Firac: Mitchell V. Lovington Good Samaritan Center Inc, 555 P.2d 696 (N.M. 1976)

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Mitchell v. Lovington Good Samaritan Center. INC., 555 P.2d 696 (N.M. 1976).

Facts: Mrs. Mitchell (appellee) was terminated on June 4, 1974 from Lovington Good Samaritan Center, INC. for alleged misconduct. June 12, 1974 Mrs. Mitchell applied for unemployment compensation benefits where she was denied by the deputy of the Unemplyment Security Commission; July 24 1974, Mrs. Mitchell applied for an appeal, where she then received a reinstatement of benefits on August 28 1974. On September 13 1974 appealed the decision of the Appeal Tribunal to the whole Commission pursuant to s 59-9-6(E), N.M.S.A..1953. The commission overruled the Appeal Tribunal an re-instated the seven week disqualification period. Mrs.Mitchell applied for and was granted ceritiorari from the decision of the Commission to the District Court of Bernalillo County pursuant to s 59-9-6(K), N.M.S.A. 1953. January 16, 1976, the District Court reversed the Commission’s decision and ordered it to reinstate the benefits to Mrs. Mitchell. From the Judgement of the District Court, the Center appeals.

Issue: The issue of this case is whether petitioner’s actions constituted misconduct so as to disqualify her from certain unemployment compensation benefits. Under s 59-9-5(b), N.M.S.A.1953

Rule: “Misconduct” is a term that is not defined in Unemployment Compensation Law. New Mexico adopted Wisconsin's 259-60,296 N.W. 636, 640 (1941) term for “misconduct”. This states ‘misconduct’ is limited to conduct evincing such wilful or wanton behaviour which the employer has the right to expect of his employee, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations to his employer. On the other hand mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability...
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