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

Milwaukee Board of School Directors v. DILHR and Byron Buckeridge, No. 496-044 (Wis. Cir. Ct. Milwaukee County, January 7, 1980) (Bench decision)

Code: AA 130

The employe taught reading about four years for the employer under a temporary permit obtained by the employer. Throughout his employment with the employer he did not have a teaching license, which license was unavailable to him because he lacked various college courses. He made no attempt to fulfill the requirements. The permit issued was subject to the condition that there was a showing of continued unavailability or shortage of qualified teachers and that the individual involved had obtained at least six semester hours of college credits acceptable toward a higher degree.

The initial determination and appeal tribunal held that the employe was ineligible for benefits because his license was not renewed due to his own fault, under sec. 108.04 (1)(f), stats.

The employer had failed to appear at the hearing as a result of clerical error but did not request a further hearing from the appeal tribunal or the Commission.

The Commission, reversing the examiner, held that the mere failure to obtain a teaching license does not serve as a basis for disqualification. The employer failed to appear at the hearing and there was no evidence adduced as to why it failed to obtain a hermit. The inference would be that the employe failed to make progress to obtain the proper certification to enable the employer to obtain the permit. Another inference was that the employer was unable to show a continued shortage of qualified teachers.

As the presumption is that a claimant is eligible for benefits, the burden is on the employer to establish an applicable disqualifying provision. Because of the employer's failure to appear at the hearing, the Commission adopts the inference in the employe's favor. The failure to renew the temporary permit was therefore not necessarily due to the employe's own fault.

The employer sought to supplement the record with an exhibit which was not part of the administrative record in support of a new hearing and/or reversal of the Commission decision on the ground of error by the Commission.

Held: The Commission decision is affirmed. (Bench decision)

[LIRC decision in this case]

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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