"Misconduct" is a word that terminated employees dread hearing. Reason: Being fired for misconduct typically means that an employee will have a tough time collecting unemployment insurance benefits. But what amounts to misconduct and what doesn't is not black and white.
A Shade of Gray
Annoyed with a co-worker's suggested scheduling change, an employee approached the co-worker, put her hands on her co-worker's neck, and "shook her lightly for about five seconds." The co-worker, who was on good terms with the employee, was shocked and offended, but not threatened. In fact, following the incident, they sat and laughed together.
The laughing stopped, however, when the employer found out about the incident. That's because the employee was subsequently fired for violating the company's zero-tolerance violence policy. When the employee sought unemployment benefits, her claim was denied because her behavior was tag...(register to read more)