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My business is on an "honor system" for our employees that…

Hi! My business is...

Hi! My business is on an "honor system" for our employees that work at job sites to log their hours. I just found out one of our employees has been drastically logging more hours than he has worked and milking the clock to stretch his hours into overtime. I also found out one day recently he left the job site in another state to hang out with his cousin that lived nearby--he was on the job site for maybe 3 hours, but logged 11 hours that day. Can I fire him without losing an unemployment claim? I know all of this information from the testimony of another employee that works beside him.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Ohio

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I think that's it, thanks!

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
12/4/2017
Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 57,226
Experience: Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thanks Richard!

Good morning. You should easily prevail if this employee files a claim for unemployment. You clearly have a basis to filring this employee "for cause." Under Ohio law, if an employer files an employee for cause, then the employee is not eligible for unemployment benefits. The legal standard under Ohio law that determines whether an employee quit or was discharged with just cause is whether the action taken would be taken by an ordinary careful person under similar circumstances. This is clearly the situation in your case.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your question. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as Good or Excellent (i.e., 4 or 5 stars)(hopefully Excellent/5 stars!). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
The issue is the proof we have. We have another employee's testimony saying the other employee is doing these things. We don't have hard proof. Is a testimony enough for Ohio unemployment law to justify this as "for cause" termination?

Yes, if the other employee is willing to testify or sign an affidavit, it will be sufficient. And, here's the thing, the employee that was fired is not likely to contest this testimony/affidavit because if you dig deeper, it's likely you could come up with significant additional evidence. You can also let this fired employee know you will be pursuing a civil suit and criminal prosecution.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
We have lost unemployment claims before because we didn't have our employees sign anything that shows what is expected of them in their jobs. We created a handbook now, but it doesn't specifically say anything about this situation. In my eyes it is stealing from the company when you are logging hours and not actually working/not even at the job site. Is this a given that it's against policy to "steal" hours?

You don't need this in a handbook. Rather, this is dishonesty and fraud. And, it's illegal. You don't have to have a handbook state stealing and fraudulent actions are cause for dismissal. It's "cause" on its face.

Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 57,226
Experience: Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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