Tuesday, February 19, 2013

EMPLOYEES RIGHT TO SPEAK - NEW YORK UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Noteworthy is the following Appeal Board case:

Mailed and Filed: OCTOBER 17, 2008 IN THE MATTER OF: Appeal Board No. 542073

"OPINION: The credible evidence establishes that the claimant occasionally engaged in salary discussions with other managers. However, the record fails to establish that the claimant obtained salary information for other employees in a nefarious manner. In reaching this conclusion, we find it significant that the employer's human resources vice president admitted that she never specifically questioned the claimant about how he obtained salary information on other employees. In addition, the record also fails to establish that the claimant knew or should have known that he could be discharged for having other employees unlock employer offices during his shift so he could procure supplies. Nor are we persuaded that the claimant's private discussions with fellow managers about salaries constituted a violation of employer rules. However, even if these discussions were technically a violation of employer rules, it is well established that not all such violations constitute misconduct. (See: Matter of Vassallo, 125 AD2d 771)Accordingly, we conclude that while claimant may have demonstrated poor judgment by engaging in salary discussions with other employees, his behavior does not rise to the level of misconduct for purposes of Unemployment Insurance."

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