Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Flight Attendant Wins Unemployment Appeal

(CN) - An American Airlines flight attendant who lost her job after a series of mishaps should not have been denied her unemployment benefits, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled.

Lenda Munson was running late for a flight, so she left her car in a no-parking zone so she could sign in on time. A police officer yelled "Hey!" but she didn't stop.

When she returned to her car, the officer was writing her tickets for parking in a no-parking zone and failing to comply with the officer's order.

Munson got into the car and picked up her cell phone to let her manager know that she was getting a ticket, but she wouldn't miss the flight.

The officer testified that after he told Munson to get off the phone and get out of the car, she pushed him with her forearm. He arrested Munson for assault.

American Airlines then fired Munson based on inconsistencies in her story. Airline officials believed she misrepresented that she'd gone home after receiving the tickets, intentionally hiding the fact that she spent the night in jail.

The Division of Employment Security denied Munson's claim for unemployment benefits, and she appealed. The Appeals Tribunal and the Labor and Industrial Relations Commissions both ruled that she was not entitled to unemployment, because she'd been fired for misconduct: leaving her car in the no-parking zone.

Munson argued that the commission's decision wasn't supported by the evidence, as the airline insists it fired her for her dishonesty about the incident.

The appeals court agreed and reversed the commission's decision.

"[T]he commission's finding that Munson was discharged for misconduct because she parked in the no-parking zone is wholly unsupported by the record," Judge Joseph Ellis wrote.

"The commission did not make any findings related to these issues."

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