You can terminate an employee for missing work because he had to spend the night in jail. He won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits because the firing was for misconduct related to regular attendance.
Recent case: Richard worked as a grain laborer for about six months. During the crucial harvest period, he missed work and didn’t call in until the next morning. He told his supervisor he couldn’t call because he had been jailed following an argument with his girlfriend. He also explained he might have to go back to jail.
The supervisor fired Richard for breaking attendance rules and because he admitted he might miss more work over the incident.
Richard then applied for unemployment benefits, but was denied. He lost the claim because being jailed was misconduct that interfered with regular attendance. (Kruegel v. All-American, No. A13-0331, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2013)