Mitchell V. Lovington

776 Words4 Pages
Introduction to Legal Analysis and Writing Unit 5 Assignment Case Name: Rodman v. New Mexico Emp’t Sec. Dep’t, 764 P.2d 1316 (N.M. 1988) Facts: Plaintiff employee worked as a unit secretary for defendant employer for nearly eight years. In the course of her employment she was given “three corrective action” notices because she was receiving an inordinate amount of personal telephone calls and visitors at her work station. She was ultimately terminated and applied for unemployment benefits, which were denied. The court decided that due to a “totality of circumstances,” this series of incidents constituted misconduct sufficient to disqualify the plaintiff from receiving benefits. The Appeals Tribunal of the Department of Employee Security found on the basis of the evidence the plaintiff was right to be terminated. Issue: Whether multiple acts of misconduct, such as personal telephone calls and visitors at her workstation, when taken together, constitute misconduct warranting termination and a denial of unemployment compensation under It’s Burger Time v. New Mexico Dep’t of Labor, 769 P.2d 88 (N.M. 1989). Holding: Yes, the court found that different instances of misbehavior can be combined to reach the conclusion that an employee has engaged in misconduct and should not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Analysis: In affirming the judgment, the court held that multiple acts of misconduct can be taken as a whole to support a denial of unemployment benefits on misconduct grounds. In reaching this decision, the court adopted the definition of misconduct from the New Mexico Supreme Court in the case of Mitchell v. Lovington Good Samaritan Ctr., Inc., 89 N.M. 575, 555 P.2d 696 (1976). That court stated that in such cases, courts have applied a “totality of circumstances” or “last straw” test to determine whether, taken together, this series of

More about Mitchell V. Lovington

Open Document