No disqualifying misconduct where claimant never heard back from employer after multiple contact attempts
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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

No disqualifying misconduct where claimant never heard back from employer after multiple contact attempts

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

The court reversed the Board’s decision that the claimant had committed disqualifying misconduct, holding that substantial evidence did not support the finding. The claimant was injured and had a doctor’s note indicating her return to work date. However, the injury was not healing. The claimant texted her supervisor explaining the situation and asking if an additional doctor’s note was needed. The claimant eventually was released to return to work, but the company had hired another person for the job. The claimant was never informed she had been fired until she called the Human Resources office. The company said she was discharged for not showing up to work. The court, however, found that the company had the burden of showing the claimant’s conduct rose to the level of wrongful intent sufficient to disqualify her from receiving benefits, but the company failed to attend the hearing. The court thus held that reasonable minds would not accept the evidence presented as adequate to support a finding of misconduct when the claimant contacted her immediate supervisor, fully informed him of the situation, and never heard back from anyone at the company. Benefits were awarded (Gayle Blanton v. DWS, Ark. Ct. of App., No. E-18-317, April 10, 2019).

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