Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fired security guard who cussed at his boss can't get unemployment comp

Pittsburgh PA Feb 5 2017 It usually isn't a good idea to spout profanity in front of your boss.
That's especially true if you're dissing the place where you work.
Former hospital security guard Steven Joncas II was accused of doing both, and he got fired for it.
Now, a state appeals court panel has ruled that he can't get unemployment compensation, either.
The Commonwealth Court issued that decision even though Joncas insisted he had kept his language clean.
The issue, as Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer wrote in the state court's recent opinion, was whether Joncas had committed willful misconduct that disqualified him from receiving jobless aid. Joncas took the dispute to Commonwealth Court after the state Unemployment Compensation Board of Review concluded his behavior on Feb. 2, 2016 had crossed the line.
According to Jubelirer, Joncas was working as a full-time guard at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Presbyterian/Shadyside facility when he vented to his boss.
His manager said Joncas "was enraged with how employer's operations were run and the actions of other employees," Jubelirer wrote. Then, in a "very heightened voice," Joncas supposedly said, "This is (expletive) up, and what's the big (expletive) deal?" He also was accused of pounding his fist on the manager's desk.
The incident occurred two months after Joncas was given a final warning that he would be fired if his behavior didn't improve, the state judge noted.
Jubelier noted that in seeking jobless aid, Joncas testified that he never cursed at his boss, never raised his voice and wasn't aggressive. He said he thought his employer was seeking to fire him because he was looking for another job. Also, Jubelirer wrote, Joncas insisted that profanity was common at his workplace and that he thought it's use was only prohibited in the presence of patients and visitors.

Joncas' conduct "was so aggressive that (his boss) grew concerned over (Joncas') mental state," Jubelirer noted in upholding the benefit denial. "Such behavior was not reasonable under the circumstances."

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