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

Subject: Leesa M. Robinson v. LIRC and Check Into Cash, Case No. 05CV000337 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Milwaukee Co., July 25, 2005)

Digest Codes: MC 655   MC 657  PC 733

The employee worked approximately ten months as a manager of a check cashing store. During that time, the employee also held a second job with a real estate firm. Prior to being discharged the employee received a written warning regarding her job performance and productivity, cautioning her that future deficiencies in her work would lead to further corrective action including termination. Subsequently, the employee’s supervisor discovered that the employee had not completed certain required daily tasks including filing checks, and files, making necessary phone calls and performing a daily audit. Additionally, this supervisor found that the employee had accessed six internet sites on one day, none of which related to the employer’s business. The manager also received six personal phone calls for the employee, two of which inquired about particular real estate properties. Also a 30 page copy of a commitment for title insurance, that listed the employee’s name as the selling broker, was faxed to the employee’s attention at work. The employer’s work rules expressly prohibit excessive use of company telephones for personal calls, failure to perform assigned job duties or tasks and unauthorized use of company equipment or property, including telephone and computer, for personal reasons or profit. The employer discharged the employee for violating its company rules, despite warning.

On appeal to circuit court, the employee argued that the commission acted without or in excess of its powers, specifically in regard to not conducting a credibility conference and by issuing conclusions which were not supported by credible and substantial evidence.

Held: The circuit court affirmed the commission’s decision which found that the employee’s discharge was for misconduct. The court held that the commission did not act without or in excess of its powers concerning the credibility consultation issue. The court held that the legal conclusion reached by the commission while different than the conclusion reached by the ALJ was based upon the same material findings of fact as found by the ALJ and the commission was under no obligation to confer with the ALJ as to his credibility and demeanor impressions in forming its legal conclusion. Additionally, the commission’s findings were supported by credible and substantial evidence and its conclusion of misconduct was reasonably determined by the commission.

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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