In Paratransit, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, an employee appealed the denial of his claim for unemployment insurance benefits where the employer terminated him for refusing to sign a disciplinary warning. Agreeing with the employer, a California court of appeal opined that the employee's "misconduct" justified the denial of benefits. Paratransit operated a transport service for the disabled. The employer received a complaint from a passenger about Medeiros. The employer and the union representing the drivers negotiated and agreed that a written warning was the appropriate discipline for Medeiros' misconduct. In the follow-up meeting with Medeiros to deliver the warning, the supervisor told him that he was required to sign the warning to acknowledge receipt. The document clearly stated that an employee's signature was simply to acknowledge receipt. Medeiros refused to sign for fear of admitting guilt. The supervisor told him that his signature only acknowledged receipt, and again directed him to sign. Medeiros refused. The employer terminated Medeiros for insubordination. In denying Medeiros unemployment benefits, the court held that the employer's directive to sign the warning was a reasonable instruction, and Medeiros' refusal to sign was misconduct disqualifying him from receiving benefits.
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California court rules that unemployment benefits were properly denied for termination based upon employee's refusal to sign disciplinary memorandum
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