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August 09, 2010

Dismissal because of threatening behavior towards coworker held disqualifying misconduct for the purposes of receiving unemployment insurance benefits

Dismissal because of threatening behavior towards coworker held disqualifying misconduct for the purposes of receiving unemployment insurance benefits
Messado v City of New York, 2010 NY Slip Op 06343, Decided on August 5, 2010, Appellate Division, Third Department

Bernard R. Messado was employed as a clerical worker by a New York City agency. Believing that his coworkers were speaking about him behind his back in a derogatory fashion and also calling him names, Messado confronted one of his coworkers in a threatening manner and used profanity while the coworker was having lunch at a nearby restaurant with two other employees of the agency.

The incident was reported to a supervisor and as Messado had previously been warned not to engage in this type of behavior, he was terminated from his position. The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ultimately denied Messado’s claim for unemployment insurance benefits on the ground that he was discharged from his employment because of his misconduct.

The Appellate Division dismissed Messado’s appeal seeking to overturn the Board’s decision. The court said that “Threatening behavior toward a coworker has been held to constitute disqualifying misconduct,” citing Matter of Perkins [Commissioner of Labor], 16 AD3d 756 and other court decisions.

The court also noted that “To the extent that [Messado’s] testimony was in conflict with the testimony of the other witnesses, this presented a credibility issue for the Board to resolve.”

Finding that “substantial evidence supports the Board's finding that claimant engaged in disqualifying misconduct,” the Appellate Division said that it found “no reason to disturb the Board's decision.”

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2010/2010_06343.htm

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