The Butler and the Baker

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Q: I am a butler.  After seven years with my employer, one of the children asked me to read her a story.  I did.  When her mother found out, she was furious.  “That is the function of the nanny.  You are not to engage in any nanny nonsense.  You are to refer such matters to me or to Ms. Havis.”

Nine months later, another of the children asked me how to tie a tie.  I complied with a practical demonstration.  When his father discovered this, I was fired.

Meanwhile, my wife was the cook.  That very afternoon, she was baking a cake.  Our employer required her to check the calories in each item prior to serving it and to record the calories in a book.  My wife failed to do so.  She tells me that she was too busy with other tasks.  In the evening, my wife too was fired.

Does our conduct disqualify us from unemployment insurance benefits, assuming that we are otherwise covered?

A: Your own conduct gives very little indication of having been detrimental to your employer’s interests.  The parents appear to have lost nothing as a result of it.   You were just trying to be helpful.  This conduct ought not to disqualify you.

The case for your wife, the cook, may be closer.  An employee’s failure to follow an employer’s policy generally constitutes disqualifying misconduct if the policy is reasonable and if the failure has a detrimental effect upon the employer’s interest.  The question could well be whether your employer was genuinely counting calories.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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