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Challenge unemployment if firing offense was a crime

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in Firing,Human Resources

Employee theft is a big problem, and it’s natural for employers that catch workers stealing to terminate them. But some of those thieves may still file for unemployment.

Challenge such applications on the basis that the firing offense was punishable as a crime. There’s no need for an actual conviction.

Recent case: Sergio Gonzalez was a bookkeeper for an agency that provided low-income housing. He also purchased appliances on the agency’s behalf.

Gonzalez was fired after being criminally charged with writing an agency check to buy a TV and barbecue grill for his boss. He applied for unemployment, but was denied benefits because he was fired for conduct that constituted a crime. He appealed, arguing that he had to be convicted to lose benefits. The court disagreed. (Gonzalez v. Board of Review, No. A-0008-08T2, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, 2010)

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