Texas employees are ineligible for unemployment benefits if the are terminated from employment for "misconduct connected with the work."  Misconduct connected with the work includes "mismanagement of a position of employment by action or inaction, neglect that jeopardizes the life or property of another, intentional wrongdoing or malfeasance, intentional violation of a law, or violation of a policy or rule adopted to ensure the orderly work and the safety of employees."  

A frequently litigated issues is whether termination due to excessive absences or tardiness constitutes misconduct connected with the work.  In the recent opinion of Murray v. Texas Workforce Commission, the Dallas Court of Appeals confirms that termination due to violations of employer’s written attendance or tardiness policy constitutes misconduct connected with the work rendering the employee ineligible for unemployment benefits.

This is a useful case for employers to cite to hearing officers and examiners in unemployment compensation hearings when the employee has been terminated pursuant to a written time and attendance policy.  Timely and successful challengers to claims for unemployment compensation is one way an employer can keep its unemployment tax in check.  (See post, post).

 You can download the full opinion of Murray v. Texas Workforce Commission here.

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