Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


Register Guard v. Employment Dept.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 01-25-2012
Case #: A143222
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Armstrong, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A143222.pdf

Employment Law: Decisions to affirm or reverse an Administrative Law Judge's decision to grant or deny unemployment benefits must be supported by substantial evidence.

An ALJ sitting for the Employment Department issued an order that claimant, a former employee of Register Guard, was entitled to unemployment benefits. Register-Guard appealed the order to the Employment Appeals Board (EAB) on the premise that claimant was an independent contractor and that he was fired for misconduct, thus disqualifying him for unemployment benefits. The EAB affirmed the ALJ's order and Register Guard sought judicial review on the same grounds. After each party filed its, EAB withdrew its original order and filed a revised order that focused on claimant’s discharge for misconduct. Register Guard responded that EAB’s findings were not supported by substantial evidence, as required by law. On review, the Court of Appeals held that, although the EAB addressed the issue of misconduct, it failed to provide substantial evidence disputing Register Guard’s contention that claimant was an independent contractor when it affirmed the ALJ’s decision. Reversed and remanded.