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

Subject: Kenneth E. Heinze (Hrg. No.. 94605050MW) v. LIRC and Educational Computers, Inc, Case No. 95-CV-407 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Washington Co, September 24, 1996)

Digest Codes: MC 610.04

The employe originally owned a computer business which he sold to the employer, and the employer renamed the business ECI. The terms of the sale required the employe to work exclusively for ECI for five years as its sales representative and also required the employe not to compete with ECI. Sales fell and ECI suspected the employe of making competing sales so it hired a private investigator to go to the employe and pose as a computer purchaser. The employe sold the investigator several computers and monitors. He had the investigator make out checks payable to another computer company, CCC, which purportedly had been established solely to supply ECI with low-cost computer inventory. ECI never received any of the money from these sales. ECI fired the employe for violating the non-compete agreement.

The employe argued that some of the sales to the investigator were of his personal computer equipment, which was exempt from non-compete agreement, and that the remaining sales were made on the basis that the employe believed ECI had already refused to sell computers to the investigator. The commission found misconduct.

Held: Affirmed. The sales transactions were complicated and every detail is not clear, but there is credible and substantial evidence in the record to support the commission’s finding of deliberate sales in competition with the employer.

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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