Fired for death threats? No unemployment for you!

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in Firing,Human Resources

A Commonwealth Court has ruled that a Ridgway man who was fired for threatening his bosses can’t collect unemployment benefits. The employee had told a co-worker at Clarion Sintered Metals that two supervisors who ordered him to work on a Saturday “didn’t deserve to live.”

The man had worked for the company for 13 years as a tool and die maker.

The “didn’t deserve to live” comment was one of two incidents that led to two warnings and a three-day suspension. Then he upped the ante by stating, “I’m going to come into this place and spray it with bullets.”

By then, the company had had enough and terminated him.

In court to contest denial of unemployment benefits, the man said his comments weren’t threatening. His attorney argued that merely wishing that someone was dead—without any “overt acts of harm”—didn’t constitute a threat.

Note: The employer’s well-documented progressive discipline demonstrated to the court that it fired him for “willful misconduct” after several warnings.

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