As an applicant, if you are fired from your job, you are not automatically disqualified from unemployment.  In the case of willful misconduct, the employer will need to proof that the discharge was due to willful misconduct.  If the employer fails to provide the information you will most likely receive benefits.  Usually you will have to provide proof in most situations, but in this case the burden of proof falls to the employer.

If the situation goes to a hearing, the employer will most likely try to present a compelling case that justifies the separation.  If you provide an equally compelling case showing that you should not have been terminated, you will most likely win your unemployment benefits case.

If you are terminated for willful misconduct connected with your work, you will most likely not receive unemployment benefits.  This means that the employer terminated you based on an act that was willfully performed, construed as misconduct or the misconduct is connected to your work

Willful misconduct means that you disregard a request to perform your duties.  Overtime is considered a reasonable request.  If you employer asked you to work a couple of hours over for a deadline on a project and you failed to do it, it could be deemed willful misconduct.  You lose your unemployment benefit due to this type of willful misconduct.

Recurring carelessness   is a form of willful misconduct.  If you have been given warning from your employer for errors in your job and continue to make the same errors, this costs your employer money in missed deadlines and rework.  If the employer decides to terminate you based on willful misconduct, you will not receive unemployment compensation.  The employer had just cause to terminate you based on repeated warnings by the employer.

If you are terminated from your job and you have a compelling reason such as a documented health concern or your schedule changed drastically and you were unable to physically keep up with the changes, you may receive unemployment benefits.  There has to be a very good reason why you failed to report for work.  Another reason for termination could be that you were unable to satisfactorily complete your assignment.  You may try very hard to complete the tasks assigned to you and apply yourself as needed but you are still unsuccessful and your employer terminates you.

Because you did apply yourself and tried to perform the tasks, you may receive an unemployment benefit.

Misconduct can consist of the following:

  • Failure to abide by an established employer rule
  • Failure to abide by standards of behavior that any employer has the right to expect.

There is also a type of misconduct such as regular violation of a workplace rule that can also be grounds for not receiving unemployment benefit.  But if the employer has tolerated the regular violation without warning you, you could receive unemployment benefits.  In addition, if an employer workplace rule is unreasonable, you could still receive unemployment benefits.

Willful misconduct connected with your employment could be drinking on the job or not taking a drug test can keep you from receiving your unemployment benefit.  If the misconduct is of a personal or private nature and not connected with work such as getting arrested for loitering an your employer fires you as a result of getting arrested, you may eligible unemployment benefits.  Your behavior outside of your employer may allow you to receive the benefit unless it is tied to your employment.

It is actually easier to fight a claim of will misconduct than any other reason when you are denied unemployment benefits.  If your state does not specifically call what caused you to be terminated “Willful Misconduct”, you can argue on that basis and you will have a good chance of winning your case.