Yes, quite possibly. A common question I receive from individuals seeking help with their unemployment insurance is whether they qualify for benefits if their new job doesn't work out. Most often, this situation rears its head when an employee accepts employment with a new employer while they still have a job. After receiving and accepting an offer of employment and quitting their old job, the employee will face an issue that causes the employer to rescind the offer or terminate them during the introductory period. Most often, the reason will be a discrepancy in a resume or employment background check, a bad reference, or simply a "bad fit" at the new employer.
Employers often have rules that extend beyond the walls of the office or factory and intrude on the outside lives of their employees. Some of the most common policies are those regulating illegal drug use both at work and outside of work. Some of the most controversial policies are those regulating the ingestion of unhealthy, but otherwise legal substances, including alcohol and tobacco off work premises. Other "outside of work rules" that some employers seek to impose are social networking regulations and residency requirements for municipal workers.
Unemployment insurance claimants in Wisconsin now have to wait one week after their separation of employment for their unemployment benefits to begin. Employers and the unemployment trust fund will likely save a great deal of money because of this change, which appeared in this year's budget bill rather than as a result of formal proposal, bill, or recommendation from the UI Advisory council, a committee with both management and employee representatives charged with making legislative recommendations and insuring state compliance with federal laws. The practical effect of this change is that it will prevent workers with temporary layoffs from claiming and receiving unemployment benefits during short layoffs lasting less than one week.
Employees who quit their jobs with "good cause" attributable to the employer are entitled to collect unemployment insurance benefits. A recent Iowa case gained national attention over the past week because the circumstances were so unusual. Even Seth Meyers of NBC's Saturday Night Live mentioned the case during the October 8, 2011 Weekend Update.
I usually talk to more than a dozen unemployed callers on the phone each week about their unemployment insurance benefits. Perhaps the most common question I receive is about how long they will receive benefits and what amount they will receive. Weekly unemployment insurance benefits are paid to employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. The states have administrative agencies charged with investigating unemployment insurance claims and appeals and ultimately make the decision about whether or not workers are entitled to benefits. To determine whether you will be entitled to benefits, take a look some of my previous posts or contact me directly.
Misconduct in unemployment insurance cases was defined in a 1941 case called Boynton Cab Company v. Neubeck, in which the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that:
Some employees who are otherwise entitled to unemployment insurance benefits find themselves with the false impression that they do not have to file claims, or that they have no obligations in the unemployment compensation system. However, at a minimum, employees are required to file claims each week they remain unemployed, answer a series of questions from the Unemployment Division, and usually, apply for work. It's important that filing employees answer the questions from the State honestly and accurately in order to ensure the proper and timely payment of benefits.
As is often the case with unemployment benefits, it depends on the circumstances. In Wisconsin, the presumption is that if an employee quits his job, he is not entitled to unemployment insurance benefits. However, there are some exceptions. As discussed in a previous post, an employee who attempts to protect his job and still must quit because he is charged with caring for a sick relative can qualify for benefits.
In Wisconsin, a fairly recent amendment to the unemployment insurance law may allow employees to collect benefits if forced to quit a job to care for sick family member.
Probably not. Terminated employees are typically entitled to unemployment insurance benefits. The primary exception to this rule is when the employee is discharged for "misconduct". Misconduct has been defined and redefined as an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interests. Employers bear the burden of proving to the State that the employee engaged in misconduct and therefore should not be permitted benefits. The unemployment insurance system is in place to protect employees who lose their job to no fault of their own, but employees who are deemed to have engaged in misconduct are found to be at fault for their own job loss and are therefore disqualified from benefits.