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Fired for doing no work? No unemployment, either

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Employees who are fired for refusing to work can’t collect unemployment benefits. Failing to work is considered willful misconduct.

Recent case: Donna worked for a health care system, calling patients and registering them for upcoming appointments. A computer system tracked her work activity. Her supervisors warned her several times about being logged in but apparently not doing anything.

Donna was fired and she applied for unemployment compensation. Her request was denied, largely because she committed employment misconduct when, despite repeated warnings, she didn’t work during paid time on the job. (Sitarski v. Allina Health Systems, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2018)

Final note: Essentially, persistently goofing off while being paid is both grounds for termination and denial of unemployment benefits.

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