A New York nursing home food-service worker who lost his job after posting allegedly violent videos depicting his coworkers to Facebook is ineligible for unemployment benefits, a state appeals court is ruling.
The dispute concerns Shawn Roy, who worked at the Albany County Nursing Home for 16 years.
Among other things leading to his 2013 discharge, coworkers complained that Facebook videos he posted depicted them in violent and sexual ways.
A New York court said that the videos made him ineligible for unemployment benefits.
“Substantial evidence supports the Unemployment Insurance Board’s determination that claimant was discharged from his position as a food service worker in a nursing home due to disqualifying misconduct.
Claimant was obligated ‘even during his off-duty hours, to honor the standards of behavior which his employer has a right to expect of him and… he may be denied unemployment benefits as a result of misconduct in connection with his work if he fails to live up to this obligation,'” the three-member court ruled last week. (PDF)
The ruling continued:
Here, the record contains evidence that claimant created violent and sexually explicit videos using “LEGO” characters, including characters depicting the executive director of the nursing home, claimant’s department head and two female coworkers, and posted the videos online.
Although claimant testified that he was depicting celebrities and fictional characters in his movies, and not his coworkers, this presented a credibility issue for the Board to resolve….
The videos have been removed from Facebook. One 10-minute video was called “Kill Buffalo Jill.” The New York Law Journal said the video contained a mashup of rap songs and a Star Wars character “holding a sword… interspersed with clips of Uma Thurman’s character in Kill Bill.”
In his defense, the fired worker said the videos, about 50 in all, featured dozens of characters in movies, music, and the real world. He said none of the characters depicted his coworkers. “It is far-fetched fiction at its very best,” Roy said.
The Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, however, had ruled in 2014 that it was “not convinced that it was mere coincidence that he chose songs or movies with names similar to those of his coworkers.”