Zelma Mitchell Case Summary

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Facts: The Plaintiff, Zelma Mitchell was terminated from Lovington Good Samaritan Center, Inc, on June 4, 1974. The termination was the result of alleged misconduct. On June 12, 1974, Ms Mitchell, applied for unemployment benefits, which were denied by the Unemployment Security Commission deputy. This disqualified Ms. Mitchell from seven weeks of benefits pursuant to 59-9-6(E) N.M.S.A 1953. Ms. Mitchell filed an appealed July 24, 1974, which the Appeal Tribunal overturned the Deputy’s decision and reinstated these benefits to Ms. Mitchell on August 28, 1974. September 13, 1974, the Lovington Center did not agree and appealed the decision made by the Appeal Tribunal to the Commission. The Commission overruled the Appeal Tribunal and reestablished the seven week exclusion period. Ms. Mitchell then applied for and was granted certiorari from the decision to the District Court of Bernalillo County. The District Court reversed the Commission’s decision and ordered the benefits to be reinstated. From the District Courts judgment the Center appealed. Issues: Whether Ms. Mitchell’s actions constituted misconduct so as to disqualify her from certain unemployment compensation benefits. Rule: The term ‘misconduct’ is not clear in the Unemployment Compensation Law. The Wisconsin Supreme Court found in a previous case, no statutory…show more content…
Mitchell’s acts constituted misconduct. Ms. Mitchell’s insubordination, improper attire, name calling and other behavior evidenced a willful disregard of the interests of the Center. Each separate incident was not sufficient enough to conclude misconduct, but taken in totality, Ms. Mitchell’s conduct was sufficient to be classified as misconduct. The court applied the State Statue NM. STAT. ANN§ 51-1-7(2) (1996), which states that an individual discharged for misconduct at their place of employment can be denied unemployment

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