Florida Unemployment Compensation Law Has Become More “Employer Friendly”


On June 27, 2001, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new law implementing several significant reforms to the Florida Unemployment Compensation Program. The new law is meant to save the state money, reduce taxes on employers and help get Floridians back to work. Among other reforms, the definition of “misconduct” under the new law has been expanded making it easier for employers to successfully defend unemployment insurance benefit claims. Specifically, under the new law, misconduct is defined as “any action that demonstrates conscious disregard of an employer’s interests and is found to be a deliberate disregard or violation of reasonable standards of behavior” and may include activities that do not occur at the workplace or during working hours. Therefore, this broader definition not only extends misconduct to activities that occur outside of the workplace, it also includes such events such as chronic absenteeism and tardiness, which may not have been deemed misconduct under the old definition.

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