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Supreme Court upholds unemployment insurance decision

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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.

 

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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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