Unemployment Willful Misconduct
Willful misconduct is an intentional disregard for the employer’s rules and business interests, as well as poor behavior, tardiness, and duty negligence. An employee terminated for willful misconduct is ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Pennsylvania courts outline specific examples of willful misconduct.
Common Examples of Willful Misconduct
- Breaking company policy
- Not following employer’s training
- Absences and tardiness
- Unprofessional behavior
Beyond these common examples of willful misconduct, a few other situations can automatically make employees ineligible for receiving UC benefits. Although employers are tasked with proving an employee’s willful misconduct, an employee should know how to explain that their behavior was not willful misconduct. This can be a delicate interaction that requires the expertise of a lawyer to successfully regain UC benefits.
Other Types of Willful Misconduct Examples
- Drug paraphernalia, drug use, intoxication
- Falsifying information
- Breaching confidentiality
- Sex or self-stimulation at work
- Violence, stealing, or threatening language
Can I Get Unemployment if I was Fired for Willful Misconduct?
Kiss UC benefits good-bye if you’ve been fired for cause or willful misconduct. Unemployment compensation benefits are not awarded to individuals who intentionally misbehaved while on the job. However, in some situations, you may be able to prove that you were misclassified with “willful misconduct” and should be receiving your unemployment. To explore your options under the law, contact an employment lawyer for your legal solutions.
What are Non-Disqualifying Reasons for Job Termination?
Employees are sometimes fired for reasons that won’t disqualify them from receiving UC benefits. Non-disqualifying reasons for termination include bad attitude, personality clashes with coworkers, poor judgment, incompetence, or not paying attention to work performance. When an employee is fired for a cause, this does not immediately make them ineligible for unemployment benefits. Surrounding circumstances should be analyzed as well.
The Basics of an Unemployment Appeal Hearing for Willful Misconduct
The burden of proving willful misconduct falls to the employer. Despite the fact that the employee doesn’t have to actively disprove willful misconduct and only respond to allegations, many employees manage to lose their unemployment appeal for UC benefits. Without expert understanding of the legal process, employees fail to navigate the process in a way to win UC benefits.
Employer Tries to Prove Willful Misconduct
The law obligates the employer to prove that an employee willfully disregarded the employer’s best interests and participated in major infractions. Moreover, the employer tries to show that your actions continually violated work standards, and that it was detrimental to the business goals.
Employee Responsibility to Rebut Employer Proof
Sometimes an employer labels certain instances as bigger issues than they are. Although an employee might recognize this to be the case, an employee’s argument must be worded carefully in this legal environment. An employment lawyer knows the best way to challenge an employer’s supposed proof.
The unemployment appeal hearing referee often makes a decision based on knowing whether an employer rule exists or not. An employer can prove the rule with a series of testimonies from management level employees. If you don’t respond with the right legal points and explanations, your employer will easily prove that your actions deliberately violated a rule.
Prove Your Employer Owes You UC Benefits
Being accused of willful misconduct and losing your UC benefits can be a frustrating experience. However, the legal system does allow you to question your employer’s decision. Due to the nature of UC benefits, termination, and willful misconduct, it’s best to walk through this process with a lawyer.
- Know why your employer has labeled your termination “willful misconduct”
- Prepare relevant evidence that can’t be used against you
- Respond in detail to your employer’s allegations
Some explanations that have overturned the label of “willful misconduct” are reasons of accidents, family emergencies, health scares, physical inability, or vagueness of the rule. However, no situation is exactly the same. An employment lawyer can guide your process for regaining UC benefits.
If you believe that you’ve been falsely accused of willful misconduct and lost your UC benefits, reach out to an unemployment lawyer for your legal solutions.
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