APPEAL FROM A DECISION OF THE REVIEW BOARD OF THE INDIANA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DIVISION, Cause No. (86-A-5875)86-R-2161.
Staton, J., Conover, J., and Neal, J., Concur.
Walter L. VanCleave appeals the decision of the Review Board of the Indiana Employment Security Division (Review Board) reversing the appeals referee and denying him unemployment benefits. This appeal raises three issues which we consolidate and restate as:
1) Whether the finding of the Review Board that VanCleave violated a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule is contrary to law and to the evidence.[Footnote 1]
2) Whether the finding of the Review Board that VanCleave breached a duty owed to his employer is contrary to law and to the evidence.
VanCleave was employed by the Indianapolis Water Company (IWC) from August, 1977 to February, 1986, when he was discharged for substandard work performance. The relevant portions of the Review Board's findings are as follows:
For six years prior to his discharge, Van Cleave was a Customer Serviceman or performed job duties essentially the same as a Customer Serviceman. (R. 136.) Van Cleave's job duties included executing turn-on and turn-off service orders and performing paperwork and other duties to document service provided to IWC's customers; informing the Company of the status of water service required for any account (Emp. Exs. 2, 3, R. 16, 19-21.) The completion of paperwork was a particularly important function of his job, and he was reminded of that fact frequently during his employment. (Emp. Ex. 3; R. 19-20, 25, 173-74.)
Van Cleave knew and understood the requirements of performing his job as a Customer Serviceman. He reviewed his Job Analysis when he bid into the position, and a copy of it was available to him through his Union. (Emp. Ex. 2; 19-20, 57, 174, 177, 179.) During his employment at IWC, Van Cleave received extensive training in the performance of his job duties. He received at least 210 days of formalized training (R. 138-39, 177-78, 180), and he was given additional instruction and guidance by supervisory personnel in the normal course of his employment. (R. 58, 173-74.) Additionally, whenever he was disciplined for poor job performance, he received an explanation and further guidance in this duties and in the standard of performance expected of him by both IWC officials and his Union representatives. (R. 165.) If he had a question about his job duties or IWC procedures, he would speak with his Assistant Supervisor. (R.146.)
Van Cleave never indicated to the Company or the Union that he did not know or understand the requirements of his job, and although he had ample opportunity to seek additional explanation, instruction or training in his job duties, he never requested it. (R. 145, 174, 174A, 178.)
Despite Van Cleave's knowledge and understanding of his job duties and the standard of performance expected of him, he persistently made mistakes and displayed an intentional disregard of his obligations to IWC. In the last two years of his employment at IWC, Van Cleave regularly violated IWC's rule against substandard work performance. (Emp. Ex. 5; R. 34-35.)
Van Cleave received a written warning on August 9, 1984, for at least seven instances of substandard work performance. (Empl. Ex. 10: R.50-51.) These included failure to complete an order (R. 51); failure to follow procedures for checking his truck before going out into the field (R. 50); failure to timely turn in monies collected for paid orders (R. 50); falsifying records by marking turnoff orders as complete without ever turning off the water (R. 50); improper marking of his paperwork by failing to mark "no charge" on several computer order cards which resulted in customers being improperly billed: [sic] and failure to restore water service to a customer (R. 50); and failure to adhere to the Company's turn-off procedures despite specific warnings from his supervisor (R. 51).
Despite the August 9, 1984, warning, Van Cleave continued to perform substantial [sic] work. On September 28, 1984, he received a three-day suspension for falsifying company records by marking as complete seven orders ...