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Barr v. Citicorp Credit Service, Inc.

Supreme Court of Idaho

November 2, 2016

JESSICA E. BARR, Claimant-Appellant,
v.
CITICORP CREDIT SERVICE, INC. USA, Employer, and IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. Respondents.

         2016 Opinion No. 118

         Appeal from the Industrial Commission of the State of Idaho.

         The decision of the Commission is affirmed.

          Jessica E. Barr, Boise, pro se appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General, Boise, for respondent the Idaho Department of Labor.

          ON THE BRIEFS

          HORTON, Justice.

         Jessica E. Barr appeals from the decision of the Idaho Industrial Commission (Commission) finding her ineligible for unemployment benefits and affirming the decision of an Appeals Examiner for the Idaho Department of Labor's (IDOL) Appeals Bureau. The Commission found that Barr was discharged by her employer, Citicorp Credit Services, Inc. USA (Citicorp), for misconduct in connection with employment and determined that Barr was not eligible for benefits pursuant to Idaho Code section 72-1366(5).

         Barr argues that Citicorp representatives provided false information to the Appeals Examiner and her unemployment benefits should be restored.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Barr worked for Citicorp as a customer service representative from August 10, 2009, until August 26, 2014. In December of 2013, Citicorp sent out a company-wide email instructing employees not to contact the workforce management group (TCC) to request voluntary time off (VTO). Instead, employees were instructed to request VTO through Citicorp's electronic scheduling planner (ESP). Despite this directive, Barr continued to contact TCC to request VTO.

         Because of her continued actions, Barr received individual supervisor coaching on January 13, 15, and 21, 2014. Barr's supervisor, Tiffany Endicott, testified that Barr did not take the coaching seriously and that Barr remarked that the directive "didn't apply to her."

         In early July 2014, Citicorp received an email from TCC informing it that Barr had continued to contact TCC, almost daily, about VTO. On July 7, 2014, Citicorp gave Barr a "Final Warning" concerning her conduct. Barr was told that all VTO requests must be submitted through the ESP system and that Barr should not contact TCC directly. Barr was told that any further occurrences might result in her termination. On August 21, 2014, Citicorp was informed that Barr had continued to contact TCC with her VTO requests. On August 25, 2014, Isaac Downey, Citigroup's operations manager, met with Barr and asked her to explain her conduct. Barr indicated that she had understood the final warning, but that calling TCC was "like an addiction." Barr was suspended and sent home. Barr was terminated the next day.

         Barr applied for unemployment benefits and IDOL originally granted her request. Citicorp appealed and on November 7, 2014, an Appeals Examiner from IDOL's Appeals Bureau held a telephonic hearing on the issue. During the hearing, Downey, Endicott, and Barr testified. The Appeals Examiner reversed IDOL's original decision, finding Barr ineligible for unemployment benefits due to misconduct.

         On November 24, 2014, Barr timely appealed to the Commission. The Commission conducted a de novo review of the record and determined that Citicorp had discharged Barr for misconduct in connection with her employment. The Commission ...


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