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Handbook is key to misconduct discharge

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in HR Management,Human Resources

How your handbook reads is critical when you want to contest unemployment benefits for a former employee who was terminated for misconduct.

Document that the em­­ployee received the handbook. Track any warnings that led up to the firing.

Recent case: Keri was terminated for using profanity at work. She applied for un­­employment benefits, but the employer brought in records showing she was fired for misconduct. Its handbook clearly prohibited profanity and offensive conduct and Keri had signed for the manual. She also admitted to being warned many times about swearing at work. That was enough to deny her benefits. (Dustrud vs. Tires Proz, No. A13-0638, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2014)

Final note: Misconduct includes breaking reasonable rules. Those rules can include requiring civility in the workplace. Include such expectations in your handbook.

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