By Peg Elofson
Background A company discharged an employee, a telecommuter, for not performing her job duties. She filed for unemployment benefits. The state said she did not qualify for unemployment benefits because her performance was considered to be misconduct. She disagreed with that decision and appealed. So, an administrative law judge (ALJ) held a hearing.
The Employer’s Evidence: The employer testified that the claimant, who worked from her home, was fired for not working when she was scheduled to work. The claimant had been given the employer’s policies at hire, and one of them prohibited avoiding scheduled work. The claimant’s manager noticed through work systems that the claimant was not performing the work she was supposed to be doing. Her manager tried to reach her several different ways, but the claimant did not respond. Once the claimant’s computer access was turned off, she called her manager and explained that her son was ill, and she was taking care of him. The claimant’s manager looked into whether the claimant’s absence from work was approved for FMLA, and learned that the claimant was not reporting absences as required. She admitted to her manager that she had not been working when scheduled, and was fired. The Claimant’s Evidence: The claimant testified she was not working during the time the employer was attempting to reach her. She testified that her son was very ill and was in and out of the hospital. She said that she had been approved for FLMA during that time so that she could take care of her son.
The ALJ found:
The claimant appealed. She argued:
The Board of Review (BOR) agreed with the ALJ’s decision. It stated that:
Read more or download our free Unemployment Hearing Case Guide Book where we examine evidence from 12 unemployment hearing cases, giving you professional insight on the Administrative Law Judge and The Board of Review decisions. Please remember: Unemployment laws vary from state to state. The result in this case might be different from a case in your state. Also, always consult with your own legal counsel and advisors concerning your specific fact.