• Key point. Employees who are dismissed as a result of job-related misconduct generally are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
A New York court ruled that an employee who had been dismissed for proselytizing coworkers was not eligible for unemployment benefits since his behavior constituted “misconduct.” In general, employees who are terminated for misconduct are not eligible for unemployment benefits. An employee was terminated from his employment as a computer project specialist after offending a co-worker by admonishing him about his personal life because it was not in accordance with the employee’s religious beliefs. As a result of complaints from several coworkers the employee had previously been counseled by his employer to refrain from espousing his religious beliefs in the workplace. The court concluded that the employee knew that “continued injection of his religious beliefs in the workplace could lead to his termination,” and so his behavior amounted to misconduct that disqualified him from unemployment benefits. In re Harvey, 689 N.Y.S.2d 789 (Sup. Ct. 1999).
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