Definition of “Simple Misconduct” Determined to be Unclear

New Jersey – The state’s terminology for categorizing the various types of employee misconduct was recently examined by a court. Currently, there are three levels of misconduct indicated in the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Act, each having their own terms of disqualification; gross misconduct, severe misconduct and simple misconduct. For an act to fall under one of these categories, it must be proven to be a deliberate act and not an act of simple negligence.

Through this proceeding, the definition of “simple misconduct” was determined to be unclear and ineffective. This is primarily due to the fact that the line between simple misconduct and simple negligence is not clearly defined in its description. As no determination could be made at the time, the department has been given 180 days to provide a clear definition of the term.