September 14, 2017
On September 12, 2017, the Court of Appeals of the State of Mississippi reversed and rendered the award of unemployment benefits to a terminated employee in Jackson-George Regional Library System v. Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Stacie E. Zorn, a firm director, handled the trial and appeal for the Jackson-George Regional Library System. In the case the firm’s client, Jackson-George Regional Library System, terminated a library employee for violating the library system’s confidentiality policy to “never discuss customers with other employees in public areas” after an employee posted a compromising photo and derogatory comment of a library patron on Facebook. A claims examiner denied the terminated employee unemployment benefits based upon her misconduct and the violation of the library system’s confidentiality policy. The employee appealed the denial to an Administrative Law Judge who reversed the claim’s examiner decision believing the evidence “revealed JGRLS’s confidentiality policy was not uniformly applied” from the employee’s testimony. But that employee’s testimony was not made from the employee’s own personal knowledge and was entirely hearsay. The library system appealed to Jackson County Circuit Court and then to the Mississippi Court of Appeals. The Mississippi Court of Appeals rendered the decision in favor of the library system because the employee committed misconduct by posting the picture and comment on Facebook and failed to prove the confidentiality policy was not uniformly enforced by her conjectured testimony. Congratulations to Ms. Zorn, who advised the library system on its policies and procedures and also enforced them on appeal. Ms. Zorn focuses her practice on employment, wage, and other related issues. For the full story, click here.