Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, No. 15171

CourtSouth Dakota Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSABERS; WUEST; HENDERSON; HENDERSON
Citation393 N.W.2d 87
Decision Date10 September 1986
Docket NumberNo. 15171
PartiesSherry ANDERSON, Claimant and Appellant, v. WESTERN DAKOTA INSURORS, Employer and Appellee.

Page 87

393 N.W.2d 87
Sherry ANDERSON, Claimant and Appellant,
v.
WESTERN DAKOTA INSURORS, Employer and Appellee.
No. 15171.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Sept. 10, 1986.

Michael M. Hickey, Bangs, McCullen, Butler, Foye & Simmons, Rapid City, for claimant and appellant.

Drew Johnson, South Dakota Dept. of Labor, Unemployment Ins. Div., for employer and appellee.

SABERS, Justice.

This is an appeal arising out of a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. The circuit court affirmed the decision of the Secretary of the Department of Labor (Secretary) upholding an appeal referee's determination that claimant was overpaid unemployment insurance benefits. Claimant appeals and we affirm.

Statement of Facts

Appellant Sherry Anderson (Anderson) was employed by the McKinney-Wudel Insurance Agency (McKinney) from March 1981, until it was sold in June of 1984. Anderson's employment at McKinney terminated on June 15, 1984, when the new owners took over. As of that time, she was making $5.50 per hour as a bookkeeper. Anderson, a divorcee with two children, was also supplementing her income during this period by working as a cocktail waitress.

On June 19, 1984, Anderson filed a claim with the South Dakota Department of Labor, Unemployment Insurance Division (Department) for benefits. She received numerous pamphlets setting forth the Department's rules, laws, and policies concerning eligibility to collect unemployment insurance benefits (benefits) and maintaining such eligibility. Anderson also received a written policy statement about job contacts. She was required to make two in-person job contacts per week verified by "Work Search Verification Cards" (cards) which were supplied by the Department. Anderson signed the Department's "Work Search Verification Policy" which states that the cards must be signed by the hiring official or representative of each employer contacted. This policy further states: "If you cannot produce the signed Work Search Verification Cards as proof of your work search in any week(s), you will be held ineligible for benefits for that week(s) and possibly for subsequent weeks."

It is undisputed that Anderson understood all of this information because she passed a written quiz in regard to it. She also discussed the various policies with a claims taker on July 19, 1984. She was also directed by Job Services to apply for

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work and to accept any suitable work offer unless there was good cause for refusal.

Just prior to leaving McKinney, Anderson learned about a job opening with Western Dakota Insurors (Western). Shortly thereafter, she spoke with Western's owner/manager Gary Larson (Larson) about this prospect. Larson told her that the job would be part-time during the training session and full-time by September 1 or 15. Anderson informed him that she needed full-time employment.

At the end of June 1984, Anderson spoke with Larson about the job again. He indicated that there would certainly be a job opening but he was unsure about when the job would become full-time. Although Larson did not quote a dollar figure, he stated that the salary would "probably come close" to what Anderson had been making in the past.

Anderson then heard about another job. According to her testimony, the job was to start in July of 1984, with a salary of $16,000 per annum. Anderson stated that she was recommended for this job, submitted a resume in response thereto, and called about it several times. According to the Department, a card was not submitted by Anderson concerning this employer contact. This job never materialized.

In the meantime, Larson called Anderson with a formal offer to work for Western. He told her to think about it for a few days and then get back in touch with him. Failing to hear from Anderson, Larson called her again to find out if she was going to accept the offer. Anderson then informed Larson that she was waiting for a better paying job. Thereafter, Western hired a third person who started work on August 15, 1984, at $5.63 per hour for a forty-hour week.

Anderson continued to receive benefits until October 30, 1984. An investigation of Anderson's job contacts was commenced by the Department in September of 1984. The Department's investigator, Dana Peep, determined that some of the cards submitted by Anderson were not signed by the employers, but that their names were forged. Anderson admitted forging the signatures and signed a written statement to that effect. She stated, however, that she personally made each job contact even though she signed the cards herself. Some employers indicated that they had talked to her but had not signed the cards, and others 1 said that she did not contact them at all. In addition, none of the weekly claim cards turned in by Anderson from June 23 to September 15, 1984, indicated that she had refused the position at Western.

On October 30, 1984, the Department found that Anderson had refused an offer of suitable work without good cause and had failed to make an active search for employment which rendered her ineligible for benefits. The Department further determined that Anderson had been overpaid in the amount of $1,404, and assessed an administrative penalty against her for that amount.

The Appeal Referee (referee), affirmed the Department's conclusion that Anderson had made job contacts and failed to obtain the appropriate signatures on the cards. The referee further found that Anderson had misrepresented facts to secure or increase benefits by wrongfully signing the employers' signatures on the cards. Secretary and the circuit court affirmed the referee's decision and Anderson appeals to this court.

Issues

The issues are whether the trial court erred in finding that Anderson: 1) failed to make an adequate work search, 2) refused suitable work without good cause, 3) misrepresented information to secure or increase benefits, and 4) was overpaid benefits.

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6 practice notes
  • Permann v. South Dakota Dept. of Labor, Unemployment Ins. Div., No. 15390
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • April 21, 1987
    ...exercise of discretion." Appeal of Templeton, 403 N.W.2d 398, 399 (S.D.1987) (emphasis added); Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, 393 N.W.2d 87, 90 (S.D.1986) (emphasis added); Deuter v. South Dakota Highway Patrol, 330 N.W.2d 533, 538 (S.D.1983). In S.D. Wildlife Federation, we init......
  • McCauley v. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, No. 17250
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • July 9, 1992
    ...of Labor, Unemp. Ins. D., 411 N.W.2d 113 (S.D.1987); Appeal of Templeton, 403 N.W.2d 398 (S.D.1987); Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, 393 N.W.2d 87 (S.D.1986). We will not reverse an agency decision unless we are left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed......
  • Northern States Power Co., Matter of, No. 17793
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • July 29, 1992
    ...of Labor, Unemp. Ins. D., 411 N.W.2d 113 (S.D.1987); Appeal of Templeton, 403 N.W.2d 398 (S.D.1987); Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, 393 N.W.2d 87 (S.D.1986). We will not reverse an agency decision unless we are left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed......
  • Lee v. South Dakota Dept. of Health, No. 15551
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • July 22, 1987
    ...by an abuse of discretion or a clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion. SDCL 1-26-37; Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, 393 N.W.2d 87 (S.D.1986); Application of Northwestern Bell Tel. Co., 382 N.W.2d 413, 415-416 (1986); Raml v. Jenkins Methodist Home, 381 N.W.2d 241, 242-243 (S.D.198......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Permann v. South Dakota Dept. of Labor, Unemployment Ins. Div., No. 15390
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • April 21, 1987
    ...exercise of discretion." Appeal of Templeton, 403 N.W.2d 398, 399 (S.D.1987) (emphasis added); Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, 393 N.W.2d 87, 90 (S.D.1986) (emphasis added); Deuter v. South Dakota Highway Patrol, 330 N.W.2d 533, 538 (S.D.1983). In S.D. Wildlife Federation, we init......
  • McCauley v. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, No. 17250
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • July 9, 1992
    ...of Labor, Unemp. Ins. D., 411 N.W.2d 113 (S.D.1987); Appeal of Templeton, 403 N.W.2d 398 (S.D.1987); Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, 393 N.W.2d 87 (S.D.1986). We will not reverse an agency decision unless we are left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed......
  • Northern States Power Co., Matter of, No. 17793
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • July 29, 1992
    ...of Labor, Unemp. Ins. D., 411 N.W.2d 113 (S.D.1987); Appeal of Templeton, 403 N.W.2d 398 (S.D.1987); Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, 393 N.W.2d 87 (S.D.1986). We will not reverse an agency decision unless we are left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed......
  • Lee v. South Dakota Dept. of Health, No. 15551
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • July 22, 1987
    ...by an abuse of discretion or a clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion. SDCL 1-26-37; Anderson v. Western Dakota Insurors, 393 N.W.2d 87 (S.D.1986); Application of Northwestern Bell Tel. Co., 382 N.W.2d 413, 415-416 (1986); Raml v. Jenkins Methodist Home, 381 N.W.2d 241, 242-243 (S.D.198......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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