Unit 7 Assignment
Katie K. Deemer
PA205-04: Introduction to Legal Analysis and Writing
Professor Eli Gordon
18 September 2012
Does Natalie’s refusal to remove her tattoo constitute misconduct under N.M. Stat. Ann. §51-1-7?
An individual shall be disqualified for and shall not be eligible to receive benefits if it is determined by the division that the individual has been discharged for misconduct connected with the individual's employment.
There is no definition for the term “misconduct” listed under unemployment compensation law. Therefore, the following definition has been adopted. ‘Misconduct’ is limited to conduct evincing such willful or wanton disregard of an employer’s interests as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations to his employer. On the other hand mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity, inadvertencies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances, or good faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed ‘misconduct’ within the meaning of the statute. Mitchell v. Lovington Good Samaritan Center, Inc., 1976 NM 555 P.2d 696. There were no guidelines, written or otherwise, forbidding tattoos. Natalie’s tattoo did not affect her ability to perform her duties nor was it a safety hazard. Additionally, the cost for tattoo removal was prohibitively expensive when other alternatives (such as covering the tattoo with long sleeves or a bandage) were available.
Natalie Attired’s refusal to remove a tattoo does not constitute misconduct under N.M. Stat. Ann. §51-1-7.