Justia Labor & Employment Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Indiana Supreme Court
Chrysler Group, LLC v. Review Bd. of the Dep’t of Workforce Dev.
In 2008, Chrysler offered a buyout program to employees in Kokomo, Indiana. Those employees then applied for unemployment benefits under Indiana's Unemployment Compensation Act. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development denied the claims. The Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development ultimately awarded benefits under a narrow provision of the Act. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the Board's application of the provision was erroneous and inconsistent with the statute. The Supreme Court granted transfer and vacated the court of appeals. The Court then affirmed the decision of the Board, holding that the Board properly applied the law to its findings of fact, and the Board's conclusion that the employees were eligible for benefits was reasonable in light of the evidence before it.
Recker v. Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev. Review Bd.
After Employee was unable to successfully complete her necessary training, Employer gave her the option to resign immediately or to be placed on a thirty-day unpaid leave of absence. Employee opted to resign immediately and thereafter sought unemployment insurance benefits. The Department of Workforce Development denied Employee's application for benefits on the grounds the Employee voluntarily left employment and did so without good cause. An ALJ concluded (1) Employee did not voluntarily quit her position but was constructively discharged, and (2) Employee was disqualified from receiving benefits because she had breached a duty reasonably owed to her employer, which breach constituted just cause for her termination. The Unemployment Insurance Review Board adopted and approved the ALJ's decision. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Employee's claim, holding (1) the Board's finding that Employee breached a duty reasonably owed to Employer was reasonable; and (2) it was reasonable for the Board to find that Employee was discharged for just cause and was therefore ineligible for benefits.
Franklin Elec. Co. v. Unemployment Ins. Appeals of the Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev.
Franklin Electric formed two new subsidiaries and started new unemployment experience accounts with a low introductory contribution rate for each one, which equaled about half the experience rating of Franklin Electric. The Department of Workforce Development later canceled the subsidiaries' experience accounts, and all experience balances and liabilities reverted to Franklin Electric. The Department also demanded back payments, interest, and a ten percent penalty. A liability administrative law judge (LALJ) affirmed the Department's determination that the three entities were a single employer but waived the penalty imposed by the Department. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court granted transfer and vacated the opinion of the court of appeals and affirmed the determination of the LALJ, holding (1) the new subsidiaries were not new employers because they were not distinct and segregable from Franklin Electric; (2) Franklin Electric's experience rating should have applied to contributions made by the subsidiaries; and (3) because there was no evidence suggesting improper conduct on the part of Franklin Electric, the penalty was not appropriate.