Montana Unemployment Insurance Misconduct Statute
The Montana Unemployment Insurance Act provides benefits to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own.
the Act provides in relevant part that a discharged employee shall be disqualified for unemployment benefits after being discharged:
(1) for misconduct connected with the individual's work or affecting the individual's employment until the individual has performed services, other than self employment, for which remuneration is received equal to or in excess of eight times the individual's weekly benefit amount subsequent to the week in which the act causing the disqualification occurred. MCA 39-51-2303 (1).
The Department of Labor has, as authorized by statute, promulgated administrative rules defining the type of employee misconduct, which will result in a claimant being disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
As relevant here, ARM 24.11.460 (1) prescribes that:
(1) Misconduct as used in 39-51-2303, MCA, includes, but is not limited to, the following conduct by a claimant:
(a) willful or wanton disregard of the rights, title, and interests of a fellow employee or the employer;
(b) deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of an employee;
(c) carelessness or negligence that causes or would likely cause serious bodily harm to the employer or fellow employee; or
(d) carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence to show an intentional or substantial disregard of the employer's interest.
Providing further guidance, ARM 24.11.461 (1) identifies the types of acts which are considered to be misconduct signifying a willful and wanton disregard of the rights, title and interests of the employer. That provision states in relevant part that:
(1) the following acts are considered misconduct because the acts signify a willful and wanton disregard of the rights, title and interests of the employer or a fellow employee. These acts include:
(a) insubordination showing a deliberate, willful or purposeful refusal to follow the reasonable directions or instructions of the employer; . . .