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Friday, February 08, 2013

Evidence that the employee was clearly aware of the employer’s policy defeats argument that the policy was not set out “in writing”


Evidence that the employee was clearly aware of the employer’s policy defeats argument that the policy was not set out “in writing”
Matter of Osborne (Commissioner of Labor), 2013 NY Slip Op 00370, Appellate Division, Third Department

 The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ruled that claimant was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because his employment was terminated due to misconduct.

The individual had been counseled by his supervisor about having inappropriate relationships in the workplace. Notwithstanding this, he became involved in a relationship and was issued a written disciplinary warning notice at that time, which stated that the relationship was a clear violation of the standards that he was counseled on earlier and that any further infractions in this regard would result in his termination.

Although the individual apparently briefly ended the relationship, it was subsequently resumed and his employment was terminated.

The Appellate Division affirmed the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board decision disqualifying the individual for unemployment insurance benefits, explaining that "A knowing violation of an employer's established policy or reasonable request may constitute disqualifying misconduct, particularly where, as here, the claimant has received prior warnings about similar behavior."

While the court noted that the employer’s policy in question was not in writing, the individual was clearly aware of the policy as he signed a warning letter affirming his understanding of it.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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