Articles Posted in Unemployment

Let this be a lesson to those who are thinking about selling “Wake The F*&k Up” Coffee, “The Hottest F*&king Nuts,” or “The Hottest F*&king Sauce.”

Recently, I read this article from Clark Kauffman in the Des Moines Register about a cashier at the Last Chance Market in Iowa, who was allegedly fired after she and a customer began discussing various sexual activities in front of other customers. These customers then complained to management about the sexual banter, hence the pink slip.

Not that the employer need a reason to fire the crude cashier. Presumably, she was an at-will employee. But, the stakes are raised when an employee files for unemployment compensation benefits. That is, generally speaking, a terminated employee will receive u/c, unless the termination is for some sort of willful misconduct.

So, you’d think open sexual banter in front of customers would satisfy that requirement.

Yeah, you’d think that.

Well, the cashier had an ace up her sleeve; namely, the aforementioned f*&king products. 

Would you like to read how these products contributed to what the former employee described as an all-around profane and off-color working environment? Sure you would.

From Mr. Kauffman’s article:

“There’s jelly beans, salsa, hot sauces and all kinds of different things about women’s (bodies),” she testified. “There’s a whole shelf referring to — well, excuse me — but there’s one can called ‘The Hottest —-ing Nuts.’ “

She said the store also sells a brand of coffee named “Wake The —- Up,” the label of which reads: “This coffee makes a seriously strong cup of Joe. It will put some stride in your step and some lead in your pencil — not to mention that you will probably reorganize the garage and finally get to the lawn. Wake the F up and live!”

State records indicate the store also sells a brand of hot sauce called “The Hottest —-ing Sauce,” which is labeled as having an “ass-burning” quality that will inspire the consumer to “scream ‘(expletive)’ at the top of your lungs.”

Yep, the former employee got her u/c benefits.

And since I can’t beat it, to end this post, I’ll quote further from Mr. Kauffman’s article:

Shafer said she’s still looking for work, adding that Braaksma has banned her from shopping at the Last Chance Market. “And you know, he still has this big sign right where you go in, a metal sign, that says, ‘Shirts and shoes are required, but bras and panties are optional,’ ” she said.

Braaksma would not comment on the case, telling The Des Moines Register, “I don’t want my store’s name in no (expletive) news story.”

TwitterLogo.jpgAn employee getting fired for caustic social-media posts is so 2011. Having an application for unemployment-compensation benefits denied because of Twitter stupidity — that’s the new black.

Details of a recent Commonwealth of Pennsylvania decision — don’t tread on me, Idaho — after the jump…

* * *

Continue reading

Starting this year, employees who receive severance pay in excess of 40% of the average annual wage in Pennsylvania will have their unemployment compensation benefits offset. Currently, that 40% number is $17,853.00.

As Jonathan Segal, Legislative Director for PA State Council of SHRM, notes here, employers should be very careful not to represent anything in a severance agreement that an employee could reasonably construe as suggesting that this change in the law will not apply. He adds here that employers should also consider beefing up their severance-agreement-release language to confirm that the release is effective even if severance is offset or reduced under PA law.

You can read more on the change in the law here.

hallmark.jpgMach·i·a·vel·li·an   [mak-ee-uhvel-ee-uhn] adjective

  1. of, like, or befitting Machiavelli.
  2. characterized by subtle or unscrupulous cunning. He resorted to Machiavellian tactics in order to get ahead.
  3. The quality associated with marketing a line of greeting cards to capitalize on the 9.1% unemployment rate in the United States. Hallmark’s decision to sell unemployment sympathy cards is hella-Machiavellian.


If you read this blog (or just about any other labor and employment law blog), you know that social media policies have fallen under recent heightened scrutiny because of the chilling effect they could have on employees discussing terms and conditions of employment (e.g., wages, hours, etc.) with each other online. Where there is no controversy, however, is that companies may discipline employees who shirk their job responsibilities and goof of online — especially while on the clock. 

After the jump, it’s a decision from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania denying unemployment compensation benefits to a nurse who was fired for using Facebook at work while she should have been medicating patients.

* * *

Continue reading

asleep.jpgHi there, Pennsylvania employers. Do you have employees that remind you of the sleeping gentleman in the picture to the right? After the jump, read about a local employee who was fired after getting caught sleeping on the job four times, and still successfully obtained unemployment compensation benefits!

Continue reading