Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance
Deborah A. (Skusevich) Mathews and Cindy Trickle v. LIRC and Sambo's Restaurant, Nos. 81-CV-399, 81-CV-400 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Wood County May 18, 1982)
Codes: MC 630.16 MC 687
Employes worked as waitresses. On June 6, 1980, each employee ordered and consumed food (one a ham-and-cheese sandwich, the other a ham-and-cheese sandwich with a side of onion rings) which they did not pay for, by writing it down as a re-order on a guest check (normally done for desserts or reorders from the guest) and then crossing out the reorder after receiving the food. Both were discharged the following day. In January 1980, the employer had revised its meal program for employes. Participation was voluntary, and these employes had chosen not to participate, so that they were then required to pay for meals via a procedure of having another waitress write an order which was then to be approved by the manager or his assistant. Each employee admitted that she had not intended the reimburse the employer for the sandwich and that she had known her actions were contrary to the employer's policy. Reversing the appeal tribunal, the commission concluded that the employees had been discharged for misconduct and denied benefits.
Held: The commission's conclusion of misconduct is affirmed. The employer's rule concerning eating was reasonable. The employees' actions were intentional, and in disregard of the employer's interests. Due to the nature of the employer's business and operations, it cannot be said that the harm to the employer was insignificant. The employees were doing the same thing as taking money out of the till. The court observes that in the restaurant business, "when you get nickeled and dimed like that, it's what really kills you, either by food or money disappearing from the till".
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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