Add the theft of more than $500 to "gross misconduct" when it comes to the dismissal of an employee.
Gov. John Lynch has signed HB 1168
, which clarifies the definition of gross misconduct for purposes of unemployment compensation.
State law had defined gross misconduct as: "An unemployed individual who has been discharged for arson, sabotage, felony, assault which causes bodily injury, criminal threatening, or dishonesty connected with his or her work shall suffer the loss of all wage credits earned prior to the date of such dismissal."
That means someone who is fired from a job for gross misconduct cannot collect unemployment compensation.
The last section concerning dishonesty was replaced with "theft of an amount greater than $500, where such conduct is connected with his or her work."
The law takes effect Sept. 6.
But the change has raised the concern of the same activist who rallied business men and women against the so-called LLC tax.
In an email, Andy Sanborn said the law the equivalent of letting employees steal.
"So, under this new law, if an employer fires an employee for stealing, the State will allow that employee to collect unemployment checks, of which that money comes from a tax assessment of all business owners in the State," Sanborn wrote.
"Until now, the State of New Hampshire did not pay unemployment benefits to an employee who was terminated for “Gross Misconduct,” which included stealing. However, today, the Governor put a minimum level for what the State defines as wrong. Now, that amount is $500.00. So someone can steal $499.99 and the State will allow that person to collect unemployment."
When it comes to stealing, is there a threshold for "gross misconduct"? What do you think? Should the Legislature and governor left well enough alone?