Friday, March 09, 2012

Unsatisfactory performance of assignments does not always equate to misconduct for the purposes of disqualifying an individual for unemployment insurance benefits

Unsatisfactory performance of assignments does not always equate to misconduct for the purposes of disqualifying an individual for unemployment insurance benefits
Matter of Marc (Commissioner of Labor), 2012 NY Slip Op 01726, Appellate Division, Third Department

Andre F. Marc was employed as a head teacher but was terminated for failure to complete overdue paperwork, despite prior warnings. An Unemployment Insurance Administrative Law Judge upheld the initial determination finding that Marc was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because he had lost his employment through misconduct.

The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board reversed that decision, concluding that Marc’s job performance, while unsatisfactory, did not rise to the level of misconduct that would disqualify him for unemployment insurance benefits.

Commenting the "Whether a claimant lost his or her employment through disqualifying misconduct presents a factual issue for the Board, and its resolution thereof will not be disturbed if supported by substantial evidence," the Appellate Division said that in Marc’s case the Board found that he:

1. Was only afforded a minimal period of time during the week to complete his paperwork;  

2. He did not fall significantly behind until he had to take on the additional paperwork responsibilities of a fellow employee who was on vacation; and

3. The Board noted that he still managed to complete a significant amount of the backlog prior to his termination.

Thus, said the court, while the proof of claimant's inefficiency may have justified his discharge, there is, nonetheless, substantial evidence supporting the Board's finding that claimant's poor work performance did not rise to the level of misconduct.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2012/2012_01726.htm

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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