Nevada Supreme Court: Man fired after arrest can’t get unemployment benefits
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled unanimously this week a man fired for missing work because he was in jail can’t claim unemployment benefits.
Calvin Murphy was employed by Greystone Park Apartments in Las Vegas. He was arrested on charges of possessing stolen property. He pled guilty and eventually served a year in prison. He was fired because of his unexcused absences caused by his prison sentence.
When he filed for unemployment benefits, the Employment Security Division ruled him not entitled to benefit checks because his job loss was caused by his criminal conduct.
But a district judge overturned that decision saying his absenteeism was insufficient to deny benefits.
The high court disagreed and ruled Murphy not entitled to benefits. Justice Jim Hardesty wrote in the opinion unemployment compensation is designed to ease the economic burden on those who are “unemployed through no fault of their own.”
“In effect, the employee who commits a crime has chosen to become unavailable for work,” the opinion states.
Based on the state statute, he wrote, “an employee who is terminated as a result of missing work due to incarceration after being convicted of a crime is not eligible for unemployment benefits.”