Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance
Subject: Glenn Swanson v. Bealka Casting Inc. and LIRC, Case No. 00-CV-221 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Polk Co., January 23, 2001)
Digest Codes: VL 1007.05
The employee was a maintenance worker for the employer, a foundry. His wife sustained a spinal cord injury in 1997, and due to leg weakness she fell at home on 11/1/99. The employee did not report to work on 11/2/99, and his wife telephoned the employer and asked if the employee could take time off work under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The manager told her certain paperwork would have to be completed and sent a form to the employee. On 11/9/99, the employee spoke with the manager and asked that his time off work be considered vacation time because he was having difficulty getting a doctor to fill out the FMLA paperwork. The manager told him that the time off work could not be considered to be vacation due to lack of appropriate notice. The employee agreed to return to work as of 11/15/99.
On 11/15/99, the employee did not report to work and did not notify the employer of his absence. On 11/16/99, the employee again did not report for work, but he delivered the FMLA form to the workplace. When the manager received this form, she saw that it stated that the employees spouse needed intermittent care. She telephoned the employee and stated that his absence from 11/1 through 11/12/99, would be accepted as being covered under the FMLA, and that he should report to work on the following day. The employee told the manager that he did not care what the form said, he was not going to report to work until he felt like it. The manager reminded him of the employers policy that three days of absence without proper notice constituted a voluntary quitting and that he was needed at the workplace.
On 11/17/99, the employee did not report for work and did not notify the employer of his absence. The manager processed internal payroll records to reflect that he had quit his employment and sent him notification for continuing his insurance coverage after termination of employment.
The appeal tribunal and the commission found that the employee quit his employment. The employee disputed the facts. He alleged that he returned the FMLA form to the employer as requested on 11/16/99, that the manager told him on the phone later that day that she would check to see if she could get him on leave or layoff, and that the next contact he had with the employer was the written notice that his employment had been terminated.
Held: In a decision which does not discuss any of the factual detail, the circuit court simply held that the commissions findings were supported by credible evidence and the standard of review requires affirmance. The finding of a quitting is 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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