Misconduct MC 485 – Fact Finding Guide

Violation of Employer Rule

A. General (Questions for all the situations)

  1. What was the rule that allegedly was violated by the claimant?
  2. Does the claimant admit to violating the rule? If not, what evidence does the employer present to show that the claimant did violate the rule?
  3. What was the purpose of the rule? Ask the employer if not readily apparent.
  4. In what manner did the claimant violate the rule? Get specific details.
  5. When did the rule violation occur?
  6. Did the claimant know of the rule?

    If the claimant denies knowledge of the employer rule, evidence must be developed to show if the claimant reasonably should have known the rule. Questions should be directed toward the employer’s normal procedures for making rules known to the employees. Always allow the claimant to rebut conclusions.

    1. Is the particular rule that the claimant violated written or are employees informed of it verbally?
    2. If written, how is it brought to the attention of employees?

      NOTE: Possible ways include stuffers in pay checks, employee handbooks, posting on bulletin boards, and incorporation in a collective bargaining agreement.

    3. Can it reasonably be concluded that the claimant received or knew of the written material?
    4. If the rule is not written, how is it brought to the attention of employees?

      NOTE: Possible ways include orientation interviews at the time of or shortly after hiring, staff meetings, individual communications by supervisors and disciplinary interviews.

    5. Can it reasonably be concluded that the claimant was informed of the rule?
    6. Is the rule violation so serious that any reasonable person should have known that it is forbidden (such as fighting, stealing, intoxication on the job)?
  7. What is the claimant’s explanation for his or her actions which violated the rule?
  8. Had the claimant ever previously been warned or reprimanded about his or her conduct on the job?
    1. If yes:
      • When and for what infractions was the claimant warned or reprimanded?
      • What is the claimant’s explanation for these prior actions which resulted in warning or reprimand?
    2. If not:
      • Had the claimant ever before committed actions similar to the one which resulted in his or her discharge?
      • If so, did the employer know of these actions?
      • If the employer knew of these actions, why wasn’t the claimant warned or reprimanded?
  9. Did the claimant’s actions in any way interfere with the employer’s operations?

  10. How did or how would the violation injure the employer’s interest?

Additional questions to be asked for specific situations

B. Clothes and Appearance

  1. Did the rule rationally relate to the enhancement of the employer’s business?
  2. How would the rule benefit the employer?
  3. Did the benefits to the employer outweigh the resulting impairment of constitutional rights?
  4. Were there alternatives less restrictive of constitutional rights??

C. Gambling or Game Playing

  1. Where was the claimant gambling or game playing?
  2. With whom was the claimant gambling or game playing?
  3. Was the person(s) with whom the claimant was gambling or game playing also discharged? If not, why not?

D. Money Matters


E. Motor Vehicles

  1. Did the claimant violate a law at the same time?
  2. If so, what were the results of the law violation?

F. Removal of Property

  1. Did the claimant have permission to remove the property?
  2. Was the property removed of little or no use to the employer?

G. Safety Regulations


H. Store Purchase


I. Telephone Calls


J. Time Clock

  1. Where is the time clock situated in relation to the claimant’s work station? In relation to the exit? In relation to the entrance?
  2. Who actually clocked in and out for the claimant?
  3. Was this "accomplice" discharged also? If not, why not?
  4. Was the claimant’s time worked actually falsified?