Where an employer argued that an employee’s work absences constituted misconduct to disqualify her from receiving unemployment compensation benefits, the award for the claimant is affirmed because the employer did not show that the employee violated a known attendance policy or that she was issued a written warning relating to an unapproved absence and had two more unapproved absences under the policy.
Dissenting opinion by Odenwald, J.: “I respectfully dissent with the majority’s holding and would reverse and remand the award to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission with instructions to apply the correct legal standard when making its findings on whether the employee’s absences from the workplace were approved or unapproved. It is undeniable and indeed undisputed that the Commission erroneously interpreted and applied the state statute defining misconduct by requiring ‘fault’ on the part of the employee in connection with unapproved absences from the workplace. The Commission’s continued reliance on the absence of employee fault under these facts knowingly disregards the statutory revisions enacted by the state legislature in 2014 to address chronic employee absenteeism in the workplace….
“I disagree with the majority holding because the record contains substantial evidence
from which the Commission could find that Ausley had unapproved absences from the
workplace which meet the statutory definition of misconduct and disqualify her from
Judgment is affirmed.
CCL Label (St. Louis), Inc. v. Ausley (MLW No. 70292/Case No. ED104439 – 21 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, James M. Dowd, J.) Appealed from the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission (Gregg M. Lemley and Joshua S. Owings for appellant) (Thomas G. Lemley, Ninion S. Riley and Michael E.C. Pritchett for respondent).
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