Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State of Ohio Ex Rel. Barbara Sanderson v. the Industrial Commission of Ohio and

October 13, 2011

STATE OF OHIO EX REL. BARBARA SANDERSON, RELATOR,
v.
THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF OHIO AND HIRRI FOODS, INC., RESPONDENTS.



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

Cite as State ex rel. Sanderson v. Indus. Comm.,

(REGULAR CALENDAR)

DECISION

IN MANDAMUS

ON OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE'S DECISION

{¶1} Relator, Barbara Sanderson ("relator"), filed an original action in mandamus asking this court to issue a writ of mandamus ordering respondent, Industrial Commission of Ohio ("commission"), to vacate its order that denied relator temporary total disability ("TTD") compensation, and to enter an order granting that compensation.

{¶2} This matter was referred to a magistrate pursuant to Civ.R. 53(C) and Loc.R. 12(M) of the Tenth District Court of Appeals. The magistrate issued a decision, which includes findings of fact and conclusions of law and is appended to this decision, recommending that this court grant the requested writ. No objections have been submitted concerning the magistrate's findings of fact, and we adopt them as our own.

{¶3} In brief, relator sustained a work-related injury in August 2009. She received TTD compensation until November 19, 2009, when her doctor released her to return to work with restrictions. Relator returned to work on November 20 and performed light-duty work at a table in the front of the store. She attempted to call off work on the morning of November 21. She was told that she would have to speak to Phillip Moody directly, and she refused to do so. She began work at 10:00 a.m. that morning and left without speaking with anyone at 3:07 p.m. Her shift was to end at 4:00 p.m. Relator's employer, Hirri Foods, Inc. ("employer"), terminated relator for violating its internal rule against leaving a job without permission.

{¶4} Thereafter, relator applied for TTD compensation beginning January 13, 2010. A district hearing officer found that relator had abandoned her employment voluntarily and denied the application. A staff hearing officer affirmed. The magistrate concluded that the commission erred by not determining whether relator was ill when she left work and, if so, whether she needed to leave work quickly and without a supervisor's permission. Accordingly, the magistrate recommended that this court grant a writ ordering the commission to vacate its prior order and to enter a new order that determines the question of voluntary abandonment.

{¶5} The commission and the employer submitted objections to the magistrate's decision. Together, the objections contended that the magistrate erred in the following ways: (1) by finding that the employer had not met its burden to show that relator abandoned her employment voluntarily; (2) by finding that the commission had not determined whether relator violated a work rule; (3) by finding that the employer's rule was unreasonable; and (4) by undertaking an analysis that went beyond determining whether some evidence supported the commission's order. We address these objections together.

{¶6} It is well-established that a claimant is not entitled to TTD compensation if she abandoned her employment voluntarily. State ex rel. Louisiana-Pacific Corp. v. Indus. Comm., 72 Ohio St.3d 401, 402, 1995-Ohio-153, citing State ex rel. Rockwell Internatl. v. Indus. Comm. (1988), 40 Ohio St.3d 44, 46. In determining whether a claimant's termination constitutes a voluntary abandonment for these purposes, we consider whether the claimant violated a written work rule that (1) defined the prohibited conduct clearly, (2) the employer had identified previously as a dischargeable offense, and (3) was known to, or should have been known to, the claimant. Louisiana-Pacific at 403.

{¶7} Here, relator signed an employee handbook that identified "SERIOUS OFFENSES," i.e., infractions that "are extremely serious and due to their severity, the employee will usually be subject to immediate dismissal." Those offenses include the following: "Leaving job without permission."

{¶8} The undisputed evidence before the commission established that, on November 20, 2009, at 3:07 p.m., relator left her job without permission. By signing the employee handbook, relator became aware of the serious offenses for which she could be terminated, including the offense of leaving her job without permission. The handbook defined the offense clearly. Therefore, there was some evidence before the commission to support its conclusion that relator abandoned her employment voluntarily, and the commission did not abuse its discretion by denying relator's application for TTD compensation.

{¶9} Importantly, there is no evidence that relator's departure from her work station on November 20, or her subsequent termination, had anything to do with her work-related injuries. The magistrate's analysis of whether the employer's rule was reasonable under the circumstances was unnecessary.

{¶10} For all these reasons, we sustain the objections of the commission and the employer. We adopt the magistrate's findings of fact, but we reject the magistrate's conclusions of law. Accordingly, we deny the requested writ.

Objections sustained;

writ of mandamus denied.

KLATT and DORRIAN, JJ., concur.

A P P E N D I X

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO TENTH APPELLATE DISTRICT

State of Ohio ex rel. Barbara Sanderson, Relator, v. The Industrial Commission of Ohio and : Hirri Foods, Inc., Respondents.

(REGULAR CALENDAR)

: No. 10AP-771

MAGISTRATE ' S DECISION Rendered on April 21, 2011

Daniel L. Shapiro and Leah P. VanderKaay, for relator. Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Gerald H. Waterman, for respondent Industrial Commission of Ohio. Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter LPA, and Cathryn R. Ensign, for respondent Hirri Foods, Inc.

IN MANDAMUS

{ΒΆ11} In this original action, relator, Barbara Sanderson, requests a writ of mandamus ordering respondent Industrial Commission of Ohio ("commission") to vacate its order denying her temporary total disability ("TTD") compensation beginning January 29, 2010 on ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.