Friday, March 11, 2016

Bad joke? No Unemployment Compensation for you!

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued its opinion in Wood v. UCBR. Why was the employee fired?
On Claimant’s last workday, another employee’s car was parked outside of Employer’s location in a strip mall. Employer’s sales manager noticed that the car had writing on it, specifically: “I love d*cks.”
The old Centre County CareerLink.
With a nod to the commenters on PennLive's coverage, it was most likely not ducks, or docks, or decks.  The employee wrote on his co-worker's car on his lunch break and used washable window marker.

The Court concluded (by a vote of 2-1) that this was "willful misconduct" and therefore the employee was not eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. This is a close case, mainly because it occurred during lunch and outside of the actual workplace, there was no actual damage to the vehicle, and there does not appear to be a pattern of harassment. The employee contends it was just a joke. Judge Friedman dissented, noting that the "conduct was questionable" but that in her opinion the employee should have received benefits.