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


Subject:  Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development v. Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission, Lisa A. Hollett, and Douglas C. Shaffer, Case 14CV311 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Sauk Co., January 22, 2015)

Digest Codes: BR 330 – Concealment of material facts by claimant; forfeiture for

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) brought a lawsuit against LIRC challenging LIRC’s findings of no concealment by the claimant, Lisa A. Hollett. LIRC found that Ms. Hollett made an honest mistake and did not intend to conceal information from the department.

The department appealed the commission’s decision to circuit court.

Held:  Affirmed.

The circuit court concluded that LIRC’s decision interpreting and apply Wis. Stat. § 108.04(11) is entitled to great weight deference. It agreed with LIRC that DWD failed to prove that the claimant, Lisa A. Hollett, intended to conceal information when claiming benefits. The circuit court held that Ms. Shaw’s testimony—that she was confused with the questions asked of her when applying for benefits and did not intend to mislead or defraud DWD—supported the commission’s factual determination. It further held that LIRC reasonably concluded that while Hollett failed to provide accurate information to DWD, she did so because she honestly misunderstood her obligations and benefit rights under the unemployment insurance law.

DWD did not appeal the circuit court’s decision to the court of appeals.


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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