I Was Fired. Can I Still Get Unemployment Compensation?

Nicole BolanAs long as you were not fired as a result of misconduct or gross misconduct, you can still receive unemployment compensation if you were fired.

Under Washington law, misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following conduct:

(a) Willful or wanton disregard of the rights, title, and interests of the employer or a fellow employee, including:
• Insubordination showing a deliberate, willful, or purposeful refusal to follow the reasonable directions or instructions of the employer;
• Repeated inexcusable tardiness following warnings by the employer;
• Dishonesty related to employment, including but not limited to deliberate falsification of company records, theft, deliberate deception, or lying;
• R?epeated and inexcusable absences, including absences for which the employee was able to give advance notice and failed to do so;
• Deliberate acts that are illegal, provoke violence or violation of laws, or violate the collective bargaining agreement. However, an employee who engages in lawful union activity may not be disqualified due to misconduct;
• Violation of a company rule if the rule is reasonable and if the claimant knew or should have known of the existence of the rule; or
• Violations of law by the claimant while acting within the scope of employment that substantially affect the claimant’s job performance or that substantially harm the employer’s ability to do business.

(b) Deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of an employee;

(c) Carelessness or negligence that causes or would likely cause serious bodily harm to the employer or a fellow employee; or

(d) Carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence to show an intentional or substantial disregard of the employer’s interest.

Gross Misconduct
Gross misconduct means a criminal act in connection with an individual’s work for which the individual has been convicted in a criminal court, or has admitted committing, or conduct connected with the individual’s work that demonstrates a flagrant and wanton disregard of and for the rights, title, or interest of the employer or a fellow employee.

Not Misconduct
The following acts do not constitute misconduct:

(a) Inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, or failure to perform well as the result of inability or incapacity;

(b) Inadvertence or ordinary negligence in isolated instances; or

(c) Good faith errors in judgment or discretion.

Nicole M. Bolan, Attorney at Law
Blado Kiger Bolan, Tacoma, Wash.

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