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

Subject: Edward Faber v. LIRC and Koehne Chevrolet Inc., Case 14-CV-723 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Washington Co., May 22, 2015)

Digest Codes: CP 360; PC 752

Claimant was a salesperson in an auto dealership. After his employment ended he did not initiate his claim for UI benefits for over a year. He asserted that he was not aware of the need to promptly file notice of unemployment because he did not see the informational poster the employer had posted, and that this was an “exceptional circumstance” allowing his late notice. He also asserted that he had a need for emergency leave under FMLA to care for ill parents and that this was an exceptional circumstance. The department determined that no exceptional circumstance was shown, and on appeal the ALJ and then LIRC agreed. The claimant appealed to court.

Held: LIRC's decision is AFFIRMED. The court initially notes that this would appear to be a case in which the “great weight” deference standard should be applied to review of LIRC's conclusions. As to the exceptional circumstance claim relating to the informational poster, the Court believes that LIRC's determination that placement of the poster in the break/lunch room was appropriate, is entitled to great weight deference. The Court also notes that LIRC's decision had to do with the credibility of the claimant's assertion that he did not timely give notice of unemployment because he did not know he had to – the claimant has also asserted that the reason he did not timely give notice of unemployment was that he thought he would find another job sooner. As to the other argument, concerning his parents, the Court notes that it sees no connection between the FMLA and the DWD's rules about exceptional circumstances excusing late notice of unemployment.

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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