Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance


Law Offices of Alan D. Eisenberg, Alan D. Eisenberg  v. Labor and Industry Review Commission and Howard S. Peck, (Hrg. No. 96604437MW);  Case 97CV0153, Wis. Cir. Ct., Dane Co., October 6, 1997

Digest Codes:  VL 1054.03

The employe was hired as a law clerk for the employer, a private attorney. When he was hired on 9/6/95, the employe told the employer he intended to move to Hawaii after he graduated from law school. However, the employer subsequently told the employe he was interested in "keeping him on." In March 1996, the employe asked the employer if he would be able to employ him after he graduated from law school. The employer indicated he was not interested in hiring an attorney for his firm, but encouraged the employe to start his own legal practice in the employer's building. The employer indicated he would refer clients to him if he started his own practice, but the employe ultimately decided not to do this. In their last conversation, the employe asked the employer if he could guarantee referral of 20 hours of work per week if he opened his own practice. The employer responded by asking the employe how long he would guarantee being in Milwaukee, and the employe replied two years. The employe then said he would rather go to Hawaii than stay in Milwaukee. After the employe left, the employer hired a new law clerk to take his place. That clerk eventually became an associate attorney in the employer's firm. LIRC   found a discharge.   The employer appealed.

Held: The employer's statement that he was not interested in hiring an attorney for his firm led the employe to reasonably conclude that he was not welcome to stay in his employment after he graduated from law school. The failed negotiations regarding the employe starting his own law practice did not constitute an offer of continued employment. Even though an employe is hired for a limited-term employment, when that term ends an employe is eligible for unemployment compensation. LIRC is affirmed.


[Commission decision in this case]

Please note that this is a summary prepared by staff of the commission, not a verbatim reproduction of the court decision.

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