Issues Surrounding Terminations - Articles

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Posted by: Barry Kolar on May 8, 2014

• If your former employee applies for and received unemployment benefits, your mandatory unemployment insurance premiums may increase.

• A former employee may receive unemployment benefits if they are terminated for something other than “misconduct.”

• As set forth in T.C.A. § 50-7-303, “misconduct” includes: the following conduct by a claimant:

(1) Conscious disregard of the rights or interests of the employer;

(2) Deliberate violations or disregard of reasonable standards of behavior that the employer expects of an employee;

(3) Carelessness or negligence of such a degree or recurrence to show an intentional or substantial disregard of the employer's interest or to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or shows an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interests or of the employee's duties and obligations to the employee's employer;

(4) Deliberate disregard of a written attendance policy and the discharge is in compliance with such policy;

(5) A knowing violation of a regulation of this state by an employee of an employer licensed by this state, which violation would cause the employer to be sanctioned or have the employer's license revoked or suspended by this state; or

(6) A violation of an employer's rule, unless the claimant can demonstrate that:

(a) The claimant did not know, and could not reasonably know, of the rule's requirements; or

(b) The rule is unlawful or not reasonably related to the job environment and performance;

(7) “Misconduct” also includes any conduct by a claimant involving dishonesty arising out of the claimant's employment that constitutes an essential element of a crime for which the claimant was convicted;

(7) “Misconduct” also includes any conduct constituting a criminal offense for which the claimant has been convicted or charged that involves dishonesty arising out of the claimant's employment; or was committed while the claimant was acting within the scope of employment; and

• “Misconduct” DOES NOT INCLUDE:

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

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

(3) Good faith errors in judgment or discretion

So if you terminate an employee because they are unable or incapable of performing well, they may be entitled to receive unemployment benefits, which can increase your unemployment insurance premium.