Employee who was 3 Minutes Late May Get Unemployment

On March 12, 2014, the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed an Employment Department Appeals Board decision that denied an employee unemployment based on alleged time-card fraud.  The employee arrived at work a few minutes late, clocked-in, and then ran back out of the office for a few minutes to park her car.  The employer fired the employee and contested her right to collect unemployment on the grounds that she was fired for misconduct.  At the outset of the case, the Employment Department agreed with the employer and denied benefits to the employee, this decision was reversed by an administrative law judge (ALJ).  The employer then appealed to the Appeals Board and the Board reversed the ALJ and upheld the denial of benefits decision.  Finally, the employee appealed the Board decision and the Court of Appeals disagreed with the Board, finding that the denial of benefits was improper because the Board did not consider the employee’s intent in regard to the incident because the incident could have been an “isolated instance of poor judgment” rather than disqualifying misconduct.  The Court’s decision is here: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A154624.pdf

Coverage of the decision in the press can be found here: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/03/kaiser_permanente_employee_who.html#incart_flyout_business


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