This is an actual unemployment hearing decision letter from Florida with Florida state laws applied as you will see. This is mailed out to both parties, the claimant and the employer once a hearing is finished. It usually arrives in about 10 days or so.
In this decision the claimant was initially qualified for benefits but after the hearing had taken place he was found not to be qualified for benefits. In this case it appears the claimaint(employee) had been given a few warnings and failed to correct their actions or behavior. The warnings were issued fairly close together which makes them more relevant to the final reason for firing the person.
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Findings of fact: The claimant began working for the employer in September of 2007 as a first level mechanic at a bowling center. The claimant was aware of a company policy that required employees to meet business objectives or goals. The claimant had been warned on May 18, 2008 for not completing his assigned tasks and spending time in the front of the business. The claimant received a second warning August 22, 2008, for not completing his assigned tasks and spending time up front. The claimant’s final warning was issued on November, 11, 2008 for arguing with a fellow employee in the front of the building and punching a locker with his fist. The claimant was counseled that the next step would be discharge. The claimant was discharged on December 2, 2008, for spending time up front with other employees.
Conclusion of law: The law provides that a claimant who was discharged for misconduct connected with the work will be disqualified for benefits. “Misconduct” includes, but is not limited to, conduct demonstrating willful or wanton disregard of an employer’s interests and found to be a deliberate violation or disregard of the standards of behavior which the employer has a right to expect of an employee, or carelessness or negligence to a degree or recurrence that manifests culpability, wrongful intent, or evil design, or shows an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations to the employer.
The record shows the claimant was discharged. The employer presented competent evidence to show the claimant was warned prior to being discharged and failed to improve or correct the behavior after warning. When an employer establishes prima facie evidence of misconduct, the burden shifts to the employee to come forward with proof of the propriety of that conduct. Alterman Transport Lines, Inc. v. Unemployment Appeals Commission, 410 So.2d 568 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982). The burden of proof in an employee discharge matter is initially upon the employer to prove misconduct. See Donnell v. University Community Hosp., 705 So. 2d 1031 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998). When the employer meets that initial burden, the employee is required to demonstrate the propriety of his/her actions. See Sheriff of Monroe County v. Unemployment Appeals Comm’n, 490 So. 2d 961 (Fla. 3d DCA 1986). The employer shifted the burden to the claimant to come forward with evidence to explain the propriety of the actions. The claimant did not establish any compelling reason for his continued, repetitive failure to comply with the employer’s policy. The claimant is thus subject to disqualification.
The law provides that benefits will not be charged to the employment record of a contributing employer who furnishes required notice to the Agency when the claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with the work.
Decision: The determination dated February 23, 2009, is REVERSED. The claimant is not qualified for benefits. The employer’s tax account will not be charged.