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COA clarifies unemployment benefits issue

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The Indiana Court of Appeals used a case before it as an opportunity to clarify how an employee's eligibility for unemployment benefits should be determined when the employee is discharged for attendance issues.

In John D. Giovanoni II v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Clarian Health Partners, Inc., No. 93A02-0806-EX-545, John Giovanoni appealed the Unemployment Insurance Review Board's denial of his application for unemployment benefits. He worked as a pharmacy technician for Clarian and had several absences from work due to a severe medical condition and once because of weather conditions. Clarian had a uniform attendance policy for all employees, which states an employee will be fired following eight violations of the attendance policy within a certain time frame.

Judges Terry Crone and Margret Robb reversed the decision, noting that the Court of Appeals has been split regarding the reasonableness of a no-fault attendance rule. After reviewing relevant caselaw, the majority determined Love v. Heritage House Convalescent Center, 463 N.E.2d 478, 482 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983), provided the sounder model for determining eligibility for unemployment benefits when the employee is fired for attendance issues. Love held that no-fault attendance rules that subject employees to discharge for excused and unexcused absences are per se unreasonable, and an employee can't receive unemployment benefits unless he can show good cause for why he was absent or tardy.

The majority also believed the risk of inconsistent results will be reduced if discharges based on attendance are analyzed under Section d(3), as was done in Love. In the instant case, the board analyzed the issue under Section d(2), which says discharge for just cause includes a knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule of an employer; Section d(3) includes unsatisfactory attendance, if the individual can't show good cause for absences or tardiness.

Using Section d(3) as a guide, the majority concluded Giovanoni established good cause for his absences and tardiness and reversed the board's decision.

Judge Elaine Brown dissented, saying it is up to the legislature to change the wording of a statute if it determines it needs to clarify that Section d(2) doesn't apply to attendance issues. Judge Brown would affirm the board's decision based on his violation of Section d(2), because Giovanoni failed to show that section exempted him from being fired.

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  1. The is an unsigned editorial masquerading as a news story. Almost everyone quoted was biased in favor of letting all illegal immigrants remain in the U.S. (Ignoring that Obama deported 3.5 million in 8 years). For some reason Obama enforcing part of the immigration laws was O.K. but Trump enforcing additional parts is terrible. I have listed to press conferences and explanations of the Homeland Security memos and I gather from them that less than 1 million will be targeted for deportation, the "dreamers" will be left alone and illegals arriving in the last two years -- especially those arriving very recently -- will be subject to deportation but after the criminals. This will not substantially affect the GDP negatively, especially as it will take place over a number of years. I personally think this is a rational approach to the illegal immigration problem. It may cause Congress to finally pass new immigration laws rationalizing the whole immigration situation.

  2. Mr. Straw, I hope you prevail in the fight. Please show us fellow American's that there is a way to fight the corrupted justice system and make them an example that you and others will not be treated unfairly. I hope you the best and good luck....

  3. @ President Snow - Nah, why try to fix something that ain't broken??? You do make an excellent point. I am sure some Mickey or Minnie Mouse will take Ruckers seat, I wonder how his retirement planning is coming along???

  4. Can someone please explain why Judge Barnes, Judge Mathias and Chief Judge Vaidik thought it was OK to re weigh the evidence blatantly knowing that by doing so was against the rules and went ahead and voted in favor of the father? I would love to ask them WHY??? I would also like to ask the three Supreme Justices why they thought it was OK too.

  5. How nice, on the day of my car accident on the way to work at the Indiana Supreme Court. Unlike the others, I did not steal any money or do ANYTHING unethical whatsoever. I am suing the Indiana Supreme Court and appealed the failure of the district court in SDIN to protect me. I am suing the federal judge because she failed to protect me and her abandonment of jurisdiction leaves her open to lawsuits because she stripped herself of immunity. I am a candidate for Indiana Supreme Court justice, and they imposed just enough sanction so that I am made ineligible. I am asking the 7th Circuit to remove all of them and appoint me as the new Chief Justice of Indiana. That's what they get for dishonoring my sacrifice and and violating the ADA in about 50 different ways.

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