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Sandra L. Simenson v. Wells Fargo Bank Na

April 22, 2013

SANDRA L. SIMENSON, RELATOR,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK NA, RESPONDENT, DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, RESPONDENT.



Department of Employment and Economic Development File No. 29488042-3

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kirk, Judge

This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2012).

Affirmed

Considered and decided by Kirk, Presiding Judge; Johnson, Chief Judge; and Stoneburner, Judge.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

KIRK, Judge

Relator challenges the determination of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged for misconduct. We affirm.

FACTS

Relator Sandra L. Simenson worked as a loan-document specialist at respondent Wells Fargo Bank NA from August 21, 1989, until March 14, 2012. Before 2010, Simenson had flexible work hours and unrestricted access to her office. However, in 2010, Wells Fargo altered Simenson's work schedule and no longer allowed her to have the same flexibility. Simenson had a difficult time adjusting to her new schedule. According to Wells Fargo's policy, nonexempt employees must accurately and honestly report the time they work in an online time-management system and receive approval from a manager before working overtime. Under federal law, Wells Fargo is required to pay nonexempt employees for overtime work. Simenson acknowledged that she was aware of these policies and had reviewed the employee handbook.

In September 2010, Simenson's manager noticed that Simenson had inaccurately reported the hours she worked in Wells Fargo's time-management system. On September 16, Simenson reported that she left work at 6:00 p.m., but she sent a work-related email at 7:06 p.m. On September 17, Simenson reported that she left work at 6:00 p.m., but she modified several records later that night, with the latest modification occurring at 9:46 p.m. When her manager confronted her, Simenson admitted that she worked until 7:15 p.m. on September 16 and until 10:00 p.m. on September 17. Simenson's manager issued a formal written warning to Simenson, adjusted her hours to require her to leave the office at 5:00 p.m. unless she received approval for overtime, and instructed her that she was not permitted to work past 6:30 p.m. under any circumstances.

In June 2011, Simenson's manager noticed discrepancies on six occasions in April and June between the hours Simenson reported that she worked and the timestamps on documents that she had modified. When confronted, Simenson admitted that she had worked more hours than she reported. Simenson's manager reaffirmed to Simenson that she could not work later than 5:00 p.m. without permission, and that she was required to accurately report her time on a daily basis. Simenson's manager also adjusted her hours in the time-management system to ensure Simenson was paid for the time she actually worked. In December, Simenson received a written warning for attendance issues and failure to meet performance expectations.

In March 2012, Simenson's manager again discovered discrepancies between the hours Simenson reported and the timestamps on documents she modified on four occasions during January, February, and March. Simenson admitted that she worked more hours than she reported on those four occasions. Simenson's manager had Simenson adjust the hours she reported in the time-management system so that she was compensated for the time she actually worked. On March 14, Wells Fargo discharged Simenson.

Simenson applied for unemployment benefits and respondent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development determined that she was ineligible for benefits. Simenson appealed the determination. After an evidentiary hearing, the ULJ determined that Simenson was ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged for employment ...


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