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Unemployment Insurance Benefits Eligibility


Unemployment Insurance Benefits Eligibility


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WI Court of Appeals – District I

Case Name: Jonathan Todd Morris v. Labor Industry and Review Commission

Case No.: 2022AP001865

Officials: White, C.J., Donald, P.J., and Geenen, J.

Focus: Unemployment Insurance Benefits Eligibility

For fourteen years, Jonathan Todd Morris was the vice president of finance and operations for his employer, Bredan Mechanical Systems, Inc. (Bredan). Morris’s primary responsibility was to assure the financial health of the company. Bredan terminated Morris’s employment on October 26, 2020, the day after he reported to Bredan that he lost at least $394,000 of the company’s money over the course of the previous month in an internet-based wire transfer scam. Morris appeals the decision of the circuit court affirming the decision of the Labor and Industrial Review Commission (LIRC), which found him ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits due to “misconduct” connected with his employment. The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) issued an initial decision that found Morris ineligible for benefits because he was discharged for “substantial fault” connected with his work. Morris appealed to an administrative law judge (ALJ), sitting as an appeal tribunal, who affirmed DWD’s decision but modified the basis for ineligibility from “substantial fault” to “misconduct.” Morris petitioned for review of the ALJ’s decision to LIRC, and LIRC affirmed. LIRC’s findings of fact are supported by substantial and credible evidence. The appeals court agrees with LIRC’s conclusion that by “continuing to wire money to foreign banks in the hopes that an unknown individual would return the money,” Morris’s actions were “so negligent as to evince a willful and substantial disregard of [Bredan’s] interest as to amount to misconduct connected with his work.”


Decided 04/09/24

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