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Gibson v. Mississippi Dept. of Employment Sec.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 21, 2014

Maxine GIBSON, Appellant
v.
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, Appellee.

Maxine Gibson, pro se.

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

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

GRIFFIS, P.J.

¶ 1. Maxine Gibson appeals an unemployment-compensation-benefits decision. We find no error and affirm.

FACTS

¶ 2. Gibson began her employment with Comcast Cablevision on February 22, 2010. Her position was a customer-account executive. She was terminated on October 21, 2011, due to excessive tardiness in violation of Comcast's attendance policy and a

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failure to take reasonable steps to improve her attendance at work.

¶ 3. Comcast established a no-fault attendance policy that is based on the number of tardies. If an employee received four tardies within a six-month time period, the employee is encouraged to improve her attendance. If there is a fifth tardy, the employee is subject to a verbal warning about the violation of the tardiness policy. The employee receives a written warning after the seventh tardy. At the ninth tardy, the employee receives yet another verbal warning. If the employee receives ten tardies, the employee is subject to termination. Once an employee is in the progressive disciplinary process, meaning after the first four tardies received within the six-month period, the last warning stays active for six months. During that time, if there is another occurrence, the next step in the disciplinary process is taken.

¶ 4. Gibson received a copy of the employee handbook, which contained the no-fault attendance policy, during her orientation. Gibson received eight tardies before she was issued a final warning on August 29, 2011. She was informed that any further incident of tardiness would result in her termination.

¶ 5. Thereafter, Gibson was tardy on October 2, 11, 12, and 14, 2011. On October 21, 2011, Gibson was terminated.

¶ 6. Gibson filed for unemployment benefits with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (" MDES" ). During her hearing, Gibson admitted that she was fired after receiving multiple tardies after a final warning regarding termination because of her eight previous tardies. Gibson also admitted she was aware of Comcast's no-fault attendance policy in the employee handbook. Gibson claimed that she violated the attendance policy because of the failure of the computer equipment. Because the computer equipment was faulty, Gibson argued, she was unable to log-in on time to report to work. She claimed she was unable to report the computer problems to her supervisor, because her supervisor was not present. In response, Comcast presented testimony that the supervisor was present and on call, and the computer equipment was checked after Gibson's complaint. The equipment was found to be working properly.

¶ 7. After the hearing, the MDES claims examiner found that Gibson was discharged due to the misconduct of her excessive tardiness in violation of Comcast's attendance policy. As a result, Gibson was determined to be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits. The claims examiner's decision was affirmed by the MDES administrative law judge (" ALJ" ).

¶ 8. Gibson appealed to the MDES Board of Review. The Board affirmed the ALJ's decision. Gibson then appealed to the Circuit Court of Hinds County. The circuit court affirmed the Board's ...


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