Monday, April 22, 2019

Unemployment Compensation pro tip: Don't threaten to slit your manager's throat on Facebook

With amazing tips* like this, can you believe this site is free! *"Tips" for illustrative purposes only, and definitely not legal advice.

In Cummins v. UCBR, the claimant/employee had an alteracation with her supervisor at work. The supervisor acknowledged that he took the employee by the arm and led her off the floor and into an office after yelling at her for not wearing safety goggles. For context, she had apparently been warned previously about not wearing goggles, and OSHA had recently fined the company $15,000 for a safety google issue.

So, what did the employee do? You guessed it - Facebook rant!
Commentary only,
not authorized use.
Post: Today, a man put his hands on me. It’s then when [you] realize how weak they are that they can’t pick on someone of their own kind. I learned willpower, self[-]restraint and gained dignity. I wonder how he feels now.

Comment (by the employee): I would [have] sliced his throat open if it didn’t happen at work. And had no remorse.
Even though she posted off-duty, the Commonwealth Court held that the employee's Facebook comment constituted a workplace threat and therefore she was ineligible for unemployment compensation (fired for willful misconduct). In fairness to the employee, the Court could have concluded that this was just hyperbole and letting off steam and not a legitimate threat - but they didn't.

Bottom line: UC claimants are unlikely to find much sympathy for Facebook posts (or offline comm
ents) about murdering their co-workers. Pro tip: don't do it.

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