ORS 657.155¹
Benefit eligibility conditions
  • rules

(1) An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week only if the Director of the Employment Department finds that:

(a) The individual has registered for work at and thereafter has continued to report at an employment office in accordance with such rules as the director may prescribe. However, the director may, by rule, waive or alter either or both of the requirements of this subsection as to individuals attached to regular jobs and as to such other types of cases or situations with respect to which the director finds that compliance with such requirements would be oppressive, or would be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter; provided, that no such rule conflicts with ORS 657.255 (Method of payment of benefits).

(b) The individual has made a claim for benefits with respect to such week in accordance with ORS 657.260 (Filing claims for benefits).

(c) The individual is able to work, is available for work, and is actively seeking and unable to obtain suitable work. No individual participating in a community work and training program, as defined in ORS 411.855 (Definitions for ORS 411.855 to 411.870), shall, solely by reason thereof, be unavailable for work within the meaning of this section.

(d) The individual has been unemployed for a waiting period of one week, unless the Governor has waived the required waiting period as provided in ORS 401.186 (Waiver of waiting period for unemployment benefits).

(e) The individual is not disqualified from benefits or ineligible for benefits under any other section of this chapter.

(f) The individual is qualified for benefits under ORS 657.150 (Amount of benefits).

(2)(a) An individual who leaves the individual’s normal labor market area for the major portion of any week is presumed to be unavailable for work within the meaning of this section.

(b) The presumption described in paragraph (a) of this subsection may be overcome if the individual establishes to the satisfaction of the director that the individual:

(A) Has conducted a bona fide search for work and has been reasonably accessible to suitable work in the labor market area in which the individual spent the major portion of the week to which the presumption applies; or

(B) Was required to be outside the individual’s normal labor market area to apply for suitable employment within the individual’s normal labor market.

(3) The director shall either promptly allow credit or pay benefits for any week for which benefits are claimed or promptly give notice of denial thereof in the manner provided in ORS 657.267 (Allowing or denying claim) and 657.268 (Filing information on issues not previously decided). [Amended by 1955 c.655 §7; 1961 c.631 §8; 1967 c.130 §11; 1973 c.398 §1; 1977 c.295 §3; 1979 c.521 §1; 1993 c.778 §11; 2008 c.23 §3; 2015 c.103 §1]

Note: Section 4, chapter 23, Oregon Laws 2008, provides:

Sec. 4. Sections 1 and 2 [401.186 (Waiver of waiting period for unemployment benefits)] of this 2008 Act and the amendments to ORS 657.155 (Benefit eligibility conditions) by section 3 of this 2008 Act become operative when federal law permits without penalty a waiver under section 2 of this 2008 Act of the one-week waiting period required by ORS 657.155 (Benefit eligibility conditions). [2008 c.23 §4]

Notes of Decisions

Claimant was ineligible for unemploy­ment benefits when she refused night shift work because of need to care for her sick husband. York v. Morgan, 16 Or App 76, 517 P2d 301 (1973)

Where a claimant demonstrates that school is sec­ondary to suitable employ­ment he should not be denied unemploy­ment compensa­tion. Minniti v. Employ­ment Div., 18 Or App 44, 523 P2d 1060 (1974)

The amount set by claimant as a min­i­mum acceptable salary in her customary occupa­tion indicated she was not actively seeking and unable to obtain suitable work. Fojardo v. Employ­ment Div., 20 Or App 390, 532 P2d 29 (1975)

An employee on maternity leave who seeks to return to work under contract is “actively seeking work” within this sec­tion. Polk County Intermediate Educ. Dist. v. Employ­ment Div., 24 Or App 169, 544 P2d 1073 (1976)

Claimant did not lose unemploy­ment benefits when, following es­tab­lished practice of Employ­ment Division, claimants in particular class of which he was member did not have to check with place­ment office each week. Anderson v. Employ­ment Div., 24 Or App 503, 546 P2d 779 (1976)

The Unemploy­ment Appeals Board erred in denying claimant benefits on ground that he refused suitable work where work refused was not in the claimant’s usual trade and OAR 471-30-070 allows claimant six weeks to find work in usual trade. Gredvig v. Employ­ment Div., 24 Or App 511, 546 P2d 791 (1976)

The claimant’s unavailability for work due to illness on one day does not preclude him from unemploy­ment benefits for that week. Employ­ment Div. v. Park, 27 Or App 395, 556 P2d 149 (1976)

Where employee subject to layoff was given definite date of return to work in one month, and employee visited relatives in Wisconsin and filed courtesy report at unemploy­ment office there, employee was “available for work” within meaning of this sec­tion and was not re­quired to further con­duct act of search for work. Scotch v. Employ­ment Division, 31 Or App 941, 573 P2d 723 (1977)

There is no require­ment that testimony of credible claimant re­gard­ing willingness to place work ahead of schooling must be supported by addi­tional evidence. Petro v. Employ­ment Division, 32 Or App 17, 573 P2d 1250 (1978)

Referee must make specific findings re­gard­ing credibility of claimant. Petro v. Employ­ment Division, 32 Or App 17, 573 P2d 1250 (1978)

No presump­tion of unavailability, under this sec­tion, arises out of school attendance. Petro v. Employ­ment Division, 32 Or App 17, 573 P2d 1250 (1978); Dach v. Employ­ment Division, 32 Or App 433, 574 P2d 684 (1978)

Where pregnant claimant was given leave of absence by employer, following in­for­ma­­tion supplied to employer by claimant’s doctor that she was able to do sedentary or nonstrenuous work, she was available for sedentary or nonstrenuous work and entitled to compensa­tion under this sec­tion. Kibble v. Employ­ment Division, 36 Or App 243, 584 P2d 340 (1978)

Leaving one job to return to school as well as take more attractive employ­ment which terminated unexpectedly in one week was not good cause for terminating first job where there was nothing about first job which would cause reasonably prudent per­son to quit, and claimant was not entitled to receive compensa­tion chargeable to first employer. Waide v. Employ­ment Div., 38 Or App 121, 589 P2d 1138 (1979)

Where claimant performed uncompensated services for a corpora­tion of which he was an of­fi­cer and shareholder and through which he sought employ­ment, this did not mean he was not “available” or “looking for work” under this sec­tion. Taylor v. Employ­ment Div., 286 Or 711, 597 P2d 780 (1979)

Where peti­tioner lost job when school district funds were cut, continued to seek work of same type, but dec­lined to interview for employ­ment with school located some distance from peti­tioner’s house, there was not substantial evidence to support determina­tion that school was within peti­tioner’s labor market. McCann v. Emp. Div., 53 Or App 102, 630 P2d 1335 (1981)

Receipt of workers’ compensa­tion benefits does not give rise to presump­tion that claimant is unable to work for purposes of receiving unemploy­ment benefits. Edwards v. Employ­ment Division, 63 Or App 521, 664 P2d 1151 (1983)

Claimant-nurse was not “available” for work where she refused, in order to care for son, to work swing shift. Doctor v. Employ­ment Division, 76 Or App 650, 711 P2d 159 (1985), Sup Ct review denied

Administrative rule defining “available for work” as used in this sec­tion does not contain require­ment that immigrants have INS work authoriza­tion before they may be considered to be available for work. Carillo v. Employ­ment Division, 88 Or App 204, 744 P2d 1304 (1987)

Chapter 657

Notes of Decisions

An individual who performs services for remunera­tion is an employee, and per­son or organiza­tion for whom services are performed is an employer under terms of Employ­ment Division Law even if remunera­tion is paid indirectly rather than directly unless employer shows that some statutory exclusion applies. Lectro Lift, Inc. v. Morgan, 14 Or App 316, 513 P2d 526 (1973)

Mere act of incorporating as professional corpora­tion does not, by itself, create employer-employee rela­tionship for purposes of this chapter. Peterson v. Employ­ment Division, 82 Or App 371, 728 P2d 95 (1986)

Determina­tion of whether claimant is qualified for benefits is made by reference to ORS 657.150 (Amount of benefits) and 657.155 (Benefit eligibility conditions), which require determina­tion of amount of work that claimant performed in “employ­ment” as defined in ORS chapter 657, which, in turn means that exclusions from “employ­ment” set out in ORS 657.040 (Employment) through 657.094 (Employment) must be considered. May Trucking Co. v. Employ­ment Dept., 251 Or App 555, 284 P3d 553 (2012)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Determining employer of musicians’ group, (1972) Vol 35, p 1306

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 657—Unemployment Insurance, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors657.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 657, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano657.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information