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Tracey A. Demattio v. Director

September 21, 2011

TRACEY A. DEMATTIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT, OF JOB & FAMILY SERVICES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



CHARACTER OF PROCEEDING: Civil Appeal from Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas Case No. 2010AA040451

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Edwards, J.

Cite as DeMattio v. Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Servs.,

JUDGES: : Sheila G. Farmer, P.J. : Julie A. Edwards, J. : Patricia A. Delaney, J.

OPINION

JUDGMENT: Affirmed

[Cite as DeMattio v. Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Servs., 2011-Ohio-4901.]

{¶1} Plaintiff-appellant, Tracey Demattio, appeals from the December 15, 2010, Judgment Entry of the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas affirming the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission finding that plaintiffappellant was discharged for just cause.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

{¶2} Starting in May of 2005, appellant was employed by Healthcare Solutions, a medical oxygen and medical equipment company, as a salaried sales representative. Appellant worked out of both the Dover and Canton offices.

{¶3} Tamara Bryan, the center manager at Healthcare Solutions in Dover, testified that on Friday afternoons, all company sales representatives were required to enter their sales calls for the week into a computer and to submit their reports to their manager upon completion on Friday afternoons. The system was in place to track sales. Bryan testified that, for July 8, 2009, appellant submitted a request to be reimbursed for 122 miles indicating that she had been conducting sales and/or marketing activities in four cities that day. Bryan testified that appellant did not enter any sales calls into the computer for that day. She further testified that, for July 9, 2009, appellant submitted 146 miles for reimbursement indicating that she was conducting sales and marketing activities in five cities, but that appellant did not record any sales calls in the computer for that date.

{¶4} On or about August 13, 2009, Bryan sent a letter to appellant terminating her for falsifying expense reports, specifically mileage records. Bryan, in such letter, indicated that the information that appellant had entered into the sales tracking system (STS) did not correspond with her expense reimbursement reports (mileage) for the above periods. Bryan further indicated in such letter that, when appellant was confronted with such information, "the only explanation you provide was that you had not yet completed your STS for July; however, when I asked you on Friday, August 7, 2009 if your STS for July was complete, you responded that it was." The letter indicated that appellant was being terminated for violating infraction #23 "Falsification of expense reports and/or cashing or depositing a company expense reimbursement issued based on a false expense report."

{¶5} Appellant applied for unemployment compensation benefits with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Pursuant to a determination filed on September 9, 2009, appellant's application was denied based on the finding that appellant had been terminated with just cause for falsifying an expense report and, by doing so, violating a company rule. Appellant appealed such decision to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission and a telephone hearing was held on February 16, 2010. During the hearing, appellant denied she falsely claimed mileage for sales calls that she did not complete. She testified that at times she did not enter her STS into the computer on Fridays because the computer was being used by other people during her allotted time. She testified that she was not given access to the computer during her designated time in July.

{¶6} The following is an excerpt from appellant's testimony on crossexamination:

{¶7} "Q. Why the earlier part of the month wasn't entered if there was time to enter the other days of the month?

{¶8} "A. Uh on July 10th I returned back to the center at approximately 4 o'clock.

{ΒΆ9} "Hearing officer: Let me ...


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