Can Past Misconduct Be Used In An Employee Discharge Case ?

In C.F. Industries, Inc. v. Long, 364 So. 2d 864 (Fla. 2d DCA 1978), the employee was discharged for excessive tardiness, excessive absenteeism, violation of safety rules, failing to report an accident involving injury, and unsatisfactory performance. See 364 So. 2d at 865. In each case, the employee was given a warning. See id. The employee argued that because the final act leading to his termination (an accusation that the employee had falsified records) was not proven, he could not be found to have been discharged for misconduct associated with his work as defined by the statute. See id. However, even though the referee found that the employer had failed to prove that the employee had falsified records, the court held there was competent and substantial evidence to support the referee's finding that the employee was discharged for misconduct connected with his work. See id. at 866.