Friday, July 08, 2011

For "Dillard" Substitute "Prick".

Koewler v. Review Bd., Indiana Dep't of Workforce Development, no. 93A02-1012-EX-1431 (Ind. Ct. App. July 7, 2011).

Theere's an interesting outcome in an otherwise garden variety unemployment appeals case out of Indiana the other day, and it serves to illustrate how rotten and petty people can be, and maybe who the Boss from Hell might really be.

At the July 4, 2010 cookout for Dillard's employees, Mike Marz instructed the employees to take the leftover hot dogs and put them in storage for Labor Day. Koewler, an employee removed two leftover hot dogs and had them for lunch or something the next day

Marz reviewed a security video which showed Koewler removing the offending tube steaks, and reported him to the store manager who thereupon summoned police and instructed Koewler that he was to either sign a statement admitting he'd stolen two hot dogs, or be taken to jail. He signed and was thereupon fired.

Koewler filed for unemployment and the administrative law judge determined he'd not been fired for cause and was therefore not disqualified from receiving unemployment.

Dillard's appealed and the appeals board reversed the ALJ.

There was conflicting testimony as to whether the hot dogs were intended for the freezer or the refrigerator, and whether Koewler knew about it or not.

Under Indiana law the employer bears the burden of establishing that the worker was terminated for just cause.

The court of appeals reversed, determining that no factfinding was made as to whether Koewler's reaching into the fridge and grabbing two tube steaks was a knowing and intentional exertion of unauthorized control.

This case raises two or three questions. Filming the break room? Firing an employee over two hot dogs? Even bothering to waste time over it?

What a penny ante outfit.