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Coil v. Review Bd. of the Indiana Dep't of Workforce Development

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 20, 2014

STEPHEN M. COIL, [1] Appellant-Claimant,
v.
REVIEW BOARD OF THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, INTERNATIONAL TRUCK & ENGINE GROUP, TALX UCEXPRESS, INC., Appellee-Employer

Editorial Note:

These opinions are not precedents and cannot be cited or relied upon unless used when establishing res judicata or collateral estoppel or in actions between the same party. Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure 65(D).

APPEAL FROM THE REVIEW BOARD OF THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. The Honorable Steven F. Bier, Chairperson, The Honorable George H. Baker, Member, The Honorable Larry A. Dailey, Member. Case No. 13-R-02656 and 13-R-02657[2].

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ROGER M. MILLER, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR REVIEW BOARD:[3] GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; KYLE HUNTER, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

KIRSCH, Judge. FRIEDLANDER, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION - NOT FOR PUBLICATION

KIRSCH, Judge

Stephen M. Coil (" Coil" ) appeals the decision of the Review Board (the " Board" or " Review Board" ) of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (" Department" ) concluding that Coil was ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits for " the week ending December 22, 2012" through the " week ending March 9, 2013." Coil's Ex . at 80.[4] Specifically, Coil argues that the Review Board erred in determining that a lump sum amount paid to Coil during the week ending March 2, 2013, and made pursuant to an agreement dated February 11, 2013 (" Agreement" ), was " actually severance or dismissal pay" that should be allocated against benefits over a period of weeks instead of just against benefits in the week it was paid.

We reverse and remand.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Coil began employment with employer on July 7, 1998 and separated effective December 16, 2012.[5] Coil worked as a development technologist/UAW Chairman for Local 2911 and earned $29.87 per hour, working eight-hour shifts, and five days per week. Coil and other employees were notified that the plant would close its facility on or about December 16, 2012 and move its operations to Illinois. Local 2911 filed a grievance.[6] On February 11, 2013, the union and the employer entered into an agreement regarding the union grievance. Coil provided a copy of the Agreement, which was made part of the record.[7] Members of the union would be paid based on their seniority. The amounts that were paid ranged from $5,000.00 to Coil's receipt of $12,500.00. Coil received one lump sum payment in the gross amount of $12,500.00 during the week ending March 2, 2013.

Coil filed for unemployment benefits, which were denied by a hearing officer. Coil appealed, contending that the lump-sum payment from his employer should be charged against only the week it was received and not, as the hearing officer found, against multiple weeks of Coil's benefits.[8] Coil's weekly unemployment benefit amount was $390.00. The Administrative Law Judge (" ALJ" ) held a hearing, at which the employer did not appear and only Coil testified.

During the hearing, Coil testified that the $12,500.00 did not represent vacation pay, sick pay, or dismissal pay. Instead, Coil testified that the payment was deductible income pursuant to Indiana Code section 22-4-5-1(a)(10). That section provides that deductible income includes " Awards by the national labor relations board of additional pay, back pay, or for loss of employment, or any such payments made under an agreement entered into by an employer, a union and the National Labor Relations Board." Without contradiction, Coil stated that the " [A]greement was negotiated by the union, with the company, to alleviate the company of any future ...


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