Determined whether domestic violence survivors who are discharged from work for reasons related to abuse are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
Legal Momentum won a judicial decision in this case that established an important legal precedent in New York State: domestic violence survivors who are discharged from work for reasons related to the abuse are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Our client, whose initials are C. J. R., was fired from her job in March 2001 because she missed work too often, even though virtually all of her absences related to doctor's appointments and hospitalizations for psychological injuries due to domestic violence or child custody hearings. The New York Department of Labor initially denied her unemployment insurance benefits because it found that she was fired for "misconduct."
Judge Andrea Addison reversed the Department of Labor's determination, noting that the claimant gave "uncontroverted and credible testimony" and "had compelling reasons for her absences and reasonably notified her employer."
The decision lays down the precedent - in New York and other states with similar standards - that an employee does not commit misconduct when she misses work because of reasons related to domestic violence or child custody disputes, and therefore remains eligible for unemployment insurance.