Termination for Cause

We have an employee who is going to be terminated for repeated violation of company policy. The handbook in place when I started here states that "An employee who willfully and repeatedly continues to violate Personnel Rules and Regulations and/or Departmental Regulations may be terminated for cause." Does anyone know of any recent case law that can be applied to defend a claim for unemployment? This employee has made it known that her intent is to get fired (versus quitting) so she can claim unemployment and not have to work. Thanks!


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  • You probably need to get some legal advice from a New Mexico employment law attorney. However, employees usually cannot collect unemployment for willful misconduct. Violation of a company policy usually qualifies as misconduct depending on which policy they violate. Inability to do the job is usually compensible, but unwillingness to do the job is usually not compensible. As a practical matter, see if you can get written statements from people she has said she going to get herself fired to collect unemployment. Date and time as well as what she said. Just hold them and use them in your reply to her request for unemployment. Hope this helps. Call me at 615-371-8200 if you have any questions about my suggestion.

    Margaret Morford

  • In most states, unemployment will be denied if an employee voluntarily quits a position or if there is gross misconduct such as willful and continual violation of company policies. The key is to have documentation, dates, discussions, etc. that you can show to the Commission. Some states are more pro-employee than others concerning unemployment, but documentation always help. Good luck!

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