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For unemployment, cursing amounts to misconduct

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Pennsylvania workers can be denied unemployment benefits for willful misconduct. That includes willful disregard for an employer’s interests, deliberate violation of rules, disregard for behavioral standards an employer can rightfully expect or negligence indicating intentional disregard of employer interests or employee duties.

A court just decided cursing counts, even if there’s no specific rule against it.

Recent case: Lisa worked with crime victims in a district attorney’s office. She was terminated for allegedly yelling “F*** you!” to a crime victim on the phone.

She argued that wasn’t willful misconduct because there were no rules against cursing. The court said her behavior violated standards that didn’t need to be written. (George v. UCBR, Commonwealth Court, 2017)

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