Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance

Subject: Carolyn Talbert  v. LIRC and First Health Corporation, Case 98-CV-985 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Kenosha Co., August 8, 1999)

Digest Codes: PC 711   PC 712.1

The employe was a registered nurse for the employer, a nursing home. She was fired for alleged attendance problems and poor work performance. The LID found no misconduct and there was no appeal for over one year. But then the employer’s agent, Frick Company, filed an appeal, claiming that they had just received a duplicate copy of the LID but had never received the original copy. A hearing was held and the appeal was found to have been late for a reason beyond the employer’s control. A hearing on the merits was scheduled and the employer appeared but the employe did not. Misconduct was found based on the evidence the employer submitted. The employe appealed to the commission and asserted that she had missed the hearing because she did not receive the hearing notice until the day it was held, due to the fact that she had recently moved and her mail was slowed down in being forwarded to her new address. The commission rejected this excuse because the employe had not notified the department of her new address. The commission also affirmed the finding of misconduct. The employe appealed both the denial of her request for a new hearing and the finding of misconduct.

Held: The court reversed the commission’s denial of the employe’s request for a new hearing. It held that it would be fundamentally unfair to allow the employer’s appeal after a full year’s delay, but deny the employe’s request for a new hearing. The court characterized the commission’s decision as a violation of the employe’s due process rights.

Please note that this is a summary prepared by staff of the commission, not a verbatim reproduction of the court decision.

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