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Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment CompensationUnemployment compensation law is a critical issue to many Floridians that have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own. Moreover, sometimes persons that lose their jobs regardless of fault can be entitled to unemployment compensation. The laws are always changing, but the below historical complication can demonstrate how complex this area of the law can be. Thus, we recommend hiring an unemployment compensation lawyer to assist with your legal issue.

443.036. Definitions

(30) “Misconduct,” irrespective of whether the misconduct occurs at the workplace or during working hours, includes, but is not limited to, the following, which may not be construed in pari materia with each other:
(a) Conduct demonstrating conscious disregard of an employer’s interests and found to be a deliberate violation or disregard of the reasonable standards of behavior which the employer expects of his or her employee.
(b) Carelessness or negligence to a degree or recurrence that manifests culpability or wrongful intent, or shows an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations to his or her employer.
(c) Chronic absenteeism or tardiness in deliberate violation of a known policy of the employer or one or more unapproved absences following a written reprimand or warning relating to more than one unapproved absence.
(d) A willful and deliberate violation of a standard or regulation of this state by an employee of an employer licensed or certified by this state, which violation would cause the employer to be sanctioned or have its license or certification suspended by this state.
(e) A violation of an employer’s rule, unless the claimant can demonstrate that:

1. He or she did not know, and could not reasonably know, of the rule’s requirements;
2. The rule is not lawful or not reasonably related to the job environment and performance; or
3. The rule is not fairly or consistently enforced.

Misconduct is difficult for an employer to prove. See Donnell, 705 So.2d 1031 (reversing denial of benefits based on misconduct where claimant failed to follow recently changed policy regarding garbage can liners, engaged in loud argument in hallway with supervisor when confronted with noncompliance, and initially refused supervisor’s command to go to his office); Benitez v. Girlfriday, Inc., 609 So.2d 665 (Fla. 3d DCA 1992) (reversing denial of benefits based on misconduct when claimant engaged in telephone argument with branch manager during which she used profanity when referring to manager); Johnson v. Fla. Unemployment Appeals Comm’n, 513 So.2d 1098 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987) (reversing denial of benefits based upon misconduct where claimant used profanity during conversation in private office with supervisor). Compare Wrightington v. Unemployment Appeals Comm’n, 833 349*349 So.2d 202 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002) (reversing denial of benefits based on misconduct where claimant’s vulgar and abusive language toward chief executive officer was isolated incident occurring in confines of private office), with Suluki v. Unemployment Appeals Comm’n, 644 So.2d 552 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994) (affirming denial of benefits based on misconduct when claimant cursed at the president of the employer in the presence of two new trainees)

Also, a single incident of insubordination does not amount to misconduct. See, e.g., Montalbano v. Unemployment Appeals Comm’n, 873 So.2d 417 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004) (holding that employee who had argument with her supervisor over a work order and was fired for insubordination when she began to yell, did not involve misconduct); Tabares v. Fla. Unemployment Appeals, 838 So.2d 1214 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003) (holding that employee’s raising her voice during meeting with supervisor did not constitute misconduct connected with work).

Contact our Florida law firm for help with your unemployment compensation claim. We can help, regardless of where in Florida you live.

Massey & Duffy

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