STATE OF WISCONSIN
LABOR AND INDUSTRY REVIEW COMMISSION
P O BOX 8126, MADISON, WI 53708-8126 (608/266-9850)
HOWARD S PECK, Employe
LAW OFFICE OF ALAN EISENBERG, Employer
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION DECISION
Hearing No. 96604437MW
An administrative law judge (ALJ) for the Division of Unemployment Insurance of the Department of Workforce Development (Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations prior to July 1, 1996) issued a decision in this matter. A timely petition for review was filed.
The commission has considered the petition and the positions of the parties, and it has reviewed the evidence submitted to the ALJ. Based on the applicable law, records, and evidence in this case, the commission makes the following:
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The employe worked for about eight months as a law clerk for the employer. His last day of work was May 14, 1996, (week 20). He expected to graduate about May of 1996. The employer did not want to hire any lawyers as employes, but offered to keep the employe on, as an independent contractor. The employer indicated that under no circumstances would the employe be hired as an attorney, and the employe refused this offer of independent contractorship. The employer replaced the employe with another worker, and the employe came back to the employer with other suggestions that might keep him employed.
The issue to be decided is whether the employe quit or was discharged. If the employe quit, a secondary issue is whether the employe's quitting was for any reason that would permit the immediate payment of unemployment benefits. If the employe was discharged, a secondary issue is whether the employe's discharge was for misconduct connected with that employment.
The employe contended that he was discharged. The commission agrees. The employe's term of employment was limited by its nature to the period of time that he was a law student. The employer made it very clear to him that he would not be kept on after he graduated and became a lawyer. The employe attempted to remain employed with the employer, but the employer refused to allow him to work after he became an attorney.
The reason that the employe was laid off was that he was soon to graduate from law school, and the employer would not retain him as an attorney, and in fact hired a replacement for him. Thus, the separation was at the initiative of the employer. Generally when a worker is hired for limited term work, the worker will be eligible for benefits assuming he or she is otherwise qualified.
The commission therefore finds that in week 20 of 1996, the employe was discharged by the employer but not for misconduct, within the meaning of section 108.04 (5), Stats.
The commission finds that in week 20 of 1996, the employe did not voluntarily terminate his employment with the employer within the meaning of sec. 108.04 (7)(a), Stats.
The decision of the administrative law judge is reversed. Accordingly, the employe is eligible for benefits beginning in week 20 of 1996, if he is otherwise eligible.
Dated and mailed: December 20, 1996
peckho.urr : 145 : 7 VL 1054.03
Pamela I. Anderson, Chairman
Richard T. Kreul, Commissioner
David B. Falstad, Commissioner
The commission did not discuss witness credibility and demeanor with the ALJ, but reverses because it reached a different legal conclusion from the facts found by the ALJ.
Appealed to Circuit Court. Affirmed October 6, 1997. Court Decision Summary
[ Search UC Decisions ] - [ UC Digest - Main Index ] - [ UC Legal Resources ] - [ LIRC Home Page ]