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Joseph Scott
Joseph Scott, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 171
Experience:  I handled employment law cases as in-house counsel (550 employees) and as a private counsel.
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I fired an employee who worked for me for eight months. Along

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I fired an employee who worked for me for eight months. Along the way her attendance was horrible. Other employees reported she was snorting coke eight times a day in the bathroom. I am a lawyer and she got way to familiar with clients. Along the way I learned she was a convicted shoplifter. The straw that broke the back was when I caught her "rounding up to the next quarter hour" on her timecard. It was a three hour discrepancy. She claimed this was something that was done with all employers in the past even though we have a timeclock and the reason for a timeclock is to accurately show your time. I disputed her unemployment claim on dishonesty. I won. She appelaed. The hearing just happened. I lost. The administrative judge acknowledged she admitted she added up her time wrong and that I learned she was a shoplifter. He said I had not met the burden of proof to show dishonesty. I was shocked. I am going to appeal the decision. What cases can I cite? Do I have a good basis? Thank you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  MDLaw replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using the JA website. Please remember that this site is intended to provide general legal information only.

We cannot do any legal work for JA customers and we cannot give legal opinons. That is prohibited. We can only provide general legal information. If you have a legal question, you can post it and I or another expert can assist you with an answer., Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Okay, please give me general legal information, then, on what the law is in Washington
Expert:  MDLaw replied 5 years ago.
What the law in WA is with respect to what?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What is the burden of an employer who fires an individual for dishonesty? If an employee admits to turning in inaccurate info on a timecard, should that not as a general rule be sufficient cause for that person to not draw benefits?

Expert:  MDLaw replied 5 years ago.
You again appear to be asking for an opinion which we cannot give and so I will opt out.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Please turn this over to your superiors. I disagree. I have used this service extensively in the past and no one has ever raised this pint.
Expert:  Joseph Scott replied 5 years ago.
I appreciate your question and I hope I can help out. Washington is an at-will employment state so you can fire anyone for any reason or no reason at all. As long as it does not violate any of the discrimination laws.

If an employee is dishonest and using illegal drugs, then an employer is within their rights to fire that employee. Once again, Washington is an at-will employment state so you can fire any of your employees for any reason, as long as the reasons are not based upon gender, age, race, religion, sex, etc.

I hope that helps. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

My best,

J. Scott
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The issue is not whether an employee can be fired for dishonesty. I know that. The question is what is the standard an employer is held to as to his burden of proof when an employee appeals as here

Expert:  Joseph Scott replied 5 years ago.
In Washington State, if an employee is "fired for cause", then he/she is not eligible to receive unemployment benefits. If an employee is fired for cause or misconduct (ie sexual harassment, illegal drug use, stealing, etc) then he/she should be barred from receiving benefits.

Please let me know if you need anything else. I would appreciate it if you would ask me for more information before you give me a negative rating. I am more than happy to clarify any answers, all you need to do is ask for more information.

Thank you,

J. Scott
Joseph Scott, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 171
Experience: I handled employment law cases as in-house counsel (550 employees) and as a private counsel.
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