March 30, 2020
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The Florida Statutes

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Title XXXI
LABOR
Chapter 443
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
View Entire Chapter
Section 443.091, Florida Statutes 2009

443.091  Benefit eligibility conditions.--

(1)  An unemployed individual is eligible to receive benefits for any week only if the Agency for Workforce Innovation finds that:

(a)  She or he has made a claim for benefits for that week in accordance with the rules adopted by the Agency for Workforce Innovation.

(b)  She or he has registered for work with, and subsequently continued to report to, the Agency for Workforce Innovation in accordance with its rules. These rules must not conflict with the requirement in s. 443.111(1)(b) that each claimant must continue to report regardless of any appeal or pending appeal relating to her or his eligibility or disqualification for benefits. The Agency for Workforce Innovation may by rule waive this paragraph for individuals attached to regular jobs. These rules must not conflict with s. 443.111(1).

(c)1.  She or he is able to work and is available for work. In order to assess eligibility for a claimed week of unemployment, the Agency for Workforce Innovation shall develop criteria to determine a claimant's ability to work and availability for work.

2.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph or paragraphs (b) and (d), an otherwise eligible individual may not be denied benefits for any week because she or he is in training with the approval of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, and such an individual may not be denied benefits for any week in which she or he is in training with the approval of the Agency for Workforce Innovation by reason of subparagraph 1. relating to availability for work, or s. 443.101(2) relating to failure to apply for, or refusal to accept, suitable work. Training may be approved by the Agency for Workforce Innovation in accordance with criteria prescribed by rule. A claimant's eligibility during approved training is contingent upon satisfying eligibility conditions prescribed by rule.

3.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an individual who is in training approved under s. 236(a)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, may not be determined to be ineligible or disqualified for benefits with respect to her or his enrollment in such training or because of leaving work that is not suitable employment to enter such training. As used in this subparagraph, the term "suitable employment" means, for a worker, work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the worker's past adversely affected employment, as defined for purposes of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, the wages for which are at least 80 percent of the worker's average weekly wage as determined for purposes of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended.

4.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an otherwise eligible individual may not be denied benefits for any week by reason of subparagraph 1. because she or he is before any court of the United States or any state under a lawfully issued summons to appear for jury duty.

(d)  She or he participates in reemployment services, such as job search assistance services, whenever the individual has been determined, by a profiling system established by rule of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, to be likely to exhaust regular benefits and to be in need of reemployment services.

(e)  She or he has been unemployed for a waiting period of 1 week. A week may not be counted as a week of unemployment under this subsection:

1.  Unless it occurs within the benefit year that includes the week for which she or he claims payment of benefits.

2.  If benefits have been paid for that week.

3.  Unless the individual was eligible for benefits for that week as provided in this section and s. 443.101, except for the requirements of this subsection and of s. 443.101(5).

(f)  She or he has been paid wages for insured work equal to 1.5 times her or his high quarter wages during her or his base period, except that an unemployed individual is not eligible to receive benefits if the base period wages are less than $3,400.

(g)  She or he submitted to the Agency for Workforce Innovation a valid social security number assigned to her or him. The Agency for Workforce Innovation may verify the social security number with the United States Social Security Administration and may deny benefits if the agency is unable to verify the individual's social security number, if the social security number is invalid, or if the social security number is not assigned to the individual.

(2)  An individual may not receive benefits in a benefit year unless, after the beginning of the next preceding benefit year during which she or he received benefits, she or he performed service, regardless of whether in employment as defined in s. 443.036, and earned remuneration for that service of at least 3 times her or his weekly benefit amount as determined for her or his current benefit year.

(3)  Benefits based on service in employment described in s. 443.1216(2) and (3) are payable in the same amount, on the same terms, and subject to the same conditions as benefits payable based on other service subject to this chapter, except that:

(a)  Benefits are not payable for services in an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity for an educational institution or an institution of higher education for any week of unemployment commencing during the period between 2 successive academic years; during a similar period between two regular terms, whether or not successive; or during a period of paid sabbatical leave provided for in the individual's contract, to any individual, if the individual performs those services in the first of those academic years or terms and there is a contract or a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform services in any such capacity for any educational institution or institution of higher education in the second of those academic years or terms.

(b)  Benefits may not be based on services in any other capacity for an educational institution or an institution of higher education to any individual for any week that commences during a period between 2 successive academic years or terms if the individual performs those services in the first of the academic years or terms and there is a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform those services in the second of the academic years or terms. However, if compensation is denied to any individual under this paragraph and the individual was not offered an opportunity to perform those services for the educational institution for the second of those academic years or terms, that individual is entitled to a retroactive payment of compensation for each week for which the individual filed a timely claim for compensation and for which compensation was denied solely by reason of this paragraph.

(c)  Benefits are not payable based on services provided to an educational institution or institution of higher learning to any individual for any week that commences during an established and customary vacation period or holiday recess if the individual performs any services described in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) in the period immediately before the vacation period or holiday recess and there is a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform any service in the period immediately after the vacation period or holiday recess.

(d)  Benefits are not payable for services in any capacity specified in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) to any individual who performed those services in an educational institution while in the employ of a governmental agency or governmental entity that is established and operated exclusively for the purpose of providing those services to one or more educational institutions.

(e)  Benefits are not payable for services in any capacity specified in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) to any individual who provided those services to or on behalf of an educational institution, or an institution of higher education.

(f)  As used in this subsection, the term:

1.  "Fixed contract" means a written agreement of employment for a specified period of time.

2.  "Continuing contract" means a written agreement that is automatically renewed until terminated by one of the parties to the contract.

(4)  In the event of national emergency, in the course of which the Federal Emergency Unemployment Payment Plan is, at the request of the Governor, invoked for all or any part of the state, the emergency plan shall supersede the procedures prescribed by this chapter, and by rules adopted under this chapter, and the Agency for Workforce Innovation shall act as the Florida agency for the United States Department of Labor in the administration of the plan.

(5)  Benefits are not payable to any individual based on service 90 percent or more of which consists of participating in sports or athletic events or training, or preparing to participate, for any week that commences during the period between two successive sport seasons, or similar periods, if the individual performed the service in the first of those seasons, or similar periods, and there is a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform those services in the later of those seasons, or similar periods.

History.--s. 5, ch. 18402, 1937; s. 3, ch. 19637, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(492); s. 5, ch. 20685, 1941; s. 3, ch. 21983, 1943; s. 3, ch. 26879, 1951; s. 3, ch. 29771, 1955; s. 2, ch. 57-247; s. 3, ch. 59-55; s. 2, ch. 61-132; ss. 17, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 71-225; s. 2, ch. 75-39; s. 3, ch. 77-262; s. 3, ch. 77-399; s. 1, ch. 77-420; s. 2, ch. 78-386; ss. 3, 8, 9, ch. 80-95; s. 2, ch. 82-91; s. 2, ch. 83-10; s. 1, ch. 84-40; s. 1, ch. 84-279; s. 1, ch. 85-114; s. 1, ch. 88-100; s. 3, ch. 88-289; s. 1, ch. 90-9; s. 1, ch. 90-89; s. 3, ch. 94-347; s. 3, ch. 96-378; s. 20, ch. 96-423; s. 1059, ch. 97-103; s. 5, ch. 98-149; s. 2, ch. 98-154; s. 105, ch. 2000-165; s. 23, ch. 2003-36; s. 3, ch. 2005-209.

Note.--Former s. 443.05.

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