The First District concludes that, when presented with conflicting evidence, the Review Commission's decision awarding benefits should not be disturbed, affirming that, "the fact that reasonable minds might reach different conclusions is not basis for the reversal of the [hearing officer's] decision."
March 23, 2016
Byrd was employed as a teacher's aide, which required cleaning of her assigned room. The Employer terminated her for failing to complete this cleaning. She was initially allowed benefits, denied when the employer appealed, and then ultimately awarded benefits after an hearing with the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission.
During the hearing Byrd presented testimony that she did the cleaning that was required by her employer. The Employer did not attend the hearing but did submit affidavits that claimed Byrd failed to clean the room and had been given warnings in the past. The Hearing Officer's decision explained that, Byrd "had testified credibly that she always completed every item on her cleaning checklist before leaving the classroom at the end of the day."
After the 1st District reviewed that it could reverse the Commission's decision only if it concluded that it was unlawful, unreasonable, or against the manifest weight of the evidence, it reasoned that, "the hearing officer, when confronted with a conflict between the testimony provided by Byrd and the affidavits and warnings submitted by RLB, chose to believe Byrd's testimony that she had done all that was required of her. It is quite possible that another hearing officer may have seen it differently, but 'the fact that reasonable minds might reach different conclusions is not basis for the reversal of the [hearing officer's] decision.'" As a result, the 1st District ruled in favor of Byrd.
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