Essay on Rodman V. New Mexico Employment Security Department, 764 P.2d 1316 (N.M. 1988)

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Rodman v. New Mexico Employment Security Department, 764 P.2d 1316 (N.M. 1988).

Facts: Ms. Rodman was an employee of Presbyterian Hospital for nearly eight years as a unit secretary. On February 17, 1987, the appellant was terminated under hospital personnel policies following a “third corrective action” notice. Ms. Rodman was reprimanded in June of 1986 in light of receiving an inordinate number of personal calls and visitors at her work station. The formal reprimand set forth conditions to prevent further corrective action. The conditions were as follows: no personal telephone calls during work hours outside of a designated break or dinner time, these are to occur in an area not visible to patients, physicians, or other
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In Mitchell when an employee has not acted with “fault”, he or she has not sacrificed a reasonable expectation in continued financial security such as may be afforded by accrued unemployment compensation benefits. It is therefore possible for an employee to have been properly discharged without having acted willful or wanton disregard for an employer’s interests as would justify denial of benefits. Alonzo v. New Mexico Employment Security Department, 101 N.M. 770, 689 P.2d 286
(1984), stated that even an act of willful disobedience which leads to termination will not always rise to the level of “misconduct” when the act is an isolated incident in an otherwise favorable employment history and the incident does not cause a significant disruption of the employer’s legitimate interests.
Mitchell v. Lovington Good Samaritan Center, Inc., 89 N.M. 575, 555 P.2d 696 (1976), is an example of a time when the courts have been confronted with a series of minor infractions by the employee, where each incident showed a willful