A security guard was fired after he was unable to work more than two hours past his regular shift. The guard had worked his regular shift from 7am to 3pm at a local hospital. At 3 pm his supervisor told him that he would have to remain on post because his relief was not coming and the supervisor needed to find a replacement. At 4:45 pm the security guard was told that he would have to stay and work a double shift. But the guard was a single parent and had to leave to pick up his son from school. The next day he was fired.
The security guard was awarded unemployment benefits and the employer appealed, arguing that the employer’s General Post Orders mandated officers to remain on duty until relieved. An attorney from the Claimant Advocacy Program argued that the security guard did not abandon the post, but had instead left a post arbitrarily imposed by the employer without advance notice. Ruling in favor of the security guard, the court said the guard could reasonably expect that his duties would end at 3pm when his shift ended, and that any hold-over would be minimal. The court further held, that for the employer to expect the claimant to work a double shift with no notice, especially in light of the fact that they knew he had to pick up his son from school, was patently unreasonable and affirmed the decision to award the security guard unemployment benefits.
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.