DIGEST OF ADJUDICATION PRECEDENTS MC
ISSUE/DIGEST CODE Misconduct/MC 190.1/.15
AUTHORITY Section 602A of the Act
SUBTITLE Circumstantial Evidence
CROSS-REFERENCE MC 140.3, Dishonesty, Conversion of Property
The claimant, a Warehouse Worker for a department store, was discharged after the employer determined that he had taken
possession of the employer's property (a pair of blue jeans) for his personal use.
At an appeal hearing, the employer established the facts that: Security officers had found an open carton of blue jeans, with 1 pair
missing, on the floor of a trailer where the claimant had been working. The claimant was then escorted to the security office, where
he was asked to remove his coveralls so that a security officer could inspect the jeans he was wearing. The claimant refused. He
insisted that the union steward be present. The claimant, accompanied by a security officer, went into the warehouse to find the
steward. Before returning, the claimant requested to go to the rest room. There, inside a stall, he was heard to be ripping material.
Upon his return to the security office, he removed his coveralls and displayed his jeans: identical in size, brand, pattern, and every
respect -- except for knife or razor-torn cuffs -- to the jeans missing from the open carton. The employer further testified that the
claimant carried a knife while at work, as a necessary tool.
The claimant testified that the jeans he was wearing had been purchased by his wife several days earlier, at another of the
employer's stores. He offered into evidence a cash register receipt, claiming it represented the purchase of the jeans he was
wearing. The date of the purchase and the number of the register upon which it had been rung up had been obliterated.
The Referee concluded that, because the employer did not offer testimony from a witness who had personally observed the
claimant taking the jeans from the carton, it had not proven its case.
HELD: Evidence upon which a decision will be based must be competent, credible, and of such a nature that reasonable people
would rely upon it. In the instant case, the employer offered competent and credible evidence as to every fact but one; the
employer did not produce an eye-witness to the taking. Still, from the evidence, the fact that the claimant took the jeans could
reasonably have been deduced. On that basis, the employer made its case.
In response, the claimant offered into evidence a sales receipt which established nothing. The claimant's contention that his wife
had purchased the jeans was not supported by the evidence.
The employer met its burden of proof by presenting competent, credible evidence upon which reasonable people could rely. The
employer's evidence was entitled to greater weight than the claimant's. The evidence established that the claimant had converted
the employer's property for his personal use. Any worker who is discharged for wrongfully converting property of his employer is
discharged for misconduct connected with the work. The claimant was discharged for misconduct.
ISSUE/DIGEST CODE Misconduct/MC 190.15
AUTHORITY Section 602A of the Act
SUBTITLE Weight and Sufficiency
CROSS-REFERENCE MC 270.05, Intoxication and Use of Intoxicants
The claimant's supervisor testified that he saw two workers with an open container of alcohol. They went to a car, took out a
package, and brought it to the claimant. The claimant went into the locker room and locked the door. The supervisor knocked on
the door, but the claimant did not respond for ten minutes. When the claimant finally came out, his eyes were bloodshot and he had
difficulty speaking and maintaining his balance.
The employer directed the claimant to undergo blood and urinalysis tests. The employer submitted into evidence a copy of a report
from a laboratory showing that there was cocaine in the claimant's system. There was no foundation laid for the findings of that
The claimant denied using alcohol or drugs.
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