SB 510 Redefines "misconduct" and "good cause" for the purposes of disqualification from unemployment benefits
Sponsor: Kraus
LR Number: 4444S.04T Fiscal Note available
Committee: Small Business, Insurance and Industry
Last Action: 7/14/2014 - Governor took no action, sent to Secretary of State/Article III, Sec. 31 Journal Page:
Title: SS SCS SB 510 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2014
House Handler: Cierpiot

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Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/SB 510 - This act redefines "misconduct" for which an employee may be disqualified from unemployment benefits. Currently, misconduct includes a wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interest and a disregard of standards of behavior the employer has the right to expect. The act changes that standard to a knowing disregard of that interest and a knowing violation of the standards the employer expects. Currently, an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interest or of the employer's duties and obligations to the employer also qualifies as misconduct. The act changes that standard to a knowing disregard of such interests, duties and obligations. Currently, a deliberate violation of the employer's rules constitutes misconduct. Under the act, a violation of an employer's rule is misconduct unless the employee demonstrates that he or she did not know and could not reasonably know the requirement, the rule is unlawful, or it is not fairly or consistently enforced.

Misconduct also includes a violation of a no-call, no-show policy, chronic absenteeism, tardiness, unapproved absences following a written warning, and a knowing violation of a state standard or regulation by an employee of a licensed employer which would cause the employer to be sanctioned.

The misconduct standard shall apply when the conduct is connected to work irrespective of whether it occurs at the workplace or during work hours.

Currently, employees are disqualified from benefits if they voluntarily leave work without good cause. The act defines "good cause" as that which would compel a reasonable employee to cease working or which would require separation from work due to illness or disability.

This act is similar to SCS/SB 816 (2012), provisions found in HB 611 (2013), and SS/SB 28 (2013) that was vetoed by the Governor.