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

Subject: Darlene L. Gregory (Hrg. No. 96604707MW) v. Labor and Industry Review Commission and Milwaukee Public Schools, Case 97-CV-001333 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Milwaukee Co., December 4, 1997)

Digest Codes: BR 335.04  MC 630.07

The employe was a general educational assistant at a grade school. She also worked at the polls on election days, and in the past had received a reprimand for missing work without notice in order to perform her election duties. The school principal was not happy about the employe’s job as a poll worker, but stopped short of forbidding it. Wis. Stat.  7.33 (3) and 12.07 (2) require employers to allow employes to serve as election workers, provided that the employe gives at least seven days notice of his/her absence for this purpose.

On March 19, 1996, the employe telephoned the school principal and requested a day off due to a "family emergency." The principal asked her if she was sure she was not planning to work at the election being held that day, and the employe denied that she was. However, the employe did work at the polls that entire day, and when the principal discovered this she fired the employe. The commission found that the employe lied and was discharged for misconduct. The employe appealed, asserting that she had not lied and that the employer was required by law to let her work at the polls. The employe also claimed that her overpayment should be waived due to department error, since the initial adjudicator had allowed benefits.

Held: Affirmed. Credible evidence supports the administrative finding that the employe lied. She was fired for dishonesty, not for working at the polls, and she had plenty of time to notify the employer of her intention prior to the election day. There was no department error because the commission had more complete and comprehensive information concerning the circumstances of the discharge.

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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