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Opposing unemployment comp isn’t retaliation

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in Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law

A federal court has dismissed a case that could have created big headaches for any employer trying to prevent a discharged employee from receiving unemployment compensation benefits.

Recent case: Margaret Burnett was discharged from her job and applied for unemployment compensation benefits. She claimed she had been fired for turning in another employee whom she believed was abusing his company gas credit card.

She sued for retaliation. The alleged retaliation? The fact that her employer opposed her application for unemployment benefits. Burnett said the employer was trying to get back at her for supposed whistle-blowing.

The court didn’t buy it, reasoning that employers have an absolute right to oppose unemployment compensation eligibility. (Burnett v. Trinity, No. 1:10-CV-681, ND NY, 2011)

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