David G. Schiller represents North Carolina employees in a wide range of employment law cases — including unemployment benefits.
The employment law attorneys at Schiller & Schiller represent North Carolina in a wide range of employment law cases — including unemployment benefits. We represent employees before the Employment Security Commission (ESC) on a regular basis.
We provide statewide representation for employment law cases. You may call our office at (919) 789-4677 to discuss your employment law issue.
Employment Security Commission
An employee who has been discharged from employment can seek unemployment benefits by applying with the ESC.
The ESC is also a good source of job leads.
Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits
An unemployed individual is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if he or she
1. is physically able to work;
2. is actively looking for work each week; and
3. has no restrictions which would keep him or her from accepting suitable work.
There are three main ways that an individual may be disqualified for benefits:
1. If the individual leaves work “without good cause attributable to the employer” the individual will be disqualified for unemployment benefits.
2. If the employee is terminated for “misconduct” the individual will be disqualified for unemployment benefits.
3. If the employee is terminated for “substantial fault,” the employee will be partially disqualified for unemployment benefits for a period of time between 4 and 13 weeks, at the discretion of the ESC.
If the employee leaves work, the burden of showing “good cause attributable to the employer” rests on the employee.
“Good cause attributable to the employer” can include a number of actions by the employer, such as a unilateral and permanent reduction in pay of more than 15%.
Employees who are contemplating resigning should seek legal counsel before making the decision.
Misconduct is: “conduct evincing such willful or wanton disregard of an employer’s interest as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations to his employer.”
Misconduct includes but is not limited to: reporting to work significantly impaired by alcohol or illegal drugs; consuming alcohol or illegal drugs on employer’s premises; conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction for manufacturing, selling, or distribution of a controlled substance while in the employ of said employer.
“Substantial fault” is defined to include those acts or omissions of employees over which they exercised reasonable control and which violate reasonable requirements of the job.
“Substantial fault” does not include:
1. minor infractions of rules unless the infractions are repeated after the employee receives a warning;
2. inadvertent mistakes made by the employee; nor
3. failures to perform work because of insufficient skill, ability, or equipment.
The employer has the burden of demonstrating that claimant was discharged for substantial fault. To demonstrate the employee’s “substantial fault” the employer must first prove that the employee had “reasonable control” over the job requirements but failed to meet the employer’s reasonable job expectations. An employee has ‘reasonable control’ when he has the physical and mental ability to conform his conduct to the employer’s job requirements.
The second element of “substantial fault” looks to the reasonableness of the employer’s job requirements. The reasonableness of the employer’s job requirements should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis in light of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the employee’s function within the employer’s business.
Contact Us • Statewide Representation
You may call our office at (919) 789-4677 to discuss your employment law issue.