The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently held that a single absence by an employee did not constitute misconduct sufficient to disqualify the employee from receiving unemployment compensation. In Pech v. Orthopaedic Res. Mgmt., Inc., 2010 WL 1439991 (Minn. Ct. App. April 12, 2010) the Court concluded that an employee’s unexcused absence did not constitute misconduct because it was a single incident that did not have a significant adverse impact on the employer. The employer had argued that the employee had previous disciplinary infractions, and that the absence therefore was not a single incident.
The Court acknowledged the employer’s argument, but ultimately held that the employer was bound by the reason it gave to the employee for the termination, namely the single unexcused absence. This case demonstrates that employers should carefully consider the reasons they give employees for their terminations, as those reasons can have an impact on the post-employment relationship between the parties.