info needed to prove misconduct

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My jurisdiction is: florida

fired an employee whom has filed for unemployment.
i filed that the employee was fired for misconduct and sent this explaination.
"Employee was released for taking time off withpout calling in,chronic absenteeism and tardiness.
The employee has worked here for several years & has had a problem with absenteeism for awhile. this year alone he's logged more than 250 hours od missed time, not including vacation and holidays. employee recently had also acquired another job delivering newspapers. i was told by the employee and other employees that he did that job even when he was too sick to come to this job.
Employee was late at least 17 times this year. He was late 4 times in the last 2 weeks of employment here. 2 of those 4 times he was more than 4.5 hours late and hadn't called, he just came to work expecting to start.
Employees are to call in by 8AM the latest(work starts at 6:30AM). On many occasions- as was the case when he was released- the employee didn't call."
Along with the above statement was sent in a list of 59 instances of some type of absense. Some of these reasons are oversleeping(many times 3-5 hours overslept), being out because wife upset, late waiting for furniture to arrive, diarrhea,flu,clothes still in dryer,waiting for medicine,needs to clean house,fell asleep after other job,out sick and wife forgot to call,reading newspaper and lost track of time.
After submitting the above i received a notice with this notice of determination.
"Claimant was discharged. No information has been submitted which clearly substantiates misconduct."
Inaccordance with section 443, florida statutes: benifits are payable because:
"the discharge was for reason other than misconduct connected with work"

Benifits paid will be charged to the employers account.

To me this is clearly misconduct!! Have i not given correct proof?
I can't call with questions to the given # as it's always either busy or they say call volume is too high and a rep isn't available call later. I've called at all hours and get the same recording or a busy signal. I intend to file an appeal but what more do i nheed to show? Maybe his timecards?
In most if not all states you have to be able to show that the employee was told that his job was in jeopardy. I have had employees declined for unemployment when they were fired for absentee and tardiness issues, but only when I can show that the employee was notified that they were in violation of the policy and that they knew that if they did not shape up they would be fired.

Did the employee have such warning?
I will have to check and see if it was written down that he needed to come to work. Seems like a given to me though. I know on several occasions he came in asking if he still had a job.
Common sense has nothing to do with who does and does not get unemployment. I have a friend who had an employee who was caught redhanded stealing; the employee got unemployment because my friend's policy did not specifically say that you would be fired if you stole from the employer.
Gone through my notes and on at least 2 ocassions this year he was warned that if his absenteeism continued'I'd have to let him go. The last time was within a couple weeks of his being dicharged. One of the ocassions was to his wife who had called to thank me for giving him an afternoon off. I told her i didn't give it off, he took it saying he had too because she was crying. I then told her his absenteeism was a problem.
For future referrence, would it be good to have all employees sign a note letting them know that not calling in when they are going to be out and unexcused absenteeism are reason for termination? Next question is what's unexcused absenteeism?
An unexcused absence is an absence that is not excused. You, as the employer, decide what is and is not excused (with limited exceptions such as FMLA).

Having the employees sign such a policy as you describe can't hurt.

Appeal the claim and see if the state will accept your documentation.
Actually, as i understand it my documentation is just hearsay but what else do i have. I do intend to appeal and appreciate you insight
Well the results of the appeal didn't go well. Given all of the info above the appeals officer said that because his absences were for medical reasons he can collect. I'm going to try on the written only allowed final appeal but I probably don't have much chance. Are there attorneys specializing in this that can help in the process? If so how do i find a good one? employee is elligible for $7000 in benefits which means it'll probably cost me $10,000.
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