In PA, a school employee fired for incompetence can still get unemployment

It is not new law, but a recent case reminds us that just because a teacher is incompetent as a teacher, once that teacher is fired he or she can still get unemployement compensation. 

What was kind of unfortunate is that it looks like the school administration in that recent case realized that an employee would be eligible for unemployment if fired for incompetence (probably when it got around to consulting with its counsel) but that realization only occurred after firing her.  So the court decided that when the administration told the employee "You are being terminated for being incompetent in you[r] job," that they pretty much meant what they said.

This despite the fact that the school also had evidence that the employee had also been terminated for wilfull refusal to accomplish assigned tasks.

Lesson to be learned?  School administrations would be best served to consult with counsel before taking steps to terminate employees.

The recent case -- which really does not break any new ground -- is the Hamburg Area School District v. UCRB and can be found at here.

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