OF JUDGMENT: 04/24/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON. DAL
WILLIAMSON TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: KHLOE CONNER (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ALBERT B. WHITE
IRVING, P.J., GREENLEE AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security's Board
of Review (Board) affirmed the denial of unemployment
benefits following Khloe Conner's termination from Dollar
General. Conner appealed to the Circuit Court of the Second
Judicial District of Jones County, which affirmed the
Board's decision. Finding no error, we affirm the circuit
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On May 15, 2015, Conner began working at Dollar General as a
lead sales associate. On September 30, 2016, Conner was
terminated, in accordance with the company's
workplace-violence policy, because she engaged in a physical
altercation with a customer, during which she cut the
customer with a box-cutter.
After her termination, Conner sought unemployment benefits,
and a claims examiner investigated the reasons for her
termination. Ultimately, the claims examiner denied Conner
unemployment benefits finding that Conner was discharged from
work for misconduct connected with her employment and was
therefore disqualified from receiving benefits. Conner
appealed the denial of her claim to an administrative-law
judge (ALJ), who conducted a telephonic hearing.
During the hearing on Conner's appeal, Curtis Swires, the
Dollar General store manager, testified that Conner was
discharged from her job as a lead sales associate because she
violated Dollar General's workplace-violence policy. He
testified that Conner was aware of this policy and explained
the policy indicated that Dollar General would not ignore,
condone, or tolerate any disruptive, threatening, or violent
behavior by any Dollar General employee, and such behavior
could lead to termination.
Swires testified that on the day of the incident, Conner and
a customer got into a verbal altercation after the customer
asked for one of her items to be bagged. Following the verbal
altercation, Swires testified that the customer told Conner
she would be waiting on her outside and that Conner replied,
"You don't have to. I'm on break. I will be
right outside." Swires testified that he ordered Conner
not to immediately go outside but wait five minutes for the
customer to leave. However, Swires claimed that she ignored
his order, and she waited only a minute and a half before
going outside. Swires testified that about thirty seconds
after Conner went outside he heard a "commotion"
and went outside to investigate. Once outside, Swires claimed
he witnessed Conner swinging at the customer and observed the
customer bleeding from several areas of her body. The
customer advised Swires that Conner had cut her with a
Next, Conner testified on her own behalf. She admitted that
she had a verbal altercation with a customer, but denied that
Swires told her to wait five minutes before going outside.
She also testified that she went outside not knowing the
customer was waiting on her and was attacked. She testified
that she acted in self-defense and felt there was no other
alternative to escape, so she picked up a box-cutter that was
in her possession and cut the customer several times.
After concluding the hearing, the ALJ affirmed the claims
examiner's denial of benefits, finding that Conner's
conduct violated Dollar General's workplace-violence
policy and rose to the level of misconduct. Conner, still
aggrieved, sought review from the ...