Accessing personal social medial during working hours
Matter of Brookville Ctr. for Children's Servs., Inc.--Commissioner of Labor), 2014 NY Slip Op 08703, Appellate Division, Third Department
An employee [Claimant] was terminated when ran foul of the employer's written policy prohibiting employees from posting on social media "during work hours, unless for specific and approved business purposes."
The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board thereafter determined that the Claimant was entitled to receive unemployment insurance benefits because, in its view, she had not lost her job due to disqualifying misconduct. The employer appeal the Board’s ruling.
The Appellate Division said that the question of whether a claimant engaged in actions sufficient to disqualify him or her from receiving unemployment insurance benefits is a factual one for the Board to resolve, "and its determination will not be disturbed if supported by substantial evidence."
Explaining that “not every discharge for cause rises to the level of misconduct”, which is defined as "a willful and wanton disregard of the employer's interest, the court noted that Claimant did not dispute that she was aware of the employer's policy on social media usage and that she nevertheless posted an item during work hours. The Appellate Division also noted that the record showed that this misconduct was an isolated incident and that Claimant, who had worked for the employer for more than six years, had a clean disciplinary record prior to her termination.
The court ruled that “Substantial evidence thus supports the determination of the Board that [Claimant’s] behavior, while reflective of a momentary lapse in judgment, did not rise to the level of disqualifying misconduct.”
The decision is posted on the Internet at: