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No call is willful misconduct, means no unemployment

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in Firing,Human Resources

When an employee is fired for failing to follow call-off procedures when sick, he may lose unemployment benefits. That’s because violating the rules constitutes willful misconduct.

Recent case: Carnell worked as a cook at a retirement home. When he was injured on his free time, he first called in according to his employer’s absen­­teeism rules. But then he stopped. He was fired and applied for unemployment compensation.

His former employer argued that he had committed willful misconduct when he stopped calling in. The referee agreed and denied benefits.

He appealed, but the Common­wealth Court upheld the denial based on Carnell’s lack of a good reason to excuse complying with the employer’s call-off rule. He wasn’t incapacitated and could easily have made the phone calls. (Jefferson v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. 473 C.D. 2015, Commonwealth Court, 2015)

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