The 8th District holds that the CMHA lacked sufficient evidence to terminate an employee with just cause for taking an application envelope out of an office, when it could not should which envelope the employee took out of the office.
June 16, 2016
A CMHA resident turned in an application that was placed on Site Manager Pamela Harvey's desk in an envelope. Reeves was on a leave of absence at the CMHA and needed more medical slips. Harvey claimed that she asked Reeves to pick up the application for her. The application was never found and CMHA believed Reeves had taken it after reviewing video of him leaving the office with an envelope. Reeves claimed that he picked up an envelope with medical slips related to his leave but not the application.
Although initially denied unemployment compensation by ODJFS, the Review Commission held a hearing and reversed the denials. The Hearing Officer relied on Reeves' sworn testimony that he did not take the envelope and the fact that CMHA did not submit the video into evidence.
CMHA appealed the decision and another hearing was held during which the video was submitted. The Review Commission affirmed that Reeves was eligible for benefits because it could not determine which envelope the video showed him taking out of the office and, "The employer did not present reliable, substantial and probative evidence to support a finding that claimant in fact took the envelope in question."
CMHA then appealed to the Common Pleas Court, which affirmed the Review Commission's Decision, and then to the 8th District Court, which again affirmed the Review Commission's decision by holding, "the Review Commission's decision was not unlawful, unreasonable, or against the manifest weight of the evidence, because the record supports the Review Commission's decision that Reeves was terminated without just cause."