Eligibility for New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Benefits: Simple Misconduct, Severe Misconduct, Gross Misconduct

If you were fired or discharged from your job because you did something that was not in the best interests of your employer, you may be disqualified from collecting benefits.  This kind of discharge is known as "misconduct."  There are three types of misconduct: simple, severe and gross. A simple misconduct disqualification may include things such as being fired for insubordination, lateness or absences with no written warnings from your employer. This type of termination would disqualify you for benefits beginning with the week the firing or suspension occurred, and continuing for the next seven (7) weeks.  After the disqualification period ends, you may be eligible to collect benefits. 

If you are discharged for severe misconduct, you are disqualified for benefits indefinitely until you work in new employment four (4) weeks and earn six (6) times your weekly benefit amount and become separated through no fault of your own.  Examples of severe misconduct include use of drugs/alcohol on the job, repeated violations of a company rule, repeated lateness or absences after receiving a written warning from your employer, destruction/theft of company property or misuse of benefits.

An exception to a disqualification based on willful misconduct may apply when the separation was related to or due to domestic violence. If you were fired for any reason that is serious enough to be considered a crime of the first, second, third or fourth degree under the "New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice," you may be disqualified from collecting benefits indefinitely.  This is known as a "gross misconduct" discharge.  To remove a "gross misconduct" disqualification, you must return to work for at least eight (8) weeks, earn ten (10) times your weekly benefit rate, and become unemployed through no fault of your own.  The new work must be employment covered under the unemployment compensation law. 

In addition, the wages you earned with the employer who discharged you cannot be used to establish a current or future unemployment insurance claim or to remove a disqualification. It may be important to seek the advice of a New Jersey Unemployment Compensation attorney or lawyer to determine your eligibility for New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Benefits based upon simple misconduct, severe misconduct or gross misconduct.