(CN) – Calling the boss an idiot was enough to get an Applebee’s restaurant manager fired, but it was not enough to cost him his unemployment benefits, a New York appeals court ruled.
Ryan Irons worked as manager for TLC West, a franchisee of the Applebee’s restaurant chain.
He was fired after a verbal dispute with his regional director over the reduction of employees’ hours. He was also disqualified from unemployment benefits on the ground that he was fired for misconduct.
The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board overturned that decision, however, and the justices of the state’s third department appeals court in Albany affirmed.
“The board concluded that even if claimant had – as alleged by the employer’s witness – told the director that he did not know how to do his job and that he was an idiot, such conduct did not amount to disqualifying conduct,” the ruling states.
“In light of the context of their discussion, the board’s conclusion that claimant did not engage in disqualifying misconduct is supported by substantial evidence and we find no reason to disturb its decision,” the justices wrote.