Attorney Murphy’s tone is set for the new year with a highly notable unemployment decision in favor of his client in the matter of Ghidey v. Morgan Memorial Inc., Division of Unemployment Assistance (“DUA”), Docket 599719. The employer in this case, a thrift store, terminated Ms. Ghidey for actions she believed benefited the employer’s business – loaning a long-time customer a few dollars to purchase a much needed winter jacket. Importantly, there was no workplace rule or policy specifically prohibiting Ms. Ghidey’s actions, but the employer asserted Ms. Ghidey violated multiple other rules. Attorney Murphy’s underlying strategy established that the employer’s workplace rules were unreasonable, and therefore could not apply to Ms. Ghidey. Indeed, Attorney Murphy hammered the employer’s workplace rules in question to such a degree that it became readily apparent that the employer had no defense. Accordingly, Attorney Murphy defeated the application of every one of the employer’s workplace rules to Ms. Ghidey’s actions; and the DUA concluded that Ms. Ghidey could not be denied unemployment benefits because her actions were “accidental” for purposes of the unemployment statute.
Attorney Murphy notes that Ms. Ghidey’s actions in this case were worthy of commendation – not termination; and would advise employers to reward employees for selfless actions rather than arbitrarily punishing them.