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

Subject: Jean E. Horvath (Hearing No. 97602923MW) v. LIRC and First Advantage Staffing, Inc., No. 97-CV-009173 (Wis. Cir. Ct. Milwaukee County July 29, 1998) John J. DiMotto Circuit Judge

Digest Codes: SW 825.01  SW 885.15

The employe began work for the employer or a predecessor in 1983 or 1984. The employer is a supplemental staffing agency. The employe worked as a registered nurse. The employer normally contacted the employe by telephone when it had work for her. The plaintiff's last day of work for the employer was at the end of December 1996.

The employe's telephone answering machine began not working in the end of December 1996. When the employe discovered this in January 1997 she turned the machine off. The machine did not work until around the third or fourth week of January 1997. The employer offered the employe assignments during January 1997. It left messages on her answering machine. She did not respond to the messages.

The commission found that the plaintiff failed, without good cause, to accept two offers of suitable work which were made in week 4 of 1997 and concluded that she was not eligible for unemployment benefits beginning in that week.

Held: The commission's findings of fact are supported by credible and substantial evidence. Because of the commission's extensive experience, technical competence and specialized knowledge in interpreting this statute, its conclusions of law are entitled to great weight. The evidence here supports the commission's finding that the plaintiff received the employers offers of work in week 4 of 1997.

The plaintiff contended that she had good cause for failing to accept the offers because she had limited experience in the areas in which the work was offered. However, the evidence in the record does not indicate that any patients would not have received the level of care they were entitled to. She had 15 years of experience. She had accepted assignments in these areas in the past and there were no complaints about her performance. The work offered was at the same grade of skill and similar rate of pay as she had accepted in the past. Commission's decision affirmed. Benefits denied.

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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