Before Bridges, C.j., Herring, And Southwick, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j., For The Court:
Curtis v. MS. Emp. Sec. Comm. & City of Hazelhurst, 97-CC-00137, __ So. 2d __
THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-B
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LAMAR PICKARD
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: COPIAH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - STATE BOARDS AND AGENCIES (OTHER THAN WORKERS' COMPENSATION)
TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION:, APPELLANT DISQUALIFIED FROM BENEFITS AFTER TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT DUE TO INSUBORDINATION TO SUPERIORS.
DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 7/14/98
MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:
Robert Curtis was denied unemployment benefits by the Mississippi Employment Security Commission and the Circuit Court of Copiah County after having been terminated by his employer, the City of Hazlehurst, for insubordination. Curtis appeals the denial arguing that his one time refusal to follow an erroneous order of a supervisor does not constitute insubordination amounting to misconduct that would disqualify him for unemployment compensation benefits. We disagree. The Board of Review's decision was supported by substantial evidence and was not arbitrary and capricious. We, therefore, affirm the holding of the circuit court.
Curtis was employed by the City of Hazlehurst as a firefighter for thirteen years, ending June 5, 1996, when he was discharged for insubordination. Curtis was given instructions by Captain Jimmy Harper to supervise a summer youth who was performing maintenance on fire plugs. Curtis refused, and gave Captain Harper a letter asking for a copy of his job duties. The letter also stated that Curtis protested the duties that the captain had assigned him. Curtis testified that Captain Harper asked him a second time to do the job, in the presence of a white female and white male, and he again refused. The Director of Public Safety, Ellis Stuart, was notified, and he met with Curtis and Captain Harper. Stuart testified that he was "not going to start putting job assignments in writing to employees." Stuart testified that Curtis continued to ask that this be put in writing, and he continued to explain to Curtis the reasons why it was not going to be put in writing. Stuart testified that according to their policy and procedure manual, this was an offense that justified termination on the first occurrence. The referee's decision stated that Curtis's act of refusing to perform his work as instructed by Captain Harper and the Director of Public Safety without having a ...