Yeming Li v. Precision Electric, Inc.

Decision Date24 February 1994
Docket Number65791,94-LW-4128
PartiesYEMING LI, Plaintiff-Appellant v. PRECISION ELECTRIC, INC., ET AL., Defendants-Appellees
CourtOhio Court of Appeals

CIVIL APPEAL FROM THE COMMON PLEAS COURT CASE NO. CV-215938.

For Plaintiff-Appellant: ERIC P. ALLEN (#0041 477), SHAPIRO KENDIS & ASSOC. CO., L.P.A., Rockefeller Building, 15th Floor, 614 Superior Avenue, West, Cleveland, OH 44113-1398.

For Defendant-Appellees: LEE FISHER, Attorney General of Ohio BY: CHARLETT BUNDY (#0651842), Assistant Attorney General, 12th Floor, State Office Building, 615 West Superior Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113-1899.

OPINION

PER CURIAM

Plaintiff-appellant Yeming Li ("appellant") appeals the trial court's affirmance of the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review denying appellant's claim.

Appellant assigns the following errors for review:

I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE DECISION OF THE BOARD OF REVIEW, THAT APPELLANT WAS DISCHARGED FOR JUST CAUSE, WAS SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE.
II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY (l) FAILING TO RULE ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE RAISED BY APPELLANT AND (2) BY FAILING TO HOLD THAT APPELLANT DID NOT RECEIVE A FAIR HEARING IN VIOLATION OF HIS DUE PROCESS RIGHTS.

Finding none of the assignments of error to have merit, we affirm.

I.

Appellant was terminated from Precision Electric, Inc. where he had been employed as an estimator from May 1, 1989 to December 12, 1990. Appellant was denied unemployment benefits as the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services determined he was discharged for just cause. Appellant requested reconsideration of this decision which was affirmed.

Appellant appealed to the Board of Review which held an evidentiary hearing before a referee. Precision Electric's controller and president testified that appellant was repeatedly tardy and left work early, especially during August of 1990 when he did not have an automobile. Appellant was often away from his work station.

Appellant appeared pro se and stated he had permission during August to arrive late and leave early to accommodate his need to use public transportation. He averred his duties required him often to be in the warehouse away from his desk.

The Board of Review upheld the denial of unemployment benefits. That determination was affirmed by the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

II.

In his first assignment of error, appellant contends the decision of the trial court upholding the determination he was discharged for just cause was error as the finding was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Appellant argues he refuted the reasons advanced for his termination. He avers he had permission to be tardy and leave early to enable him to take the bus. Appellant buttresses this argument by pointing out he was not fired until over four months after the period of tardiness. Appellant argued company records show he only missed three to four days of work in 1990. He was permitted three paid sick days according to company policy. He also maintains he was away from his office because he had to be in the warehouse to complete his duties.

An order of the court of common pleas, based upon a determination of the manifest weight of the evidence on appeal from the board of review, can be reversed only upon a showing that the court abused its discretion. Angelkovski v. Buckeye Potato Chips Co. (1983), 11 Ohio App.3d 159. The issue is whether the board's final decision is supported by some evidence in the record. The fact that reasonable minds might reach different conclusions is not a basis for the reversal of the court's decision. Irvine v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review (1985), 19 Ohio St.3d 15.

Both the Controller and the President of Precision Electric testified appellant's tardiness and absenteeism exceeded what was acceptable at the company. Both had spoken to appellant on numerous occasions regarding the problem. The president stated appellant took an overly long time in purchasing an automobile despite the president's urging appellant to quickly resolve the problem. Both denied appellants we required to be away from his desk but instead would have to be sought out in the warehouse. Both stated appellant wasted time at work by reading magazines and Chinese newspapers.

Just cause is "that kind of conduct which an ordinary intelligent person would regard as a justifiable reason for discharging an employee. The conduct need not rise to the statute of misconduct, but there must be some fault on the part of the employee." Angelkovski, supra, at 162. (Citations omitted.) It has been held that tardiness is sufficient reason to constitute just cause as it exhibits a disregard for the employer's best interest. Kiikka v. Emp. Services (1985), 21 Ohio App.3d 168. Chronic absenteeism also has been held to be just cause. Metal Powder Prod. v. Ohio Bur. Emp. Serv. (1990), 69 Ohio App.3d 785.

A review of the record shows there was sufficient evidence presented for the board of review to have affirmed the decision that appellant was fired for just cause. There was evidence of tardiness,...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT