Pascale v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act
A worker who allegedly completes a time sheet incorrectly engages in willful misconduct and may not be entitled to unemployment benefits, even if the worker was using anxiety medicine. On July 26, 2011, the plaintiff mason, Marco Pascale, allegedly filed a time sheet that indicated that he worked a full day, although he had taken four hours that day to visit the New Haven courthouse on a personal matter between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pascale's employer, Yale University, reviewed a GPS report, discovered that Pascale's motor vehicle had visited the courthouse, and discharged Pascale, for allegedly falsifying his time sheet. Pascale filed for unemployment benefits. The administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act found that Pascale engaged in willful misconduct and denied his request for benefits. Pascale appealed and claimed that he forgot to omit the time that he was away from work, because he had taken a Xanax pill for anxiety before court. There was no evidence that Pascale was unable to complete his time sheet correctly, and the appeals referee affirmed. Pascale appealed, and the Employee Security Appeals Division Board of Review affirmed. The board denied Pascale's motion to reopen, because it was not filed timely. The board's decision was not arbitrary, illegal or an abuse of discretion. Pascale filed a time sheet that indicated that he worked a full day at a specific job. His medical records failed to establish a connection between his medical conditions, use of Xanax for anxiety and the omission on Pascale's time sheet. The board concluded that Pascale failed to offer a plausible explanation for his failure to record his time accurately. "[H]e did not have permission to state that he had been working at a particular site for the four hour period from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.," wrote the court, "when, in fact, he was not at the site but rather attending a court appearance." The record supported the board's conclusion that Pascale engaged in willful misconduct, and the court dismissed Pascale's appeal.