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Copper v. Ace Hardware / Sannan, Inc.

Supreme Court of Idaho

January 22, 2016

CLARENCE L. COPPER, Claimant-Appellant,
v.
ACE HARDWARE / SANNAN, INC., Employer, and IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Respondent

Appeal from the Industrial Commission of the State of Idaho.

Clarence L. Copper, Post Falls, submitted a brief on his behalf.

Tracey K. Rolfsen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, submitted a brief on behalf of the Respondent.

Chief Justice J. JONES, Justices BURDICK, W. JONES, and HORTON CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 395

EISMANN, Justice.

This is an appeal from an order of the Industrial Commission that the Appellant is not entitled to unemployment benefits because he was discharged for misconduct in connection with his employment for violating his employer's written policies. We affirm the order of the Commission.

I.

Factual Background.

Clarence L. Copper (" Claimant" ) was an employee of Ace Hardware / Sannan, Inc. (" Employer" ), from March 5, 2004, until he was terminated on July 1, 2014. Prior to that date, Claimant was reprimanded numerous times for failing to perform his job duties. About one week before his termination, Claimant had been warned that he would be terminated for any further violation of Employer's written policies. The written policies included a provision granting employees a merchandise discount allowing them to purchase merchandise at 20% above store cost. With respect to that discount, the policies provided: " Only the Employee can make the purchase and you must have another employee ring up the purchase. All purchases must be made on your own time. Employee purchases made during the day must be paid for and kept in the office until you leave the store." Claimant had received and signed for a copy of the written policies.

On July 1, 2014, Claimant's father came into the store to purchase some items. While he was on shift, Claimant gave a cashier his discount code, so that his father could purchase the items at a discount. After making the purchase, Claimant's father left the store with the items. Employer terminated Claimant for allowing another person to use his discount code to purchase items and because the purchase was not made on Claimant's own time (he was not on break).

Claimant applied for unemployment benefits, and he was determined to be eligible. Employer timely filed a protest, and the matter was heard by an appeals examiner, who ruled in favor of Claimant. Employer appealed to the Industrial Commission, which conducted a de novo review of the record and issued its findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order reversing the decision of the appeals examiner. The Commission held that Employer had proved that it had terminated Claimant for violating Employer's written policies, which constituted misconduct in connection with employment. Claimant then timely appealed to this Court.

II.

Can Claimant Submit Additional Evidence on ...


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