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September 21, 2010

Dismissal for disqualifying misconduct bars unemployment insurance benefits

Dismissal for disqualifying misconduct bars unemployment insurance benefits
Lubin v Sweeney, Appellate Division, 244 AD2d 755, Motion for leave to appeal denied, 91 NY2d 810

The State's Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board will not grant unemployment insurance benefits to a person who has lost a job if the reason for the discharge was misconduct or for some other disqualifying reason. In Lubin the Appellate Division sustained the board's denial of unemployment benefits.

Lubin, a New York City Transit Authority platform conductor, was terminated because he struck a passenger with a flashlight. The passenger had inserted her arm between the subway's car doors in an effort to reopen them after they had shut, leaving her minor son unattended outside on the subway's platform. As a result, Lubin was terminated for violating the Authority's rule prohibiting employees from striking passengers under any circumstances.

The Appellate Division sustained the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board's ruling that Lubin "had lost his position under disqualifying conditions." It said that "a physical assault in the course of one's employment has been found to constitute disqualifying misconduct, as has the knowing violation of an employer's rules or policy" citing Graham v Sweeney, 233 AD2d 660.
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