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Thompson v. Mississippi Dept. of Employment Sec.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 14, 2014

Nicholas THOMPSON, Appellant
v.
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, Appellee.

Nicholas Thompson, appellant, pro se.

Page 175

Albert B. White, Madison, Leanne Franklin Brady, attorneys for appellee.

Before GRIFFIS, P.J., ROBERTS and FAIR, JJ.

FAIR, J.

¶ 1. Nicholas Thompson was employed by a staffing agency, Real Time Staffing Services Inc.[1] He was placed as a laborer at a company called Chromcraft. Thompson left that job because he wanted permanent employment. His application for unemployment benefits was denied by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security's claims examiner. The denial was affirmed by the MDES administrative law judge (ALJ), the MDES Board of Review, and the circuit court. We also affirm.

FACTS

¶ 2. At the ALJ's hearing, Thompson testified he had worked at Chromcraft for about nine months. He said he had applied for " full-time" employment with Chromcraft but was told they did not have a position available.[2] The company was partially closed for the Fourth of July holiday, and Thompson was not offered work during the week of the holiday. Thompson decided to leave the Chromcraft position at that time, and he began working with the staffing agency to place him with another employer that might hire him permanently or " full-time." He did not return to Chromcraft after the holiday. Thompson was shortly thereafter placed with another company, but that lasted only about three weeks.

¶ 3. Real Time's representative, Amanda Taylor, largely agreed with Thompson's account, except that she testified Thompson quit his assignment to Chromcraft without notice. Real Time considered this to be a " voluntarily quit," but later rehired him for another assignment. Thompson quit that one too, only two weeks after placement, again without notice.

¶ 4. MDES determined Thompson had voluntarily quit without good cause, and denied him unemployment benefits for that reason.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶ 5. " The scope of review in an unemployment-compensation case is limited. Absent fraud, the findings of fact of the Board of Review are conclusive if supported by substantial evidence." Brown v. Miss. Dep't of Emp't Sec., 29 So.3d 766, 769 (¶ 7) (Miss.2010) (citation omitted). " A rebuttable presumption exists in favor of the administrative agency, and the challenging party has the burden of proving otherwise." Sprouse v. Miss. Emp't Sec. Comm'n, 639 So.2d 901, 902 (Miss.1994).

DISCUSSION

¶ 6. At issue is Thompson's claim for unemployment benefits stemming from his separation from Real Time after quitting Chromcraft. Neither party contends his subsequent rehiring and separation are relevant to this appeal.

¶ 7. The ALJ and the Board of Review found that Thompson had voluntarily quit his employment without good cause. Under Mississippi law, a worker is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits if he left work voluntarily ...


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