Compelling reason for absence does not excuse misconduct
Source: Adjunct Law Prof Blog; http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adjunctprofs/
Reproduced with permission. Copyright © 2011, Mitchell H. Rubinstein, Esq., Adjunct Professor of Law, St. Johns Law School and New York Law School, All rights reserved.
Matter of Rivers v. Commissioner of Labor, ___A.D3d___(3d Dept. Oct. 7, 2010), is a tough unemployment decision. The law is settled that an employee who is terminated for misconduct is not eligible for unemployment. The law is also settled that being absent without leave is misconduct. What if it was for one day to visit your son who just returned from Iraq? That is still misconduct. As the court stated:
An unauthorized absence from work has been held to constitute misconduct, which can disqualify a claimant from receiving unemployment insurance benefits (see Matter of Roe [Commissioner of Labor], 62 AD3d 1105, 1106 ; Matter of Britter [Commissioner of [*2]Labor], 54 AD3d 461 ). Inasmuch as claimant admitted that he had requested leave and been denied, however compelling his reason for the request, we are constrained to find that the Board's decision is supported by substantial evidence (see Matter of Roe [Commissioner of Labor], 62 AD3d at 1106).
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
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