373-1.8  Requirements for employability services and employment.

    (a) Registration for employment-related services, participation in employability services and targeted assistance programs, participation in job search and interviews, and acceptance of appropriate offers of employment.

        (1) As a condition for receipt of RCA, a recipient who is not exempt from complying with employment requirements set forth in this section must, except for good cause:

            (i) register with the authorized service provider providing employability services;

            (ii) within 30 days of receipt of RCA, participate in the assigned employability services;

            (iii) carry out job search, as provided for in subdivision (f) of this section;

            (iv) go to all job interviews arranged by the authorized service provider;

            (v) accept an offer of employment which is determined to be appropriate by the appropriate agency; and

            (vi) accept an offer of employment which is determined to be appropriate by the local resettlement agency which was responsible for the initial resettlement of the refugee or entrant.

        (2) A social services district must permit, but may not require, the voluntary registration for employability services of an applicant or recipient who is exempt under subdivision (b) of this section.

    (b) Criteria for exemption from registration for employability services, participation in job search and interviews, and acceptance of appropriate offers of employment.

        (1) An applicant for or recipient of RCA is employable unless the applicant or recipient is:

            (i)under age 16;

            (ii) under age 18 and a full-time student in secondary school or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training and reasonably expected to complete the program before reaching age 19;

            (iii) ill, when determined by the social services district on the basis of medical evidence or on another sound basis that the illness or injury is serious enough to temporarily prevent entry into employment or training;

            (iv) incapacitated, when determined by a physician or licensed or certified psychologist and verified by the social services district, that a physical or mental impairment, by itself or in conjunction with age, prevents the individual from engaging in employment or training;

            (v) 65 years of age or older;

            (vi) caring for another member of the household who has a physical or mental impairment which requires, as determined by a physician or licensed or certified psychologist and verified by the social services district, care in the home on a substantially continuous basis, and no other appropriate member of the household is available;

            (vii)a parent or other caretaker relative of a child under the age of three who personally provides full-time care of the child with only very brief and infrequent absences from the child. Only one parent or other relative may be exempt under this subparagraph;

            (viii) working at least 30 hours a week in unsubsidized employment expected to last a minimum of 30 days. This exemption continues to apply if there is a temporary break in full-time employment expected to last no longer than 10 working days; or

            (ix) pregnant, if it has been medically verified that the child is expected to be born in the month in which such registration would otherwise be required or within the next six months.

        (2) Inability to communicate in English does not exempt an applicant or recipient from registration for employment services, participation in employability services, and acceptance of appropriate offers of employment.

    (c) Effect of quitting employment or failing or refusing to participate in required services.

        (1) As a condition of eligibility for RCA, an employable applicant may not, without good cause, within 30 consecutive calendar days immediately prior to the application for assistance, have voluntarily quit employment or have refused to accept an offer of employment determined to be appropriate by the authorized service provider, using criteria set forth in subdivision (e) of this section.

        (2) As a condition of continued receipt of RCA, an employable recipient may not, without good cause, voluntarily quit employment or fail or refuse to meet the requirements of subdivision (a) of this section.

    (d) Development of an employability plan.

        (1) An individual employability plan must be developed, as part of a family self-sufficiency plan where applicable, by the social services district or a services provider for each recipient of RCA in a family unit which is not exempt under subdivision (b) of this section.

        (2) If such a plan has been developed by the local resettlement agency which sponsored the refugee or its designee, a social services district may accept this plan if it determines that the plan is appropriate for the refugee and meets the requirements of this section.

        (3) The employability plan must:

            (i) be designed to lead to the earliest possible employment and not be structured in such a way as to discourage or delay employment or job-seeking; and

            (ii) contain a definite employment goal, attainable in the shortest time period consistent with the employability of the refugee in relation to job openings in the area.

    (e) Criteria for appropriate employability services and employment.

        (1) Employment services or employment must meet the following criteria:

            (i) all assignments must be within the scope of the recipient's employability plan. The plan may be modified to reflect changed services or employment conditions;

            (ii) the services or employment must be related to the capability of the recipient to perform the task on a regular basis. Any claim of adverse effect on physical or mental health must be based on adequate testimony from a physician or licensed or certified psychologist indicating that participation would impair the recipient's physical or mental health;

            (iii) the total daily commuting time to and from home to the service or employment site must not normally exceed two hours, not including the transporting of a child to and from a child care facility, unless a longer commuting distance or time is generally accepted in the community, in which case the round trip commuting time must not exceed the generally accepted community standards;

            (iv) when child care is required, the care must meet the standards in Part 415 of this Title for work and training programs for FA recipients;

            (v) the service or work site to which the recipient is assigned must not be in violation of applicable Federal, State or local health and safety standards;

            (vi) assignments must not be made which are discriminatory in terms of age, sex, race, creed, color or national origin;

            (vii) appropriate work may be temporary, permanent, full-time, part-time, or seasonal work if such work meets the other standards of this section;

            (viii) the wage must meet or exceed the Federal or State minimum wage law, whichever is applicable, or if such laws are not applicable, the wage must not be substantially less favorable than the wage normally paid for similar work in that labor market;

            (ix) the daily hours of work and the weekly hours of work must not exceed those customary to the occupation;

            (x) no individual may be required to accept employment, if:

                (a) the position offered is vacant due to a strike, lockout, or other bona fide labor dispute; or

                (b) the recipient would be required to work for an employer contrary to the conditions of his or her existing membership in the union governing that occupation. However, employment not governed by the rules of a union in which he or she has membership may be deemed appropriate; and

            (xi) the quality of training if offered must meet local employers' requirements so that the recipient will be in a competitive position within the local labor market. The training also must be likely to lead to employment which will meet the appropriate work criteria.

        (2) A job offered, if determined appropriate under the requirements of this subdivision, is required to be accepted by the recipient without regard to whether such job would interrupt a program of services planned or in progress unless:

        (i) the recipient is currently participating in a program in progress of on-the-job training or vocational training which meets the requirements of this section and which is being carried out as part of an approved employability plan; or

        (ii) the recipient is enrolled full-time in a professional re-certification program which meets the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision.

    (f) Failure or refusal to accept employability services or employment.

        (1) Termination or reduction of assistance.

        When, without good cause, an employable recipient of RCA who is not exempt from registration under subdivision (b) of this section has failed or refused to meet the requirements of subdivision (a) of this section or has voluntarily quit a job, the recipient will be subjected to sanction as set forth in subparagraph (3) of this subdivision and the authorized service provider must notify the appropriate social services district so that the district can take the action described in subparagraphs (2) and (3) of this paragraph.

        (2) Notice of intended termination.

            (i) In case of proposed action to terminate, discontinue, suspend, or reduce assistance, the social services district must give timely and adequate notice as defined in Subpart 358-2 of this Title.

            (ii) The written notice must include:

                (a) an explanation of the reason for the action and the consequences of such failure or refusal; and

                (b) notice of the recipient's right to a fair hearing under Part 358 of this Title.

        (3) Sanctions.

            (i) If the sanctioned recipient is the only member of the filing unit, the social services district must terminate the assistance. If the filing unit includes other members, the social services district must not take into account the sanctioned recipient's needs in determining the filing unit's need for assistance.

            (ii) The sanction applied in paragraph (1) of this subdivision will remain in effect for three payment months for the first such failure and six payment months for any subsequent such failure.

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