Generally, employees fired for misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment. That’s because payments are due to employees who are unemployed through no fault of their own. But not every mistake counts as misconduct.
Recent case: Victor, a cable installation technician, had the option of either using a company vehicle or receiving reimbursements for driving their own. The company had a policy against carrying passengers during working hours. Victor was fired for dropping off his wife at a doctor’s appointment while driving his personal vehicle on a workday. He applied for and received unemployment benefits, despite his misconduct.
His employer contested the benefits, but the court said Victor’s mistake was innocent. He had never been warned that the no-ride rule applied to personal vehicles. (Mejia v. Metropolitan, No. 519484, Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, 2015)