by the Landrum-Griffin Act, and who maintain contact with and use the placement services of the hiring hall. The Agency may also waive this requirement due to other extenuating circumstances as determined by the Agency.