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Unemployment checks no longer part of summer break, COA rules

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Finding that an addition to the state’s statute did not change the intent of the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that school bus drivers in Anderson were rightly denied their unemployment checks.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of unemployment compensation in D.B., et al v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Department of Workforce Development and Anderson Transit System, Inc., 93A02-1301-EX-71.

For several years, school bus drivers, who are owners or employees of Anderson Transit, and contracted with Anderson Public Schools had been able to apply for and receive unemployment insurance during summer breaks.

However, at the end of the 2011-2012 school year, the Review Board of the Department of Workforce Development denied the applications on the grounds that changes to statutory language made the drivers ineligible for payments. In particular, the board found that the school system’s yearly summer break constituted a vacation and that the drivers had “reasonable assurance” their jobs would return when classes restarted, so they did not meet the requirements for unemployment compensation.

During legislative sessions in 2011 and 2012, the Indiana General Assembly added and amended Indiana Code 22-4-3-5 which dealt with the definition of unemployment.

The drivers argued, in part, that the board was construing the vacation provisions in the amended statute too broadly. They asserted that previous decisions from the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court have held that unpaid shutdowns, like the one the drivers experienced every summer, was a layoff and therefore compensable under state law.

The Court of Appeals disagreed. It noted that even before the enactment of I.C. 22-4-3-5, Indiana law recognized that a mandatory vacation or shutdown did not entitle the employees to unemployment checks. Although the Legislature enacted a law that seemed to modify common law by statute, the appeals court stated it presumed the General Assembly was aware of the common law and did not intend to change it more than the new provisions allowed.
 

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  1. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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