Friday, January 13, 2012

University of Wisconsin Law School to Argue Interesting Unemployment Compensation Case in Front of Court of Appeals

On January 18, 2012, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals for District IV will hear oral arguments in a case involving unemployment compensation and the issue is what effect the change in language in Wis. Stat. sec 108.02(12)(a) has on claimants for unemployment insurance.  Specifically, a part-time real estate agent began collecting unemployment when he was laid off from his full-time manufacturing job.  Later, the claimant switched real estate agencies and the Department of Workforce Development held that the claimant quit his job without good cause attributable to the employer and cut off his unemployment benefits.  The reason this is on appeal is because the Department made this determination even though the claimant performed services that are not covered employment for purposes of unemployment purposes.

In 2005 the Wisconsin legislature made a change in the language of Wis. Stat. sec. 108.02(12)(a) by removing the phrase, "in an employment."  The Wisconsin Labor & Review Commission (LIRC) argue that removal of the phrase means claimants meet the definition of employee for any services they perform for an employing unit, regardless of whether that service is in covered or excluded employment. 

This link has more information on the technicalities of the case.  Best of luck to the University of Wisconsin Law School's Unemployment Appeals Clinic.  I used to volunteer with this clinic when I was a law student there!

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