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Arkansas Unemployment Case Law
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For seventeen years, she worked for a state agency. For the last eleven years, she complained that the agency was illegally misappropriating funds. For the last four years, she went to a psychiatrist because of the stress of it all. For one week, she had a new boss. Then she quit. The court says she does not collect because in all those years she never put a grievance in writing.
Argued with a customer.
She did not bring it up at the initial hearing, so it's too late to introduce it now.
Had to quit to go take care of his ailing parents.
Absent more than half the days of her first month on the job; but for illness.
A truck driver had a wreck. When he returned to work, they wouldn't work him. He was told to quit or be fired. He quit. The court says he does not collect.
He said he was going to start looking for another job next week; so they fired him.
She did not follow policy when calling off for work because the policy manual was never made available to her.
She thought she had twenty working days in which to appeal. Not so; she had twenty calendar days.
A nanny is accustomed to work 65 hours per week. But when she broke her arm, she stopped working overtime.
A dental assistant got into rude arguments with the dentist's wife about seating arrangements on the annual cruise.
Because the employer did not pay him for five weeks, he could not pay his bills, his car was repossessed, so he could not get to work. The department says he quit because of transportation problems. The court says he would not have a transportation problem is the had paid him.
He took off deer hunting, without a word to the employer. He says there was no phone in the woods. The court says he just doesn't get it.
Barb's 3-D Demo
You know the sweet people who cook samples on hotplates in stores and pass them out? Barb's is an agency that sends them out. And Barb claims that they are independent contractors. No, says the court.
He volunteered to be laid off with substantial severance.
A nurse did not properly document narcotics. She does not collect.
Too many points for absenteeism; but she was sick.
They had twenty days to appeal. Their appeal was postmarked eighty-nine days later. That is sixty-nine days too late.
Not allowed to call all the witnesses she wanted to.
Billings et al
They took severance pay. Therefore they do not collect unemployment.
After eleven years, her work performance began to fall off. She was warned. Her duties were reduced. Finally, she was fired. The court says she collects because mere performance problems are not misconduct.
Her lawyer mailed her appeal to the wrong address; therefore, she appealed too late.
A man and his wife both worked at the same store. She quit because the owner sexually harassed her. He quit because his wife was harassed. The two of them even planted a tape recorder on her to prove it! The court says he collects.
Branson (dissent)
Arkansas regulations say an appeal has to arrive within twenty days. She mailed her appeal two days before the deadline from just across town. The Post Office sat on her letter for three days before delivering it. Therefore, her appeal was too late. She went to court and lost. This judge dissents, saying an exception should be made, and he suggests a change in the law. Only the dissent is published; not the decision.
The court says she did not give the employer enough opportunity to find some light duty for her which would not hurt her wrist.
They say she didn't complete her assigments. She says they had reduced staff and she couldn't do everything. The Board believed her.
A pizza cook quit because it was a hundred degrees outside, the air conditioning didn't work, the owner wouldn't fix it, and they wouldn't even let him open a door! He collects.
Took a vacation day without the requisite two weeks notice and after being told not to.
His employer was self insured. He put in a health insurance claim for drug addiction treatment. The employer asked him what he was on. He thought that was an invasion of privacy. So he walked off the job. The court says he doesn't collect.
The Department does not want to pay him unemployment because he does not own a car nor have a driver's license. No, really, that's their reason.
A teller did not strictly follow the bank's procedures.
They closed the plant she worked at, and assigned her to another plant sixty miles away via winding mountain roads. So she quit. The court says she collects.
A guy he worked with told him to "get off my ass." So he told the guy he would "rip his head off and shove it down his throat." As a result, the employer made him go to anger counseling. Two different counselors asked him whether he had been molested by his father, and whether he played with himself, and stuff like that. Okay, so he put up with that. But when they told him to take a drug test, he drew the line. He went to his union to ask what to do. The employer fired him. The court says he collects.
Adulterated drug sample.
The store wanted to give him a certificate for ten years on the job. He refused to accept it. So they fired him instead.
They cut her hours back until she only worked eleven hours all week. So she quit. The court says she collects.
She was supposed to record the readings of gauges on a radiation treatment machine. Instead, she just filled in the charts without bothering to read the gauges. So they fired her. The court says she is penalized ten weeks of benefits.
They fired him because he didn't call in sick as soon as he was supposed to. But the Board must first find out whether the reason he didn't was because he was too ill to call.
The notice said she had to appeal within 20 days. It meant the appeal had to arrive within 20 days. She mailed her appeal on the 20th day. It did not arrive, of course, until a couple of days later. Therefore, she filed her appeal too late. End of story. But the court suggests the notice should more clearly say what it means.
Fired for not following instructions. She claims she was given conflicting instructions.
An alcoholic went to a residential rehab for a week. He was fired for not coming to work.
A lab tech fudged samples and falsified records because he was in a hurry to get off work. He does not collect.
A guy he worked with hid his lunch, snitched his keys, and even threw his hat. He complained to the foreman. The foreman told him to fight it out. So he quit. The court says he does not collect.
Paid on commission. Work was slow, so wasn't earning much. Aasked the supervisor to write him a "lay-off slip" so he could collect unemployment.
Off-duty marijuana use may not be misconduct; but reporting to work with pot in his system is.
Self-employment is not employment for the purpose of qualifying for unemployment.
The employer accused her of using meth; and when she denied it, cussed and called her a liar. So she quit.
A mason says he called in several times looking for work. The employer says he did not. But the Board gave him unemployment on the grounds that he was discharged. The court agrees.
An on duty policeman went to bail out his drunken 15 year old son. The drunken son cussed him, so he slapped his son. He was fired for that. The court says he should collect.
Merlene quite the bakery when they cut her back to 28 hours a week. She could not live on that. She moved to California to look for work there. Court says she should collect.
The employer required her to attend classes and meetings, set a supervisor over her, and assigned tasks. All this establishes that she was an employee, not an independent contractor.
A college instructor was required to enroll 75 students. She did not; but she falsified her rolls to make it look that way. She was fired for falsification and performance. She collects because the employer said performance.
He quit. He was denied. He appealed. When he never showed up for the hearing, the Appeal Tribunal denied him benefits, but they did not say why. The Board of Review did the same thing. So the court says they have to at least say why he shouldn't collect.
The company fired him when he was thrown in jail for three weeks for not paying child support. But the charges were thrown out of court on some technicality. He collects.
Would not do the job the way he was told to. An altercation resulted.
A chicken gutter left bird poop in her chickens.
A staffing company assigned her to a job she did not feel qualified for, so she quit and asked for a new assignment.
She walked over and borrowed some gum. On the way back, she bumped into someone else. Before anyone could see what happened, they were both rolling on the floor fighting. So the company fired both of them. The court says she collects.
He was a salaried supervisor, so they worked him eighteen hours a day. They promised him raises, but didn't come through. In fact, they failed to pay him what they did owe him. So he quit. The court says he collects.
A whistleblower is fired when she helps an examining physician discover altered medical records.
After an accident on the job, he failed a drug test. He does not collect.
Green et al
Appealed too late.
A legal secretary did not mark dates on the calendar, could not spell, etc. She was fired. This court says she collects.
He took off ill for two weeks. His doctor's note was only good for two days.
The Department made a mistake and paid her too much. Now they want the money back.
A Teamster member's job came to an end. She was offerred another, non-union job, by the same company. She declined. She collects.
The supervisor choked him. The owner watched. He quit. He has to take this to court to collect unemployment!
A respiratory therapist failed the new state certification test, and therefore lost her job. She collects.
Her position was eliminated; but she was offered another position, farther away, for less pay, with less vacation. They say she quit without good cause.
About the same time, her son died and her workload doubled because of cutbacks. Consequently, she fell behind in her work. Unfortunately, she admitted to being behind on her work when filing for unemployment.
A man who lived in Oklahoma worked in Texas for a Texas company. But he applied for unemployment in Arkansas. The court can't figure out how this claim got to Arkansas.
A former employee of the Employment Security Department applies for Trade Readjustment Act benefits and gets caught in bureaucratic delays.
He was v.p. at his brother's oil company. His brother was murdered. He became president. The family sold the oil company over his objection. He was paid $60k to resign and not compete. He resigned. He worked three months for the new owners. They let him go. This court says he should collect.
Snow and ice closed schools and made roads dangerous, she declined to come in. The employer claims that means she quit.
She quit because the boss yelled at her.
Home Care Professionals
An agency refers home care givers. They claim that should not make them liable to pay unemployment taxes.
They wanted her out of the office. They even offered to pay her to stay home. She would not sign the agreement.
His consistent poor performance became misconduct.
She was terminated from her law firm. She collected 24 weeks of benefits. She did not report her earnings during those weeks. She must repay.
The law firm she worked for won't let her return to work after a medical problem.
An LPN at a nursing home failed to alert the nurse when a resident's health condition worsened.
Because his repeated tardiness was a result of child care problems, it was not wilful misconduct.
Refused a transfer to night shift, so they demoted him.
She took a couple of months off for medical leave, and came back late. When she did show up, they wanted her to work different hours. She quit. The court says she does not collect, but three judges dissent, and hope she takes it to Supreme Court.
She wrecked the company truck five times in six months before she was fired. The court says she does not collect.
A school carpenter said on his job application that he had never been convicted of a crime. In fact, he had pled guilty to cocaine. When the school found out, they fired him. He collects because the court says he did not mean to lie.
Falsified a time sheet. Signed into a computer program as someone else.
After a conference about his work performance, he was suspended three days. He never showed up again. The Board denied him benefits on the grounds he was discharged for cause. The court says no, he was never discharged at all, just suspended. So he collects.
A visiting nurse filed a report of her visit to a patient several hours before she was scheduled to arrive there.
A bank deposit came up missing. She was fired because she did not follow procedures.
He quit because they kept re-assigning him to a job where there was less chance to earn incentive pay.
The appeal board denies him unemployment because he was fired for misconduct, then says he quit. The court says make up your mind: Did he quit or was he fired?
She hurt her hand. They put her on light duty. She wouldn't show up. They fired her.
Her lawyer filed her appeal too late, so she is out of luck. This sort of thing happens pretty frequently.
The Board of review made a decision without stating why. The court sends this case back to the Board for them to finish the job.
His father owned half the business he worked for. The other half was owned by the manager. He gave himself a raise. The manager took it away. He quit.
A Nevada company contracts with drivers to deliver trucks across the country. Arkansas insists they must pay unemployment taxes on their drivers in Arkansas, because, they say, Arkansas roads are part of their work premises.
An employment agency referred a nurse aide to a job caring for an individual. She quit the job because of illness. She applied for unemployment. The department named the employment agency as her employer. Both she and the agency say this is not true. But the appeal board will not consider the question.
She complained about her supervisor. Nothing was done. She quit. She collects.
He was hired as a maintenance man. He'd been cleaning all day and was dirty. So when the new manager told him to cook fries, he refused.
A solider wants to use his sick days while he is on military duty.
The Board decided on some of the issues, but not all of them. The court sends this case back to the Board to finish its job.
An injury prevents him from applying for the type of work he did before. This does not mean he is disqualified for unemployment.
Her foster child was disabled, so no one not authorized by the fostering system could take care of him. Therefore, when the employer told her to go home until she found child care, since none was available, that amounted to a discharge.
After a wreck, this truck driver was put on probation. While on probation, he had another wreck. He was fired. The court says he does not collect.
Missed her telephone hearing. Twice.
The rehab center no longer toted him to the job. The bus did not run early mornings. So he could not get to work.
He was fired for violating policy. But that policy was never put in evidence.
He would not take care of company tools, and other violations of policy.
He caught his toe in a conveyor at work. That night, it started to hurt. His mother gave him one of her prescription pain killers. Next day, he went to the doctor. The doctor gave him a drug test. The prescription drug showed. So they fired him.
Network Design Engineering, Inc.
A company hired inspectors and sent them to work way out in Micronesia, across the wide Pacific. The company says they are independent contractors. But the state wants taxes. The court says the company has to pay. These people are not in Arkansas. They are way out almost to Indonesia. The company still has to pay an Arkansas tax.
He braked hard three times in one day. No, really.
The owners of the apartment building moved their son into an apartment. All sorts of trouble ensued. The building manager didn't feel safe. She quit.
She was late or absent eight times. But several of those times, including the last, were for illeness. So she collects.
A manager trainee didn't like the fact she was married to a black man. The manager trainee not only harassed her constantly, but he made up a story about her stealing. She has witnesses. Finally, she walked out. But the court says she doesn't collect, because the manager trainee would have been gone on to another store in a month anyway!
Colleagues complained about her.
When the hearing began, the employer relized that the claimant had a paralegal on hand. They refused to participate without their own attorney, and asked for a postponement. The hearing went on without them.
The employer claims they never received a notice of a hearing. The Department claims to have mailed a hearing notice. The law presumes that the employer received it if the department claims to have mailed it.
After many years on the job, her error rate began to exceed the standard. After two and a half years of declining job performance, they fired her. She does not collect.
He lost an appeal. Now the department wants him to pay back what he received.
She appealed late because she was flustered. The post office postmarked her appeal two days after she put it in the mailbox.
A prisoner on work release was transferred to another prison, where he was not allowed to work. This court thinks he should collect, because he was forced to quit through no fault of his own.
Rankin revisited
Apparently disgusted by the idea of paying unemployment to a convict, the Board cites some new reasons to disqualify the guy. This court scolds the Board.
The employer's policy was to fire anyone convicted of a felony. The second time he was convicted of beating up his wife, it was a felony. So they fired him. He collects, despite policy, because this off duty misdeed had nothing to do with work.
She had to quit because of sexual battery. This case is so clear that you have to wonder why did she have to appeal all the way to court.
In Arkansas, farm workers are not covered by Unemployment if the farm employs fewer than ten people or pays less than $20,000 wages in a quarter. A peach picker had witnesses showing that her orchard snuck under the limit by hiring Mexicans and paying them cash. But she does not collect because the state agency enforcing the regulation dropped the ball.
Someone put his lunch bag on the trash can. While he was arguing with one guy about it, another guy tried to intervene. He told him to shut up. They got in a fight. The guy chased him around smacking him with a two by four. But because he had told the guy to shut up in the first place, the state denied him Unemployment. The court says pay the man.
She argued with a colleague and used some very mild cusswords.
Refused to try.
When he got hurt on the job, they tested his urine, and he failed this drug test, so they fired him. He says he should collect because he shouldn't get fired for something he did off the job. They say that's apt to be why he hurt himself. The court says he doesn't collect.
When they got laid off, the company gave them "administrative leave pay," "separation pay," and "vacation pay." They want to collect unemployment in addition. The court says no.
A saleswoman told her supervisor that she had applied to work for a competitor; so he told her just to leave. The court can't fugure out why the Board decided she should not collect.
The Board of Review may not decide a case on any grounds which were not first introduced at the appeal level.
The Department made a mistake and overpaid him; now they want the money back. He claims the receptionist at the Employment Security Department told him he did not have to file an appeal.
The department sent her notice to the wrong address. She had already told them they had the wrong address on file. And yet, because her appeal was one day late, the department wants to deny her an appeal.
The head teller strip searched another teller because her till came up short. The head teller was fired, but she collects unemployment.
He asked for leave. They said no. He went anyway.
He logged his work under another employee's number. He would not say why.
St Clair
Very cleverly bending the rules to enhance commissions.
Stienert leases trucks with drivers. He pays the drivers and tell them what to do. That means he has to pay unemployment taxes on the drivers' wages.
Ordinarily, a teacher is not eligible to collect unemployment during summer break. Here, the school uses a substitute teacher provided by a staffing agency. The sub works for the agency but performs services for the school.
Superior Senior Care
An agency which assigns nurses to care for seniors is their employer and must pay unemployment taxes on their wages.
She repeatedly reported her manager's abuse. It repeatedly recurred. So she quit.
Are you sitting down? This guy quit because the boss grinned at him. I kid you not.
He quit because he felt he was being mistreated. He does not collect because he didn't give management a chance to straighten things out.
A girl working in a store pharmacy passed out prescription pills to her friends.
A gang of nurses were trying to hold down a crazed addict throwing a fit. The druggie grabbed her and clawed her and wouldn't let go until she pinched him. She was fired for pinching him. The court says she collects.
Thompson et al
They took a voluntary severance package rather than get laid off.
A manager of a dollar store was robbed a gunpoint when leaving to take the deposit to the bank. It scared her. She quit. She collects.
She turned in all her receipts expecting someone would deduct what was not reimbursable, since no one had told her what she could or couldn't claim.
A library bookmobile driver was required to sign a handbook outlining drug test procedures. He objected that the others didn't have to sign it, and quit.
The Department made an error and paid her too much. Now they want the money back despite hardship.
If a claimant receives unemployment, and is later disqualified on appeal, he has to pay back what he got, unless it would be unfair to make him. This guy has a savings account, so he has to repay.
At his hearing, he was told that if he had any other evidence, he needed to tell them right away. But he didn't say anything for 28 days. By then, the decision had already gone against him.
He was disqualified for making a fraudulent statement on his application for benefits. He won his appeal. They still don't want to pay him.
The unemployment people paid her. The employer appealed. Her benefits were stopped. Unemployment dropped the ball. Now, six years later, the department suddenly wants her to pay back what they gave her.
She could not provide a doctor's excuse every time she was absent because she did not have medical insurance. She collects.
He did not take enough course credits to qualify for Trade readjustment Act benefits.
Applicants for promotion looked at other applicants' test results.
Unlike regular teachers, a part-time temporary teacher can collect unemployment at the end of the school year.
A truck rolled over a jobber's car. He was out of work four months. When he came back, they had given his route to someone else and cut his income in half. Yet this court says he doesn't collect.
An aide at a children's psychiatric hospital was fired when his name popped up on a child abuse registry during a regular background check. But the court says this is not wilful misconduct.
She failed her drug test. They never produced the sample, and wouldn't let her retest. She didn't go to rehab, so they fired her. The court says she doesn't collect. Two dissenting opinions make sense.
The employer jumped the gun and fired her before she was deemed guilty or even had a hearing on the matter.
A cashier at a convenience store called the police to report a robbery. When the cops came, they found the surveillance video was disabled and $86 was missing from the till. But none of the other clerks ever saw a robber, no customers saw a robber, and the snack cake truck driver, who was unloading there, saw no robber either. The police arrested the cashier for theft and filing a false police report. The store fired her. But she thinks she should get unemployment.
Her husband was disabled. Her daughter was retarded. Her father was 86. When her babysitter died, she had to quit to take of her family. She collects.
She was a night security person at a living facility which had a series of burglaries. She reported unlocked doors and unsecured areas several times, but nothing substantial was done about it. So she quit.
He worked there four years during which he only missed one day when his father died. But when he refused to work on Saturday because he had a prior commitment, they fired him.
Wayne Farms
If they had returned this one paper form to the state, they would have gotten a successor tax rate. Since they didn't send in the paper they paid nearly $1.7 million excess taxes.
The dog did not eat his homework --- but it did unplug the alarm clock. The court says he should collect!
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