Hardwick v. Administrator
Connecticut General Statutes §31-236(a)(2)(B) provides that a worker is not eligible for unemployment benefits, if the worker allegedly engages in larceny of property valued at $25 or more. The law firm of Halloran & Sage discharged the plaintiff, Rodney Hardwick, and Hardwick requested unemployment benefits. The administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act initially granted Hardwick's request for unemployment benefits. Halloran & Sage filed an appeal and objected that Hardwick allegedly took a $50 gift card from the mail room. After the appeals referee reversed, the appeals referee apparently granted Hardwick's motion to open. The Employment Security Board of Review affirmed the decision of the appeals referee that Hardwick was not eligible to receive benefits, because he engaged in "willful misconduct." Willful misconduct is defined as "deliberate misconduct in willful disregard of the employer's interest, or a single knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule or policy of the employer, when reasonably applied," pursuant to C.G.S. §31-236(a). "An individual shall be ineligible for benefits . . . if, in the opinion of the administrator, the individual has been discharged or suspended for felonious conduct, conduct constituting larceny of property or service, the value of which exceeds twenty-five dollars," pursuant to C.G.S. §31-236(a)(2)(B). Hardwick did not file a motion to correct, within 14 days, pursuant to Practice Book §22-4. The Board of Review's decision was not arbitrary, illegal or an abuse of discretion, and the Superior Court dismissed the appeal. "Mr. Hardwick is not eligible for benefits," wrote the court, "because he was discharged for willful misconduct committed in the course of his employment. See, General Statutes §31-236(a)(2)(B)."