By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff
The claimant, a server, received benefits when the Commission found that she was involuntarily terminated without misconduct and the court affirmed the judgment awarding those benefits. The employer claimed that the claimant was on medical leave relating to her pregnancy, was released by her doctor, but failed to return as soon as she was physically able and then failed to provide competent medical proof that she was forced to leave work. The Commission found that employer had an informal leave policy allowing for extended leave for pregnancy and a six-month leave was not uncommon. Likewise, it found that the claimant continued to have contact with her employer about obtaining hours though she was not put on the schedule. The employer did not notify the claimant that she was terminated until August, although it predated the termination to April for “no rhyme or reason.” According to the court, after considering the employer's informal approach to its leave policy. there was evidence that although the claimant did not provide any documented medical proof that she was forced to leave work due to pregnancy, there was nothing in the actions of the employer that would have prompted the claimant to seek any additional medical documentation to support her leave. The claimant was not put on the schedule nor did she fail to show up for a shift but was always in contact with the employer's representative about her work schedule. Even the predating of the discharge notice indicated the claimant was not discharged in response to any failure of hers to perform her job. As a result, there was sufficient evidence to support a finding of a discharge instead of a voluntary leaving of work (Julie N. May v. Golden Partners, Inc. and DES, Mo. Ct. of App., Southern Dist., Div. One, No. SD 36638, October 13, 2020).
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