Byrd v. Administrator
An employee of an ambulance company may engage in "willful misconduct," if the employee allegedly leaves a frail, elderly patient in a hallway, unattended, in violation of the employer's policy. Allegedly, the plaintiff, Kenneth Byrd, transported an elderly client who used a wheelchair to a doctor's office and left her in the hallway, unattended. Byrd's employer, American Medical Response, discharged Byrd, and he applied for unemployment benefits. The administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act granted Byrd's request for unemployment benefits. The employer appealed, and the appeals referee concluded that Byrd knowingly violated the employer's policies. The appeals referee reversed and denied Byrd's request for benefits. The Employment Security Appeals Division Board of Review concluded that Byrd engaged in "willful conduct," and it affirmed. "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." The Board of Review's decision was not arbitrary, illegal or an abuse of discretion, and the court affirmed.