(1) For the purposes of this rule, the following definitions apply:

(a) "job prospects" means the likelihood, as determined by the department, of the claimant becoming employed in the claimant's usual occupation in a reasonably short period of time;

(b) "reasonably short period of time" means within four weeks from the end of the week in which a valid claim is filed;

(c) "suitable work," with respect to a claimant whose job prospects are classified as "good," means work which is determined by the department to be suitable under 39-51-2304 , MCA;

(d) "suitable work," with respect to a claimant whose job prospects are classified as "not good," means any work which meets the following criteria:

(i) the work is within the claimant's capabilities;

(ii) the gross average weekly wages for the work exceeds the claimant's extended weekly benefit amount, plus the amount of any supplemental unemployment benefits (as defined in 26 U.S.C. 501(c) (17) (D) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended) payable for such week;

(iii) the position does not pay less than the higher of:

(A) the minimum wage provided by section 206(a) (1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206) , as amended, without regard to any exemption; or

(B) any applicable state or local minimum wage;

(iv) the position was offered to the claimant in writing or was listed with an employment office; and

(v) the work would not be determined by the department to be unsuitable under 39-51-2304 (3) , MCA;

(e) "valid claim" means a claim for extended benefits filed by a claimant who is an exhaustee, as defined in 39-51-2501 , MCA, and who meets the qualifying requirements of 39-51-2508 (1) (b) , MCA.

(2) With respect to each claimant who establishes a valid claim for extended benefits, the department will classify the claimant's job prospects as either "good" or "not good" and promptly notify the claimant in writing of its determination. Unless and until the department finds evidence to the contrary, the claimant's job prospects will be deemed to be "not good." The department may, at any time following an initial or subsequent classification and determination of a claimant's job prospects, change the claimant's job prospects classification if it finds that there is sufficient evidence to do so. The department will promptly notify the claimant in writing of its decision to change the classification.

(3) Any employment office located in the claimant's labor market area will refer a claimant who has filed a valid claim for extended benefits to any suitable work which meets the criteria prescribed in this rule.

History: 39-51-301, 39-51-302, MCA; IMP, 39-51-2508, MCA; NEW, 2000 MAR p. 3539, Eff. 12/31/00.