Discharge - Sections 8-1002, 8-1002.1, 8-1003 continued
VII. Misbehavior or Poor Attitude on the Job
A discharge for rudeness or poor attitude on the job may
result in a finding of gross misconduct, simple misconduct
or no misconduct, depending on the circumstances. Generally,
disruptive behavior and the use of profane or abusive language
have been found to be at least misconduct. Sexual harassment
of a coworker has been held to be gross misconduct when
the claimant has been told or should have reasonably known
that his conduct or speech was offensive.
Generally, sleeping on the job is considered, at the very least,
misconduct, because the employee is not performing the
duties for which he was hired. However, there are mitigating
factors which may at times lead to a conclusion that the
employee was not engaged in misconduct. Such factors include
the employee taking medication or working long hours.
Generally, the claimant will be held to have committed
gross misconduct for sleeping on the job if the nature
of his position required that the claimant be alert, if
the employer has previously disciplined the claimant for
similar conduct, or if the claimant deliberately placed
himself in a position for the purpose of going to sleep.
A. Rudeness or Poor Attitude
1. Toward Employer's Clients or Customers
The claimant was discharged for showing up drunk at a customer's
home, using bad language, and failing to perform, even after
complaints and a warning. This was gross misconduct.
Schisler v. E.C. Decker Service, Inc., 780-BH-87.
The claimant was a switchboard operator who supervised other operators.
She was discharged due to three incidents of rudeness
to customers on the telephone. The claimant admitted that
she was the offending operator. The claimant had previously
received warnings about this type of behavior. The claimant
was discharged for gross misconduct. Butler v. Levenson
and Klein, Inc., 494-BR-90.
2. Toward Supervisor
a. Gross Misconduct Found
The claimant repeatedly refused to accept the employer's
directions and was insubordinate and offensive to the employer
in evaluation sessions. The claimant was discharged for
gross misconduct. Hagberg v. Liberty Homes, Inc., 135-BH-89.
b. Misconduct Found
The claimant was cooperative and courteous on most occasions.
However, on one occasion, she walked out of a counseling
session called by her supervisor, even though she had
been told that the session was not finished. The claimant
was discharged for misconduct. Schoo v. Davis, Garth, et al., 603-BR-90.
c. No Misconduct Found
The claimant was discharged because she asked her supervisor
a question at a meeting. The question concerned the wages
of entry level employees. It was a reasonable question
and was not asked in an insubordinate manner. There was
no misconduct. Rayfield v. Elite Communications, 123-BH-90.
3. Toward Coworkers
a. Gross Misconduct Found
The claimant was discharged for harassment of fellow employees
and failure to do his job. This was held to be gross misconduct.
Jackson v. Dankmeyer, Inc., 1158-BH-88.
b. Misconduct Found
The claimant was discharged for misconduct where there
was a pattern of arguing with his coworkers, which continued
in the face of warnings. However, without evidence of
the nature of the arguments, who was at fault in initiating
them, whether profanity was used, and whether they interfered
with the work process, there can be no finding of gross
misconduct. Green v. Harford Memorial Hospital, 320-BR-84.
The claimant was discharged for engaging in a shouting match with a
security guard hired by the employer. The shouting disrupted
the employer's business. The claimant lost her temper
and engaged in inappropriate conduct, but did not start
the argument. She was seriously provoked by the security
guard who blatantly violated orders. This constitutes
misconduct. Brooks v. Conston of Maryland, Inc., 377-BR-88.
c. No Misconduct Found
The claimant was discharged for placing a letter on a
coworker's car and arguing with that coworker on the employer's
lot. The claimant did place the letter on the car, but
made an effort to do so in such a way so as not to disrupt
the work. The coworker began the argument and persisted
despite the claimant's requests that the matter be discussed
after work. The claimant was discharged, but not for any
misconduct. Ward v. National Car Rental System, Inc., 1194-BR-90.
The claimant was discharged in July, 1991 because the employer felt
she had a bad attitude. Only three incidents of actual
conduct were cited, one of which occurred in 1985 or 1986
and one of which occurred in 1989. These incidents were
too remote in time to reasonably justify a discharge in
1991. In July, 1991, the claimant was discharged after
she curtly responded to a coworker's question. The employer
failed to show concrete instances in which the claimant's
attitude affected her work performance. The one incident
in July, 1991 was not misconduct. Beasley v. Genesis
Health Ventures, 1477-BR-91.
B. Disruptive Behavior
1. In General
The deliberate spreading of false rumors that certain classes
of employees were to be laid off, done for the purpose of
harming morale, by an employee in a fairly high position,
constitutes gross misconduct. Noble v. The Bees Distributing
Company, Inc., 672-BR-85.
The claimant's deliberately disruptive behavior, even where influenced
by a borderline personality disorder, was gross misconduct.
Richard v. DHMG Laboratories Administration, 422-BR-88.
2. Profane or Abusive Language
Where the claimant had been allowed to disagree openly
with the employer, but this time used an obscenity in
the course of the argument, the discharge was for simple
misconduct, not gross misconduct. Shird v. F and H
Contractors, Inc., 185-BH-88.
The claimant had been previously warned about having heated arguments
with the supervisory staff. The employer later attempted
to serve the claimant with a warning and suspension notice
after she was observed removing an object from a patient's
room. The claimant became abusive and loud. She used foul
language, attempted to snatch some papers out of her supervisor's
hand, left the office without permission and continued
loud, abusive remarks, disturbing others who were in their
offices. This was gross misconduct. Barnes v. St.
Luke Lutheran Home, Inc., 235-BR-88.
The claimant had previously been warned about using inappropriate language
in the work place. Subsequently, the claimant began a
loud, accusatory argument with the owner, without any
provocation, in a setting where other employees and a
supervisory person could hear. The claimant was discharged
for gross misconduct. Reed v. Saval Foods Corporation, 15-BR-91.
The claimant manager's discharge was for simple misconduct
where he allowed two employees to engage in a friendly
whipped cream fight on the employer's premises, but after
work hours. Punt v. Taco Bell Restaurant, 247-BR-85.
The claimant was discharged for engaging in horseplay and accidentally
hurting others who were equally to blame. This was misconduct.
Washington v. Direct Marketing Associates, 500-BH-88.
C. Sexual Harassment
The claimant was discharged for repeated and persistent
sexual harassment of other employees. This was gross misconduct.
Keegan v. Valspar Corporation, 527-BH-89.
The claimant was discharged for refusing to submit to the sexual advances
of her supervisor. There was no misconduct. Bailey
v. Tom Curro Lincoln Mercury, Inc., 821-BH-87.
Where the claimant was never given any indication that his attentions
were not wanted, he did not engage in sexual harassment.
There was no misconduct. Polston v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, 220-BH-89.
The claimant is entitled to be told that his conduct or speech is deemed
offensive by his coworkers before he can be accused of
sexual harassment, unless the conduct or speech is so
blatant that any reasonable person would be offended.
White v. Steven Windsor, Inc., 2079-BR-92.
D. Sleeping on the Job
The claimant was found asleep on the job three times. She
was warned two times, and on the last occasion, was given
a chance to go home early but declined and fell asleep again.
This was gross misconduct. Bradley v. Liberty Medical
Center, Inc., 706-BR-89.
deliberately backed his fork lift into a corner in an
attempt to hide so he could sleep on the job. No mitigating
facts were found which might explain the claimant's falling
asleep on the job. This was gross misconduct. Taylor
v. Fort Howard Cup Corporation, 1215-BR-91.
always a question about exactly how deliberate the act
of falling asleep on the job is. In this case, the claimant's
history of rule violations, plus his failure to take advantage
of a second chance given him by the supervisor to stay
awake that night amounted to gross misconduct when he
was again found sleeping on the job that same night.
Hawkins v. Charles County Commissioners, 1053-BR-93.
The claimant, a hospital telephone operator who handled, at times, emergency
calls, intentionally laid down on the floor with a pillow
and jacket and fell asleep. This was held to be gross
misconduct. Ingram v. Union Memorial Hospital,
2. Mitigating Circumstances
A security guard falling asleep on the job is generally
regarded as gross misconduct. However, mitigating factors
do arise in exceptional circumstances. In this case, the
claimant had recently worked an unusually high number
of hours at the employer's request and his falling asleep
was unintentional. While the responsibility for staying
awake lies with the claimant, this particular failure
lacks deliberateness, and therefore warrants a lesser
finding of simple misconduct. Harris v. BPS Guard Services, Inc., 563-BR-92.
E. Cooperation with Internal Investigation
The claimant was discharged after he lied to his supervisor
when directly questioned about a conflict of interest in
his office and attempted to cover up the conflict rather
than inform his superiors. This was gross misconduct.
Schneider v. Civil Service Commission, 256-BH-85.
The claimant's walking out of a meeting with the company investigator,
after being given a choice to talk to same, does not constitute
misconduct. Gamble v. Levenson and Klein, 546-BH-83.
The claimant failed to disclose her assets as part of an investigation,
lied to investigators and violated a direct order of an
investigator. This was held to be gross misconduct.
Nicholson v. Coca Cola Company, 571-BH-88.
VIII. Illegal, Dishonest, Fraudulent or Unethical
Conduct on the Job
Threats of physical violence against supervisory personnel
or coworkers generally constitute simple or gross misconduct.
In the case of Department of Economic & Empl. Dev.
v. Owens, 75 Md. App. 472, 541 A.2d 1324 (1988), the
threat of violence against a supervisor, though not made
directly to the supervisor and not accompanied by any physical
action, constituted gross misconduct and disqualified the
employee from unemployment benefits.
Under the law prior to 1993, the striking of a coworker, unless
done in reasonable self-defense, was gross misconduct.
However, under the 1993 version of Section 8-1002.1, this
type of behavior constituted aggravated misconduct if
it was intentional conduct that resulted in a physical
assault upon or bodily injury to another person in the
work place. Under the amended Section 8-1002.1, effective
October 1, 1995, a physical assault on a coworker could
constitute aggravated misconduct if it was done with actual
malice and a deliberate disregard for the property, safety
or life of others and if it was so serious that the penalties
of misconduct or gross misconduct are insufficient.
An employee's alteration of time cards is generally at least simple
misconduct, unless the alteration was done mistakenly.
The employer's bare assertion that there are cash shortages
is insufficient to prove misconduct. However, gross misconduct
will be found where cash over which the claimant has sole
control disappears and the claimant provides no reasonable explanation.
Under the law prior to 1993, theft from the employer was always
considered gross misconduct. Under the 1993 version of
Section 8-1002.1, this type of behavior could constitute
aggravated misconduct if it was intentional conduct by
an employee in the work place that resulted in property
loss or damage to the property of the employer, coworkers
and other individuals. Under the amended Section 8-1002.1,
effective October 1, 1995, theft from the employer could
constitute aggravated misconduct if it was done with actual
malice and deliberate disregard for the property of others
and if it consists of property loss or damage so serious
that the penalties of misconduct or gross misconduct are insufficient.
Falsification of an employment application is generally misconduct,
but the degree of misconduct (simple or gross) depends
upon the materiality of the information falsified. Misrepresentations
deemed material include those concerning an employee's
educational qualifications or his criminal record.
A. Assaults and Threats
a. In General
During a discussion about previous misconduct, the claimant
made a statement to the effect that, "This was the kind
of incident that made people go home to get their shotguns."
The claimant clearly made the statement to produce fear
in his supervisor's mind and it was, therefore, a threat.
The claimant's action constitutes gross misconduct.
Zimmerman v. Goucher College, 625-BR-84.
The claimant, who threatened to kill his supervisor, was under psychiatric
treatment for severe emotional problems. Due to this,
his behavior constitutes simple misconduct and not gross
misconduct. Everett v. Department of Health and Human
The claimant had animosity toward another employee. The employer held
a meeting with the claimant and the other employee for
the specific purpose of clearing up this matter. At the
meeting, the claimant initiated threats of physical violence
against the other employee. This constitutes gross misconduct.
Miller v. Computer Sciences Corporation, 562-BR-87.
b. Use of Weapons
The claimant was discharged for possessing a knife at
work and brandishing it while making threatening statements.
This was gross misconduct. Smith v. Bethany House, Inc., 732-BR-89.
The employer had a clear rule prohibiting weapons on company property.
The claimant brought a weapon concealed on his person
onto company property in violation of the rule. Although
he didn't brandish the gun, or threaten anyone with it,
the claimant created the possibility of an extremely volatile
situation by bringing the gun on the premises. The fact
that the gun was unloaded is immaterial. The claimant
made the employer's work environment unsafe, showing a
gross indifference to the employer's interests. This constitutes
gross misconduct. Parker v. Showell Poultry, Inc., 998-BR-91.
a. In General
The striking of a coworker, unless done in reasonable self-defense,
clearly meets the definition of gross misconduct. Nelson
v. Wyman Park Health System, Inc., 389-BH-84.
Although the claimant was initially struck by another employee,
the claimant's attempt to continue to fight, despite orders
to stop and efforts to physically restrain the claimant,
constitutes gross misconduct. Goodall v. Holy Cross
Serious verbal provocation by a coworker does not prevent physical assault
by the claimant from being gross misconduct. Alston
v. Phillips Harborplace, 707-BH-86.
An individual may use nondeadly force in self-defense
anytime he reasonably believes that unlawful force is
about to be used against him. This is true even where
one is defending himself against an attack by his superiors
on the job. Winchester v. Joseph J. Hock Company, 232-BH-83.
The claimant was discharged for repeatedly hitting his employer in
self-defense in an assault which was initiated by the
employer. The claimant's actions caused multiple injuries
to the employer. Under the circumstances, the claimant
overreacted and used more physical force than was reasonable
or necessary to defend himself and his actions constitute
misconduct. However, the employer was clearly the initial
aggressor and therefore, the claimant's actions do not
constitute gross misconduct. Sacco v. Jones Associates, 146-BH-84.
The claimant was verbally accosted by a coworker who was determined
to provoke a fight with her. The coworker physically attacked
the claimant who attempted to free herself, but did not
hit the coworker. Reasonable acts of self-defense do not
constitute gross misconduct, nor does one mild statement
of retort made by the claimant. Forman v. Associated
Catholic Charities, 935-BR-91.
Where the claimant was knocked to the floor and pushed against the
wall several times, her striking out in self-defense was
not misconduct, even where it violated a company rule.
Castle v. W.D. Byron and Sons, Inc., 675-BR-93.
The claimant's supervisor confronted him in a verbally abusive manner
and physically assaulted him. The claimant knocked away
the supervisor's hand when he attempted to make physical
contact with the claimant. The claimant did nothing more
than any reasonable person would have done. The claimant's
action of self-defense does not rise to the level of misconduct
under Section 8-1003. Bourgeois v. General Motors
3. Patient Abuse
The claimant's violation of a strict rule which prohibited
employees from leaving a patient unattended in the bathtub
constituted gross misconduct, particularly due to the potential
danger to the patient. Brown v. Garrison Valley Center, Inc., 27-BH-85.
The claimant was a direct care aide at a long-term care facility for
mentally retarded and disabled persons. A housekeeper
for the employer observed the claimant beating a patient
with a tennis racquet, kicking the patient on the head
and chest and engaging in this conduct for a half-hour.
This was gross misconduct. Jackson v. Rosewood Center, 314-BH-88.
The claimant was suspended from her job as a home health aide at a
senior citizen retirement community due to her continuing
pattern of abusive behavior toward patients. These acts
included verbal abuse, aggressive treatment, leaving a
patient in a wheelchair for long periods of time, failing
to feed a patient, grabbing a walker away from a patient
and threatening to shut the door on a patient. These actions
constitute gross misconduct. Morten v. Lorien Home
Health Care Agency, 556-BH-91.
The claimant, a bus driver and activity aide for nursing home patients,
left the patients on the bus in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart
for 35 to 45 minutes while she did some personal shopping
at that store. It was a hot day in August. The claimant's
conduct was gross misconduct. Dancy v. Carroll Lutheran Village, 293-BR-93.
B. Alteration of Time Cards
1. Gross Misconduct Found
The claimant was discharged for falsifying his time sheet
in order to hide his lateness. This was gross misconduct.
Wilton v. Department of Health, 685-BR-89.
The claimant knowingly altered his time cards on two occasions in an
attempt to receive more wages than he had earned. After
the first incident, he received a reprimand and a suspension.
The claimant was discharged for gross misconduct.
Gieryic v. Tri-State Motor Transit Company, 140-BR-90.
The claimant allowed several pay periods to be documented indicating
that she had worked days in those pay periods which she
in fact had not worked. The claimant received payment
for these days. The claimant took no action to correct
this situation. This was gross misconduct. Blackwell
v. Maryland Training School, 581-BH-91.
Leaving the workplace without punching out on the time clock is a
falsification of work records. Thomas v. Deaton Hospital
and Medical Center, 1131-BR-93.
2. Misconduct Found
Upon return from her vacation, during which the claimant's
hours were changed slightly, the claimant reported later
than the time she wrote on her time sheet. Considering
the confusion caused by the changes in the claimant's
schedule, her actions constitute misconduct under Section
8-1003, but do not rise to the level of gross misconduct.
Addison v. Woodward and Lothrop, 620-BR-84.
The claimant violated the employer's rule by signing his own time card
because his supervisor had forgotten to do so, but the
claimant did not falsify the time. This was misconduct.
Williams v. Department of the Army, 428-BR-87.
3. No Misconduct Found
The claimant mistakenly punched a coworker's time card
with his own, although the coworker had left for the day.
There was no prohibition against punching another employee's
time card. The claimant was discharged, but was given
no warnings. The evidence was insufficient to show that
the claimant's action was more than a mistake and no disqualification
was imposed. Hartman v. Polystyrene Products Company, Inc., 164-BH-83.
C. Cash Shortages
1. In General
The claimant was discharged for four shortages in a cash
drawer shared with other individuals where the claimant
did not count and was never instructed to count the cash
in the drawer. The evidence was insufficient to support
a finding of misconduct. Fox v. Brother's Place, 171-BH-84.
The claimant bank teller deliberately and willfully tore the tape of
two transactions out of her machine, strictly against
company audit regulations. This action made untraceable
a loss of money to her employer. The claimant had been
previously warned on several occasions for various breaches
of bank regulations. This was gross misconduct. Cooper
v. Carrollton Bank of Baltimore, 338-BH-85.
Money ($900.00), over which the claimant had sole control, disappeared,
and the claimant did not report to work or contact the
employer for several days. The claimant did not report
the shortage and had been warned for shortages in the
past. The employer met its burden of proving deliberate
gross misconduct by proving that money over which the
claimant had sole control disappeared and that the claimant
disappeared at the same time. The burden then shifted
to the claimant to provide any reasonable explanation
for these events, but he failed to do so. Stout v.
Laurel Race Course, 1030-BH-85.
2. Agreement to Indemnify Employer
The Fair Labor Standards Act, and its regulations, provide
that deductions for shortages cannot be made from the
wages of gasoline service station workers if such deductions
bring the employee's remuneration below the minimum wage.
Hatfield v. Tri-State Oil, 390-BR-82.
1. From Employer
Although the claimant did not misappropriate for herself
any money from the employer's petty cash fund, she did repeatedly
forge the names of company officials on the authorization
forms without their knowledge or approval in violation of
company policy. Deliberate misuse of the employer's petty
cash fund, even if done for reasons other than personal
gain, is gross misconduct. Decker v. Maryland Cup Corporation, 347-BR-87.
The claimant paid herself out of the register, but this was a practice
condoned by the employer. There was no misconduct.
Reno v. Lorenzo's, Inc., 434-BR-88.
The claimant purchased merchandise for himself from the employer and
discounted the price of the merchandise below the regular
ten percent employee discount, even though it was not
on sale at the time. He did not have his supervisor's
approval to do this. The claimant was well aware of the
company policy that strictly forbade such an action. The
claimant was discharged for gross misconduct. Angel
v. Service Merchandise Company, Inc., 57-BH-90.
The claimant admitted that he pled guilty to forging credit slips for
customers and pocketing the cash which the customers gave
him. The claimant's lawyer submitted an Alford plea, which
is a guilty plea, entered upon voluntarily, with full
knowledge of the crime alleged and of the possible consequences
of pleading guilty to it. The judgment of guilty entered
after such a plea can be used as evidence, in an unemployment
insurance case, that the claimant actually did the act
alleged. The claimant was discharged for gross misconduct.
Hanlin v. Jake's Service Station, 1213-BR-90.
Selling confidential information from the employer's files is gross misconduct
in itself, even if the claimant was unaware of the scheme
by which this information was going to be used to perpetrate
a massive fraud on credit card companies. Eaddy v.
Hertz Corporation, 83-BH-92.
2. From Customers or Coworkers
The claimant, who deliberately overcharged customers and
failed to turn in all the money collected, was discharged
for gross misconduct. Boardman v. Creative Hairdressers,
The claimant failed to deliver a paycheck to a subordinate employee
and instead converted it to her own use. The claimant
offered no reasonable excuse for doing this. This was
gross misconduct. Coward v. Federal Express Management, 21-BR-89.
On more than one occasion, the claimant received rent money from tenants
in the housing project where she worked, but neither turned
in the money to management nor credited the tenants as
having paid. She issued tenants phony receipts. As a result,
some tenants were scheduled for eviction. The claimant
was discharged for gross misconduct. McNair v. Housing
Authority of Baltimore, 1111-BH-89.
3. Misappropriation of Employer's Property
The claimant removed a piece of steel shelving from the
employer's premises with his supervisor's permission and
was later discharged for theft. The employer failed to
meet its burden of proving that the claimant's actions
constituted theft. Rather, the claimant's termination
resulted from a misunderstanding and no disqualification
was imposed. Bass v. Harbor Construction, Inc., 87-BH-83.
The claimant nursing home worker took unused cartons of milk from the
trays used to feed patients. The unused cartons would
normally be thrown away, but the taking home of such food
was strictly against the employer's policy. The patients,
in fact, had been complaining about not getting their
milk. This was gross misconduct because the employer's
intended disposition of the property did not make it abandoned
property, and the employer's policy was designed to discourage
the very type of activity in which the claimant was engaged.
Pittman v. Meridian Nursing Center, 878-BR-86.
The claimant paid off a personal debt to a customer by misappropriating
six of the employer's knives and exchanging them with
the customer in order to cancel his personal debt. This
deliberate misappropriation of the employer's property
is gross misconduct. Banks v. Adams-Burch, Inc., 906-BH-87.
The claimant was discharged for unauthorized use of the employer's
computer equipment and materials, unauthorized conduct
of personal business while on duty, insubordination and
misuse of administrative/judicial procedures. The claimant
used the employer's equipment to generate more than 100
documents for the claimant's personal use. This was done
despite a memorandum from the employer prohibiting this
type of activity and a warning from the claimant's supervisor.
The claimant was discharged for gross misconduct.
Hanlon v. Department of Commerce, 759-BH-89.
The claimant worked as a project manager at a janitorial service company.
The claimant instructed one of the employer's employees
to report to a specific work site which was not affiliated
with any of the employer's clients, and to perform work
at this site with the employer's equipment, materials
and supplies. The claimant also authorized payment to
the individual performing such services from the employer's
payroll department, knowing that the assignment of the
individual to this particular project was for the sole
and direct benefit of the claimant's own janitorial services
company. The claimant was discharged for gross misconduct.
Hart v. Eagle Maintenance Service, Inc., 677-SE-90.
E. Destruction of Property
1. Employer's Property
The claimant's deliberate destruction of company property
constitutes gross misconduct. Patterson v. Mack Trucks, 188-BH-84.
The claimant was terminated for destroying property of the employer's
subcontractor during a labor dispute. This was a deliberate
interference with a subcontractor doing business with
the employer and was precisely designed to harm both the
employer and the subcontractor. This was gross misconduct.
Chabot v. Wolmendorf, Inc., 719-BR-83.
2. Customer's or Client's Property
The claimant removed several checks to closed account
customers, valued at over one-half million dollars, from
the bank and threw them away in an effort to rid himself
of his backlog. This was gross misconduct. Roux v.
Maryland National Bank, 301-BH-84.
3. Coworker's Property
The claimant, who deliberately damaged a coworker's car
on the employer's premises, was discharged for gross misconduct.
Chase v. General Motors Corporation, 138-BH-87.
F. Competition with Employer's Business
The employer knew when it hired the claimant that the man
to whom she was engaged worked for a company with competitive
interests. The claimant assured her employer that she would
not share any information about her employer with her future
husband. When she told a coworker of a job opportunity at
the company where her husband worked, and the employer found
out that the coworker applied for the job, the claimant
was discharged. The claimant violated a duty to her employer
to refrain from any actions or discussions that could be
a conflict of interest between her husband's company and
the employer. The claimant's actions constitute misconduct,
but not gross misconduct, as there was no evidence that
she intended to, or even caused, any harm to her employer.
The claimant was not competing with her employer, was not
being compensated by another employer, and was not using
or revealing any information she had received in confidence
as a result of her job. Franklin v. Printers II, Inc., 140-BH-86.
The claimant, who was general counsel and general manager for the employer,
engaged in giving legal advice to a potentially competitive
company being formed by a coworker. After the coworker
resigned, the claimant misled the employer with regard
to her knowledge of his activities. When specifically
asked about the possibly competitive business, the claimant
refused to answer, citing attorney-client privilege. The
claimant violated a duty of loyalty to the employer by
putting herself in a position whereby she could not even
advise her employer of the potentially competitive activities
of its ex-employee. This was gross misconduct. Ruscitella
v. Theriault's, Inc., 396-BR-86.
The claimant breached his duty of loyalty to the employer by contacting
a company for which the employer was an exclusive distributor
in order to inquire about the claimant becoming a distributor
himself. The prohibition against competing with one's
employer is not limited to competition for the employer's
customers. Competition for a valuable exclusive distributorship
held by the employer is also a serious breach of the duty
of loyalty owed by an employee to an employer. The claimant
was discharged for gross misconduct. Law v. Sporting
Angler, Inc., 372-BR-90.
The claimant was aware of the employer's requirement that the claimant
needed the employer's prior approval in order for the
claimant to do any side jobs similar to the type of work
he did for the employer. In violation of this requirement,
the claimant did numerous side jobs for the employer's
customers. The acts of the claimant were in direct competition
with the employer. The claimant was discharged for gross
misconduct. Price v. Automatic Security Systems, Inc., 779-BH-90.
The claimant deliberately passed information about one of the employer's
customers to a competitor. The claimant was discharged
for gross misconduct. Jones v. Cellular One Custom Center, 1275-BR-90.
G. Misuse of Position
The claimant was employed as an addictions counselor in
a mental health center and worked with clients who had
drug problems. The claimant used his position of authority
to demand money from clients of the mental health center.
This amounts to gross misconduct. Kimble v. Glass
Mental Health Center, 1206-BH-91.
The claimant put a note on the desk of a person who contracted with
her employer, attempting to get her daughter a job. The
claimant knew that the person was exceptionally susceptible
to pressure from her employer. The claimant's deliberate
misuse of her employment position in order to gain benefits
for herself from a contractor is gross misconduct.
Kinter v. Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, 1484-BH-92.
H. Falsification of Employment Application
The claimant's deliberately misleading statement to the
employer concerning his experience and ability to perform
the dangerous job of crane operator constitutes gross
misconduct. Faudree v. C.M. Anderson's Crane Service, Inc., 819-BR-83.
The claimant bank teller responded in the negative to a question on
the employment application which asked if she had ever
been convicted of a crime. The claimant had appealed a
previous District Court conviction to the Circuit Court,
where it was placed on the stet docket and therefore,
the claimant believed that the conviction did not stand.
There is no disqualification under Section 8-1002 or 8-1003
since the claimant's belief was factually correct. Furthermore,
a statement is not a "falsification" when the person making
the statement honestly believes that he or she is telling
the truth. Karim v. Union Trust Company, 136-BH-84.
On the claimant's job application, he answered "No" to a question asking
whether he had ever been convicted of any offense against
the law. Subsequently, the employer learned that the claimant
had a prior conviction for receiving stolen goods. The
claimant resigned in lieu of discharge. This was gross
misconduct. A falsification of a criminal record is more
serious than misrepresenting one's age and is always material.
Johnson v. Minneapolis Postal Data Center, 83-BH-89.
The claimant was discharged because he allegedly falsified his job
application by failing to volunteer detrimental information
about his past life. However, the employer did not ask
any questions about this. As long as the information which
the claimant submits is truthful, he has no obligation
to offer additional information not requested by the employer.
The employer is in control of the information flow in
this situation. If the employer does not ask a question,
it cannot expect it to be answered. There is no misconduct
in the claimant's failure to volunteer detrimental information
about his past life. Darby v. Buckingham Correctional
While falsification of an employment application is misconduct, the degree
of misconduct (simple or gross) depends on the materiality
of the information falsified. Discharge by a prior employer
for embezzlement is a highly material factor when applying
to work in a bank, and the claimant should have disclosed
this fact. Her failure to do so was gross misconduct.
Hill v. First National Bank, 1958-BR-92.
Where the claimant made no specific false statement on her application
or in her interview about her work experience, the fact
that she displayed confidence at her interview that she
could perform the job tasks comfortably, then later became
nervous when faced with the actual tasks, is not proof
of a false statement, and does not amount to misconduct.
Hamby v. Seth H. Lourie, et al., 118-BR-93.
The claimant was not under any obligation to his new employer to reveal
on his application unsubstantiated false allegations made
against him at a previous job. Vassallo v. Loyola
Federal Savings Bank, 1468-BR-93.
I. Falsification of Other Work Records
The claimant had been previously warned about failing
to complete his route and failing to properly record his
contacts with the households he was supposed to be visiting.
He had also been specifically warned not to make up "not
at home" cards in advance of actually determining whether
anyone was home. The claimant was discharged for making
false entries on his computer, indicating that he had
visited a number of houses but no one was home. This was
gross misconduct. Younger v. Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, 259-BH-91.
J. Lying to Employer
The claimant was discharged for fabricating an on-the-job
injury to collect workers' compensation benefits. This
was gross misconduct. Shivery v. Slagle's Construction
Company, Inc., 438-SE-88.
The claimant deliberately accused her supervisor of stealing
her paycheck when she knew that this was not true and
then reported this to the police. The claimant was discharged
for gross misconduct. Wilson v. Department of Agriculture, 680-BR-90.
The claimant was on the employer's premises but absent from his actual
duty post (the building he was supposed to be cleaning).
He had time to clean the buildings, but did not do so.
When questioned by his supervisor, the claimant lied,
informing his supervisor that he had cleaned the buildings.
Although the claimant had a valid excuse for not cleaning
the buildings on that particular day, there was no excuse
for not reporting the problem and lying to his supervisor.
This was gross misconduct. Robinson v. Realty Investment
Company, Inc., 853-BR-90.
The claimant called in sick when he was not sick. He also requested
that the employer lie to the authorities at the detention
center. The claimant was discharged for gross misconduct.
Conaway v. Oxford Realty Services Corporation, 51-BR-91.
The claimant was granted jury leave, but the jury duty did not materialize.
The claimant took the leave but did not tell the employer
that there was no jury duty. The claimant should have
either reported to work or changed his leave to a different
type of leave. This deceitful conduct violated the employer's
rules and amounts to gross misconduct. Since there was
no property loss to the employer, the conduct does not
amount to aggravated misconduct. Winston v. Glenelg
Country School, Inc., 1803-BR-93.
After alcohol and drug rehabilitation at the employer's expense, the
claimant signed the employer's substance abuse policy
which stated that he was to remain sober. Subsequently,
the claimant was arrested for possession of a controlled
dangerous substance. His wife called the employer and
requested his vacation time for a "family emergency" stating
that he had to go to Florida immediately. If the employer
had been told the real reason for the absence, the claimant
would have been terminated. Using legitimate vacation
time under false and misleading circumstances with little
or no notice to the employer is a deliberate and willful
disregard of standards of behavior that the employer has
a right to expect and constitutes gross misconduct.
Herche v. Rock-Tenn Company, 329-BR-94.
The claimant's possession of a handgun, on the employer's
premises, was in violation of the employer's rules and
contrary to state law, and therefore constitutes gross
misconduct. Hill v. Baltimore Box Company, 2073-BR-83.
The claimant correctional officer was suspended pending charges for
removal for aiding the escape of inmates by providing
blades and hacksaws. This was gross misconduct. Martz
v. Maryland State Department of Personnel, 324-BH-85.
The claimant was discharged for knowingly driving the employer's vehicle
without a valid license. This was gross misconduct.
Collins v. Kronheim Company, Inc., 992-BR-89.