A hair stylist was fired for failing to report for his scheduled shift. The stylist had been on his way to work when he began to experience heart palpitations, shortness of breath and delusions. He ended up at his parent’s home, collapsed in their doorway, and missed his shift. A few days later, the claimant missed work again, and ended up in the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder. The manager then fired the hair stylist, despite his doctor's note confirming the illness. The stylist appealed his denial of unemployment compensation and the judge found in his favor after the Claimant Advocacy Program attorney successfully argued that the employer failed to present any evidence that the claimant’s behavior was willful or intentional. The court held that any misconduct disqualification requires proof that a claimant intentionally disregarded an employer’s expectations and proof that the claimant understood that conduct at issue could lead to discharge.
The Claimant Advocacy Program (CAP) is a free legal counseling service available to individuals who file unemployment compensation appeals in the District of Columbia. Call 202-974-8150 for more info.