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a policy violation where I forgot to do a duty of my job several times

by Anonymous

I was an assistant manager of a bank branch. My job duties were somewhere between manager and teller and often did aspects of both of their jobs. After two and a half years of doing this job well, I made three policy violations within one months of one another. The reasons for them, though valid, are unrelated to the job (sleep deprived from recent twins being born).

Details: A few times a week I will occasionally do teller work. Because it is just during times of high traffic in the bank, I am not often at my teller drawer. Three times, I absentmindedly left my money in the teller drawer instead of locking it in the vault as I was supposed to do. The manager, performing her closing duties, caught the mistake twice. The first instance, I was the closing manager and did not notice I had left my money out and it remained unsecured the entire night. The teller handbook, that I signed that I had read, stated that I would secure my money nightly.

After the first incident, I received a verbal warning. After the second, I received a written warning stating I could possibly be suspended or fired if it happened again. ON the third offense, roughly one month after the first, I was terminated.
As part of the management team, we did not always write people up for leaving their drawer out, especially if the closing manager caught the problem. I was reprimanded for each occurrence, even though the money was secured the last two instances by the manager.

I filed for unemployment and was denied in Indiana because of IC 22-4-15-1(d)(2) which requires proof that the employee (a) knowingly violated a (b) reasonable rule of the employer which was (c) uniformly enforced. To have ?knowingly? violated an employer?s rule, the employee (1) must know of the rule and (2) know his conduct violated the rule. I appealed and argued that (1) I did not knowingly violate the rule, as there was no willfulness in my inaction, and (2) provided a witness that had failed to put up her drawer and was not written up for the same infraction. My appeal was denied, but the judge did not actually address IC 22-4-15-1(d)(2) in his ruling. He instead referenced IC 22-4-15-1(d)(8) which says I was in "breach of duty in connection with work which is reasonably owed an employer by an employee." He also stated in his ruling that my witness, being a teller, was not in the same class of employee as myself and thus did not deserve an equal punishment, though she received none at all. There is only one cash handling policy at this bank, there is not a separate one for management and tellers.

I am about to appeal to the review board but I don't know if I can get unemployment or even what Indiana code to address as the judge did not address the necessary burden of proof the employer was supposed to present under IC 22-4-15-1(d)(2). Instead he argued that it was just a breach of duty under an entirely different subsection. Is this legal? Do I have a case to appeal the appeal?

Hi Anonymous,

I do not advise anyone to appeal a hearing decision on their own. The appeal you are about to undertake must address a procedural error of the ALJ. These people are given wide discretion and they can sustain, reverse, or amend a decision if they need to. So this ALJ affirmed the adjudicators determination, but amended his decision to show the correct section of law.

The only reason I don't advise anyone to take this on by their self is because .. if you miss a possible reason for the board to reverse or remand the matter .. you're done for.

I think you presented your argument well though. I do see what you're getting at, but you need to provide the reason why this ALJ erred in his decision and it needs to be based on law or statute.

He has basically said that because you were a manager you had a greater responsibility to the employer.

You now need to find something in the statutes that shows he made an error. It's not always obvious. All you have to do to see this is read some board or court decisions. The error could be procedural incorrectly ignoring a section of law. Not giving enough or to little weight to "testimony", faulty reasoning ... etc, but your argument needs to be based on law ..

I'd like to be able to direct you to precedent decisions for Indiana unemployment, but the best I can do is:

Indiana Courts

There's a page that allows you to read decisions, but they are not searchable nor are they even broken out by types of cases.

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May 15, 2009
Request the transcript
by: Chris - webmaster:)

Forgot to tell you .. request the transcript. You need it.

May 15, 2009
one more question
by: Anonymous

The bank got there evidence thrown out of the appeal hearing for not sending it to me. At the time, I thought this was a good thing. During the finding of facts, both sides told the truth and it amounted to the same thing as if the evidence was submitted, or so I thought.

I now believe that the inability of the bank to provide the exact policy I violated as evidence made the judge evaluate the case under different circumstances. Is it possible to have the evidence against me readmitted so that the judge actually focuses on the reason I was told I was fired?


Was this a phone hearing or an in person hearing? Sounds like a phone hearing to me.

Wow, all I've got to say is appeal. It should have made a difference. Did the employer have a special rule for managers that they testified to?

What in his reasoning made him assume you were a "special class of an employee type without policy or rule to show that you were held to a "higher standard" and therefore the one and only policy or rule they had regarding your rule violation could be "selectively uniformly enforced".

If you did not waive any rights which in which had the effect of allowing the documents in .. generally they can not be submitted now. It actually would have been the employer to chose to go forward without the documentation. It was a risk, normally and employer rep would ask for the hearing to be continued so they could get the documents to you. It's would have been a viable point for an appeal to the board, if they lost.

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