Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Court of Appeal Denies Unemployment Benefits to Employee Discharged for Dishonesty

On September 12, 2014, the California Court of Appeal in Irving v. California Uninsurance Appeals Board denied a school district employee unemployment benefits because he was discharged for misconduct. The court found the employee took excessive breaks on four occasions and falsified time records.

Unemployment Insurance Code section 1256 disqualifies employees for unemployment benefits if the employee has been discharged for misconduct. Here, the employee admitted taking four different breaks exceeding the allowable 50 minutes. He also admitted falsely reporting his break time on the District's time records. The court disregarded that other employees had also taken breaks longer than 50 minutes. The court stated it is "legally irrelevant" that other employees may have engaged in similar misconduct when determining eligibility for unemployment benefits because of the dishonesty allegation.