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Bonin v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 13, 2014

GEORGE T. BONIN, Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
REVIEW BOARD OF THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, Appellee-Respondent

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 DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. Steven F. Bier, Chairperson. Cause No. 13-R-00821.

GEORGE T. BONIN, APPELLANT, Pro se, South Bend, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, KRISTIN GARN, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

BAKER, Judge. NAJAM, J., concurs, and CRONE, J., concurs in result.

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION -- NOT FOR PUBLICATION

BAKER, Judge

Appellant-petitioner George Bonin appeals appellee-respondent Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development's (Review Board) decision to deny him unemployment. More particularly, Bonin argues tat he left his employment with Ryder Integrated Logistics (Ryder) when his night shift schedule caused him fatigue and he was concerned for the safety of others; Bonin maintains that, under these circumstances, he should receive unemployment benefits. We conclude that the Review Board was correct in determining that Bonin left employment without good cause as defined in Indiana Code section 22-4-15-1. Therefore, we affirm the Review Board's determination that Bonin was ineligible for unemployment benefits.

FACTS

Bonin began working for Ryder on August 27, 2012. He accepted full-time employment with Ryder as a truck driver with the understanding that his shift would begin between 10:00 p.m. and midnight and end between 10:00 a.m. and noon. Bonin was employed by Ryder until September 11, 2012, when he severed the employment relationship. Bonin told his supervisor that he could not sleep in the afternoons and that he did not feel safe driving the night shift.

On November 8, 2012, a claims deputy from the Department of Workforce Development determined that Bonin was eligible for unemployment benefits because he was involuntarily employed due to a physical disability. The deputy further determined that Bonin had made reasonable efforts to maintain his job because the " medical condition was verified to the employer." Appellee's App. p. 2. On November 19, 2012, Ryder filed an appeal from the determination of eligibility, and, on February 18, 2013, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held a hearing on Bonin's unemployment claim. At the hearing, Bonin testified that he quit working for Ryder because he was unable to adjust his sleeping habits to the night shift and felt unsafe driving at night. He also testified that he had called his doctor and spoken with him over the phone about possible solutions to his inability to sleep. His doctor suggested over-the-counter sleep aids and offered to discuss prescription sleep aids, but Bonin did not make an appointment.

The ALJ issued findings of fact and conclusions of law. The ALJ found as fact that 1) Bonin had known that he would be driving at nighttime when he accepted employment with Ryder; 2) Bonin had consulted his physician by phone and expressed concern over the safety of driving at night while deprived of sleep, but he had not met with his physician to further explore his options; and 3) Bonin had voluntarily left employment. The ALJ also made several conclusions of law including 1) Bonin was not diagnosed with a medical condition and did not have a medically substantiated disability; 2) Bonin did not show that a reasonably prudent person would terminate employment under the same or similar working conditions when he took a position understanding that he would work over night and worked only ten days; and 3) Bonin voluntarily left employment without good cause in connection with work.

Bonin filed an appeal with the Review Board. On March 13, 2013, the Review Board issued its determination affirming the ...


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