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

Subject: Sentry Foods No. 903 v. LIRC and Michael J. Strong, Case No. 99 CV 4736 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Milwaukee County, March 28, 2000)

Digest Codes:  PC 714.02  PC 714.07

The employe worked for the employer as a meat cutter beginning August 31, 1998. During his employment the employe missed a number of days of work, requested two different schedule changes and had a confrontation with a department manager. At the hearing the administrative law judge refused to accept as evidence notes prepared by the employer’s witness. The notes were found to be inaccurate and incomplete and were not regularly kept business records but were made in preparation for the hearing.

The employer challenged the commission’s decision on the grounds that the notes and testimony of the employer’s witness were erroneously rejected and that the employer was denied an adequate opportunity to present its case.

Held: Reviewing courts are bound by the commission’s findings of fact if they are supported by credible and substantial evidence. The court gives great weight deference to the commission’s conclusion of law.

The employer has not attempted to brief the questions that it presented to the court as challenges to the commission’s decision. If it had researched the questions it would have found the notes were properly rejected. Its allegation that its witness was not allowed to testify is a misrepresentation to the court. It should have read the transcript.

Since the approved schedule changes and absences do not meet the level of misconduct and the confrontations were an issue of credibility between two witnesses with conflicting testimony, the court will not reverse the decision to grant benefits. Commission’s decision affirmed.

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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