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Court: Unemployment benefits depend on attendance situation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court says workers can collect unemployment benefits even if they’re fired for missing their shifts, depending on the situation.

The case stems from the Mequon Jewish Campus’ decision to fire the nurse Valarie Beres for missing a shift due to illness and not calling in. The Department of Workforce Development denied Beres’ claims for unemployment benefits, saying she committed misconduct. The Labor Industry Review Commission, however, reversed DWD, saying Beres didn’t commit misconduct because she was so sick she couldn’t call in.

The District 2 Court of Appeals sided with the commission Wednesday, ruling 2-1 that employers can fire workers who violate zero-tolerance attendance policies but not every discharge amounts to misconduct for purposes of deciding unemployment benefit eligibility.

A DWD spokesman didn’t immediately return a message.

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