June 25, 2019

Colorado Court of Appeals: Mounkes v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office of the State of Colorado

on June 10, 2010.

Unemployment Compensation—CRS § 8-73-108(5)(e)(VII)—Other Records or Reports.

The Industrial Claim Appeals Office (Panel) affirmed a decision that disqualified claimant from receiving unemployment benefits because he had falsified a letter notifying his employer about his arrest. The Court of Appeals set aside the Panel’s order and remanded for an award of benefits.

Claimant worked as a customer service representative for Sears Roebuck & Co. (employer). His job required him to occasionally drive customers’ automobiles. The hearing officer found that employer discharged claimant because he violated employer’s policy by intentionally failing to disclose that his arrest involved driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and possession of marijuana. Specifically, the hearing officer found that claimant reported only the DUI charge and not the marijuana possession charge.

The hearing officer determined the claimant was disqualified from receiving benefits pursuant to CRS § 8-73-108(5)(e)(VII), which provides for disqualification based on the “intentional falsification of expense accounts, inventories, or other records or reports whether or not substantial harm or injury was incurred.” Claimant appealed and the Panel affirmed, and claimant appealed.

Claimant argued that the Panel erred in concluding that the letter through which he initially reported his arrest to employer constituted a “report” under CRS § 8-73-108(5)(e)(VII). The Court agreed.

Under the doctrine of ejusdem generis, the Court determined the meaning of “other reports and records” in its context following “expense accounts” and “inventories.” The Court concluded that “other reports or records” means only those documents, such as expense accounts and inventories, that relate directly to an employer’s assets and liabilities.

Claimant’s letter notifying employer of his arrest, under this definition, is not a record or report that would result in disqualification. The order was set aside and the case was remanded for an award of unemployment benefits to claimant.

This summary is published here courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer. Other summaries by the Colorado Court of Appeals on June 10, 2010, can be found here.

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