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Can I get unemployment if I didn't clock out for lunch?

by Tamara
(Brandon,FL )

On a Friday I left work and forgot to clock out for lunch. When I got back to work I clocked out and waited my lunch time and clocked back in. When I came back from lunch which was only the 30 minutes I should have used. I went to the break room to get the stuff I needed to eat. When I got in on Monday morning my boss pulled me in the office and said that someone had seen me leave in my car on my lunch break and did not clock out. I told her yes I forgot to log out, but when I got back in I logged out and in for my lunch break. She stated someone seen me eating in the lunch room. I said no I went in there to get the things I needed to eat.She also stated a supervisor seen me talking to a co-worker and asked me if I was on lunch and I said yes but was not clocked out. I told her that's because I told her I was on my 15 min break not lunch and we don't clock out for that. She stated that I was stealing company time for not login in/out for lunch and was terminated immediately. I signed the paper because it was true I left without clocking in/out at that exact time but I did clock in/out for my 30 min lunch. So how can that be stealing company time? Can they deny me unemployment for this? I am in the process of filling my claim.


Hi Tamara,

Sure they can deny you.

But you have the right to appeal if need be and you can tell the full story again and question the employer too. It might be found that what you did was not misconduct.

I suggest you take a look at the employee handbook. See what the rule is for missed punches and how you should have dealt with it. Then take a look at the consequences someone might have to face if they don't follow the rule. See if it is subject to progressive discipline or if immediate termination is also a possibility.

If the employer's action of terminating you is in contradiction to the rule and policy .. you have something to work with.

Additionally, an employer should have witnesses to sustain that there was in fact, misconduct committed.

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