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Work Related Misconduct Has Been Distilled Into a Definition




Boynton Cab Company v. Neubeck (1941), 237 Wis. 249, 296 NW 636 is a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision which defined at-will employee misconduct.   Parts of it are still cited to this day by unemployment administrative hearing officers reaching their conclusions about the fact laid before them during the first unemployment hearing.

However, unemployment laws vary, so double check your state's Employment Security Act to make sure they don't use something similar, but different.

The the Boynton Cab vs. Neubeck decision makes good sense.   And it is why  I know from experience,  many of you  have been fired for something other than work related misconduct.

However, an effective appeal argument to rebut your guilt of misconduct isn't based on  defending your actions, but showing why your actions did not rise to the level required for the employer to meet it's burden found in this definition.

Your position, or your hearing representative's at  an unemployment  hearing,  is to show why your employer's testimony and/or evidence doesn't hit the mark of any point in the definition they might be aiming for.  .


What is Willful Misconduct

Boynton Cab Company v. Neubeck (1941), 237 Wis. 249, 296 NW 636

"The term 'misconduct' as used in (the disqualification provision) is limited to conduct evincing such willful or wanton disregard of an employer's interest as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employee's duties and obligations to his employer. On the other hand, mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity, inadvertencies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances or good faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed 'misconduct' within the meaning of the statute."

Now, check your own state's unemployment laws to see if your state has changed any of the semantics, or might have some unemployment precedents of it's own to help you understand how the powers that be are supposed to interpret misconduct.


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