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.
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