More news on the Unemployment front: In Fish v. YMCA, A14-728 (Minn. App. 12/15/2014), Mr. Fish was discharged for misconduct from employment with the YMCA. Minn. Stat. § 268.095, Subd. 4 indicates an employee who is discharged for misconduct is ineligible for unemployment benefits. Employment misconduct is defined as ‘intentional, negligent or indifferent conduct. . .that displays (1) a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has a right to reasonably expect of the employee or (2) a substantial lack of concern for the employment.’
In December 2013, Mr. Fish punched in for work and then proceeded to go lie down because he wasn’t feeling well. He was found 30 minutes later by a coworker. Going as far back as 2008, Mr. Fish had received other warnings for unsatisfactory performance. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has previously held that employee’s behavior as a whole may be considered in determining the appropriateness of a discharge and qualification for unemployment benefits.
Recently, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the ULJ who determined Mr. Fish’s past work record negatively impacted the YMCA, and he could not be trusted to perform his job duties in the future. His misconduct could not be deemed a good-faith error in judgment.
Employers should consider an employee’s past work record and document it in a termination notice, in support of the decision to discharge the employee. A sufficiently documented termination decision can support the denial of Unemployment benefits based on misconduct.