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Bell v. Idaho Department of Labor

Supreme Court of Idaho

December 18, 2014

CHARLES C. BELL, Claimant-Appellant,
v.
IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Respondent-Respondent on Appeal, and SEARS, Respondent

2014 Opinion No. 138

Appeal from the Idaho Industrial Commission.

The decision of the Industrial Commission is affirmed.

Charles C. Bell, appellant, Pro se.

Honorable Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General, Boise, for Respondent.

J. JONES, Justice. Chief Justice BURDICK, and Justices EISMANN, HORTON, and Justice Pro Tem WALTERS CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 1149

J. JONES, Justice

Charles C. Bell appeals a decision of the Idaho Industrial Commission holding that he willfully made false statements or willfully failed to report material facts for the purpose of obtaining unemployment benefits. Because the Commission's decision is supported by substantial and competent evidence, we affirm.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Charles C. Bell was employed by Sears from September 25, 2012, to May 16, 2013. During that period, Bell regularly filed for unemployment benefits with the Idaho Department of Labor (" DOL" ). He received benefits for each week beginning with the week ending on Sept. 29, 2012, through the week ending on March 23, 2013. On March 26, 2013, the DOL discovered discrepancies between the weekly gross wages reported by Bell in his unemployment filings and the gross wages reported to the DOL by Sears. The DOL requested additional information from Sears and Bell concerning his weekly gross wages and the hours he worked each week. The DOL relied upon the information provided by Bell to calculate his actual weekly gross wages because Sears provided only bi-weekly, rather than weekly, gross wage information. Based on the information provided by Bell, the DOL determined that Bell willfully misstated his gross wages for nineteen weeks in which he received benefits and that he was ineligible for benefits for nine weeks in which he claimed to have worked part-time hours despite working at least forty hours. Bell was disqualified from receiving benefits for fifty-two weeks, ordered to repay benefits he received for the relevant periods, and ordered to pay penalties for willfully misrepresenting his gross wages and the hours he worked in particular weeks.

Bell filed a protest of the DOL's initial determination and a ...


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