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Friday, December 19, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 today (and 11 NFP)

For publication opinions today (4):

In Suzanne E. Esserman v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and Indiana Department of Environmental Management, a 16-page opinion, Judge Brown writes:

The issue is whether the record supports the Board’s decision that Employee was discharged for just cause. Employee argues that she was not discharged for just cause pursuant to Ind. Code § 22-4-15-1(d) and that she did not breach a duty to her employer under the statute. * * *

Based upon the evidence and testimony above and in the record before the ALJ and Board, Employer did not meet its burden of establishing that Employee breached a duty reasonably owed Employer or showing that Employee’s conduct was of such a nature that a reasonable employee of Employer would understand that the conduct was a violation of a duty owed Employer and the State of Indiana. Accordingly, we conclude Employee was not discharged for just cause and is entitled to unemployment benefits under her claim.

We also observe that a claim for unemployment benefits should not be confused with a wrongful termination lawsuit. To the extent Employer presented evidence that it had grounds not to continue Employee’s employment, this evidence does not support the conclusion that Employee breached a duty reasonably owed to her employer under Indiana’s statutes and caselaw governing unemployment compensation. See Conklin v. Rev. Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 966 N.E.2d 761, 766 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) (noting that the Board’s argument “blurs the line between the employment-at-will doctrine and the statutes and caselaw governing unemployment compensation,” that the employer was not required to continue to employ the employee, and that a claim for unemployment benefits cannot be equated to or confused with a wrongful termination lawsuit), reh’g denied. Employee did not breach a duty reasonably owed to Employer under Ind. Code § 22-4-15-1(d) and is thus eligible for unemployment benefits.

For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the Board’s decision finding that Employee was discharged for just cause.

Eunice McKibben v. Jeff Hughes, b/n/f Joyce Hughes

Erica N. Dumes v. State of Indiana - This is a worth-reading opinion by J.Brown on the unauthorized practice of law.

Christopher Duncan v. State of Indiana

NFP civil opinions today (5):

Mary (McNutt) Tuite v. Mark McNutt (NFP)

Sophia L. Masters v. Ryan E. Masters (NFP)

Keisha Hollis, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. Defender Security Company d/b/a Defender Direct (NFP)

In Re the Paternity of T.T.: L.H. v. L.T. and D.N. (NFP)

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: B.A., Minor Child, and A.A., Father v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (6):

Joseph D. Haskins III v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Daniel L. Scarpinato v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Karachi Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Mack A. Jake v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Karla J. Shafer v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Michael D. Dague v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 19, 2014 11:23 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions