Leighann Lightsey Marsocci, pro se, Appellant.
A. Robert Whaley, General Counsel, and M. Elaine Howard, Deputy General Counsel, Tallahassee, for Appellee Florida Unemployment Appeals Commission.
Leighann Lightsey Marsocci appeals an order of the Unemployment Appeals Commission (UAC) affirming an appeals referee's order that found Ms. Marsocci disqualified for unemployment benefits from July 4, 2010, through September 10, 2010, because she was not able and available for work. Because we find that some of the appeals referee's findings are not supported by competent, substantial evidence, we reverse and remand for clarification.
At the hearing before the appeals referee on September 10, 2010, Ms. Marsocci testified that she filed a claim for unemployment benefits effective July 4, 2010, after she lost her full-time job as a medical assistant. When asked if she was looking for full-time or part-time work, she first answered " part time," but then immediately stated, " [e]ither/or, whichever I can find I will take." She also testified that nothing had kept her from looking for work, that if offered a full-time position she would be able to accept it, and that she had made seven job contacts since July 4 and had searched the internet for available positions.
The appeals referee made findings of fact that Ms. Marsocci made at least seven part-time job contacts. But the referee then concluded that Ms. Marsocci " failed to show a genuine attachment to the labor market by testifying to a limited work search," and that she was not able and available for work as defined by statute. The UAC affirmed the referee's order. The appeals referee made no mention of her uncontradicted testimony of searching the internet for jobs in Okeechobee County.
To be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in any week, a claimant must show, among other requirements, that she is " able to work and is available for work." § 443.091(1)(d), Fla. Stat. (2010). " Able to work" means " physically and mentally capable of performing the duties of the occupation in which work is being sought." § 443.036(1), Fla. Stat. (2010). " Available for work" means " actively seeking and being ready and willing to accept suitable employment." § 443.036(6), Fla. Stat. (2010). Florida Administrative Code Rule 60BB-3.021 sets out relevant criteria in determining whether a claimant is able and available for work:
To be eligible for a claimed week of unemployment, a claimant must be:
(1) Authorized to work in the United States; and
(2) Able to work and available for work during the major portion of the claimant's customary work week; and
(3) Actively seeking work in a manner customary to the occupation in which work is being sought. Factors to be considered in determining whether the claimant has conducted an active work search are:
(a) The number of job contacts made by the claimant and the dates the contacts were made; and
(b) Whether the type of work being sought is reasonable considering the claimant's background, training, abilities, and duration of unemployment; and
(c) Whether the claimant possesses the necessary license, certification and tools to perform the type ...