Hydock v. Unemployment Compensation Administrator
"Willful misconduct" is defined as a single knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule or policy of the employer, when reasonably applied, provided such violation is not a result of the employee's incompetence. Allegedly, the plaintiff employee, David Hydock, certified that he inspected an aircraft engine seal, and his employer, H&B Tool & Engineering Co., found that the part did not meet requirements and concluded that Hydock failed to inspect properly. In September 2010, H&B Tool discharged Hydock, who requested unemployment benefits. The administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act found that Hydock engaged in "willful misconduct" and was not eligible for benefits. The appeals referee reversed and concluded that Hydock was eligible. The Board of Review of the Employment Security Appeals Division reversed the decision of the appeals referee. Hydock appealed to Superior Court and argued that he made a mistake as a result of absent mindedness or lack of 20/20 vision, as opposed to as a result of "willful misconduct." Substantial evidence in the record indicated that Hydock engaged in a knowing violation of his employer's rules. Allegedly, Hydock's supervisor concluded that Hydock did not take enough time to certify the aircraft engine seal and proceeded to examine that part and other parts that Hydock previously had inspected. The Board of Review's decision that Hydock allegedly ignored his employer's rules, created safety hazards and exposed the employer to significant legal responsibility was not arbitrary, illegal or an abuse of discretion. The court dismissed the plaintiff's appeal.