The general rule is that you are eligible for unemployment unless you quit your job without a good reason or were fired for engaging in “misconduct.” Many people think that they can’t receive unemployment if they are fired for any reason, but that is simply not the case.
While the Unemployment Insurance Law does not define “misconduct,” it is generally held to mean “any volitional [meaning ‘voluntary’ or ‘done of your own free will’] act or omission which is detrimental to an employer’s interests.” This definition is still pretty broad, but courts have held that inefficiency, inadequate performance, inadvertent or ordinary negligence, and good faith errors in judgment do NOT meet the definition of “misconduct.” Additionally, if your employer terminates you for something that you have done in the past that the employer knew about and did not fire you, the employer cannot later claim that it terminated you for this misconduct. However, if you are fired for repeated absences or latenesses without a good reason, that is considered misconduct and you may be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.
With this in mind, it is important to remember that each case is unique and will depend on the specific facts and circumstances. If you have questions about whether you are entitled to unemployment compensation, you should speak with an attorney. If you would like to be connected with an attorney, please contact us here.