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Contesting Unemployment for Drunk Ex-Employee

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Q. We sent an employee home because he came to work clearly intoxicated. The police later picked him up wandering around, and he missed work because he was in jail sobering up. We fired him, and he filed for unemployment. Can we use the police report to challenge his unemployment claim? —R.H., Florida

A. Although unemployment compensation eligibility varies from state to state, in almost all states, an employee is deemed ineligible to receive benefits if he or she is fired for being intoxicated on the job. We recommend that you attempt to utilize the police report when presenting your case to unemployment comp officials. Note, however, that the report could be deemed inadmissible hearsay. It may be impractical, but the best evidence in this case would be the testimony of the police officers.

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