Last week, Governor Murphy signed into law A-3871/S-2439, which concerns disqualification from unemployment benefits for misconduct. The new law reduces the duration of time that a worker is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, if the worker is discharged from work for misconduct, from seven weeks to five weeks. Misconduct is defined as “behavior which is improper, intentional, connected with the individuals’ work, malicious, within the individual’s control, not a good faith error of judgment or discretion, and is either a deliberate failure, without good cause, to comply with the employer’s lawful and reasonable rules made known to the employee or a disregard of standards of behavior the employer has a reasonable right to expect, including reasonable safety standards and reasonable standards for a workplace free of drug and substance abuse.” The new law also goes on to define several specific behaviors that are considered misconduct.
The burden of proof is on the employer to demonstrate misconduct and must provide documentation of the misconduct written at or immediately following the time of the misconduct. You should review this new law with your labor counsel for more information.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, FMarshall@njslom.org, 609-695-3481, x137.