Were you discharged for business reasons alone?

Under Washington State law, you will eligible for unemployment compensation benefits if your employer fired you because of business reasons, such as staff downsizing, and even if the employer says you had poor performance or were negligent in some way. You will not be eligible if you committed "misconduct."


The definition of "misconduct"

Misconduct means an intentional or wilful violation of a clear rule of the employer of which you were aware, or which is obvious, such as the prohibition on theft or dishonesty which impacts your employers interests. If you have merely made a mistake, or there is a misunderstanding, the employer may try to label it as "misconduct" to deny you unemployment comp, and save themselves premium increases. The burden is on the employer to show misconduct.


If denied benefits by the Employment Security Department contact an attorney for an appeal

If the Employment Security Department denies your benefits on the basis of "misconduct," contact an employment lawyer such as William Edelblute, about an appeal. At the administrative appeal hearing, the burden will be on the employer to show that you wilfully violated a rule. I win most appeals based on "misconduct" issues because often the employer is exaggerating what is poor performance, negligence, or a misunderstanding into "misconduct." But each case is different. The law governing this issue is found in RCW 50.04.294(1) and RCW 50.20.066.