December 29, 2014

Pardalis & Nohavicka Employment Law Update: Employee Fired For Violating No-FB Rule Still Entitled to Unemployment Benefits

Laura worked for almost seven years as a senior speech language pathologist for the employer until she was terminated for violating the employer's written policy prohibiting employees from posting on social media "during work hours, unless for specific and approved business purposes."
Laura did not dispute that she was aware of the employer's policy onsocial media usage and that she nevertheless posted an item during work hours. This was an isolated incident and Laura had a clean disciplinary record prior to her termination. The court noted that not every discharge for cause rises to the level of misconduct, which is defined as "a willful and wanton disregard of the employer's interest." The court held that Laura's behavior, while reflective of a momentary lapse in judgment, did not rise to the level of disqualifying misconduct. Laura lost her job, but was still able to collect unemployment.

The case name is Matter of Sullivan (Brookville Ctr. for Children's Servs., Inc.--Commissioner of Labor), and can be found at:

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