HR Strange But True!
May 19, 2006

An administrative law judge in Iowa recently decided whether a fired manager who admitted to engaging in sexual activity on his desk was entitled to unemployment benefits.

On March 14, Mohassan Grotto 22, which operates charitable bingo games, confronted Chris T. Coppinger of Davenport, Iowa, after finding a condom in the waste basket beside his desk, the Des Moines Register reports.

The organization said it also found pornography on Coppinger's work computer even though it had warned him previously. The company also accused Coppinger of smoking marijuana and ordering a teenage worker to urinate in a jar and threatening the teenager with termination if the worker failed to comply.

The organization fired Coppinger on March 15. Coppinger filed a claim for unemployment benefits with Iowa Workforce Development and started collecting.

However, the organization filed an appeal over the decision to grant unemployment benefits, arguing that it fired Coppinger for misconduct, which would disqualify him from collecting unemployment benefits.

In the appeal proceeding, Coppinger admitted he did have sex on his desk and defended his behavior by saying other workers had sex on his desk as well. However, no other employee testified in support of Coppinger's allegations, the newspaper notes.

An administrative law judge found that the organization did fire Coppinger for misconduct and that he was not entitled to unemployment benefits.

"The employer has a right to expect a certain standard of behavior from its employees," the decision states. "They have a right to expect that employees will not have sexual activity in their offices. They have a right to expect employees not to ask a minor employee to urinate in a jar for future drug testing."

You can read the text of the decision here.

Source: Des Moines Register

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