We all know the words, "You’re Fired," but what does that mean for unemployment benefits. Generally, employees who quit, are discharged for employment misconduct or are discharged because of aggravated employment misconduct are not entitled to receive unemployment benefits from the State of Minnesota. Of course, there are some exceptions to these rules.
One new change with respect to misconduct involves whether or not the employee was discharged due to a single incident, which did not have a significant impact on the employer. Previously, if an employee was fired for committing a single incident of misconduct which did not have a significant impact on the employer, the employee would have been entitled to receive unemployment benefits under Minnesota law. Single incidents used to be excluded from the definition of misconduct, however, that is no longer the case today.
In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature revised Minn. Stat. § 268.095, Subd. 6(d). A single incident of misconduct will now be considered an important factor in deciding whether or not the conduct rises to the level of misconduct, thereby excluding an employee from receiving benefits.
Now, employees are no longer guaranteed a free bite at the apple for an anomalous isolated incident which did not substantially harm their employer.
It is important for employers to keep these things in mind when responding to unemployment benefit claims filed by employees, because if you don’t raise the issue, the employee may be granted unemployment benefits they would not have otherwise been entitled to receive.