Supreme Court upholds unemployment insurance decision

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld an Indiana Department of Workforce Development decision denying a woman her claim for unemployment insurance benefits after she was terminated for being unable to perform the required skills of her job.

In Diane Recker v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, and FedEx Trade Networks, No. 93S02-1105-EX-285, the court considered a case involving Diane Recker who worked for FedEx Trade Networks and was required to pass all necessary training in order to take the position. She was repeatedly unable to complete a portion of the training program’s driving test requiring her to back up on a serpentine course and into a parking space. She had to fly to Oklahoma for that test, and on the flight there her ears became “clogged” in a way she believed impacted her ability to successfully complete the test. After she failed to pass the test, FedEx gave Recker the option to resign immediately or take a 30-day unpaid leave of absence. She resigned immediately and sought unemployment insurance benefits but was denied because she voluntarily left her job and did so without good cause. On appeal, an administrative law judge determined that she did not leave voluntarily but wasn’t entitled to benefits because she breached a duty owed to her employer and that justified her termination.

The unanimous court upheld the board’s decision that she was reasonably discharged because of the breach of duty. Using its rationale from Giovanoni v. Review Bd. of Ind. Dept of Workforce Dev., 927 N.E.2d 906, 908-12 (Ind. 2010), the court determined she had “some control” in performing the driving test, and the board didn’t find her clogged-ear defense was significant enough. This wasn’t a demonstrable impediment, and it was reasonable for the board to find that Recker was discharged for just cause and ineligible for benefits, the court ruled.

A footnote in the opinion delves into another topic that has been an issue before the state’s appellate courts – confidential names of parties being used in case names. The court of appeals has disagreed on that issue, and in a lengthy footnote Justice Brent Dickson wrote that information is to be excluded from public access only when requested by a party or person affected by the release of information. That didn’t happen here, so Recker’s name can be used in the appellate court documents.



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.