NEW ORLEANS – A local supermarket is claiming a worker should not receive unemployment benefits after allegedly walking out on the job and is requesting that a board of review’s decision allowing for the benefits be overturned.

Breaux Mart Supermarkets Inc. filed suit against Michele Doughty and Administrator of the Louisiana Workforce Commission in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Jan. 10.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission disqualified Doughty from unemployment benefits for misconduct connected with her employment, the suit says. Doughty was a full-time deli clerk at Breaux Mart for two years earning $9.50 an hour. Doughty appealed and on Dec. 26, 2013, the appeals tribunal reversed the decision after a telephone hearing. Breaux Mart is seeking review of this decision.

The plaintiff claims that on Oct. 9 and 10, 2013 Doughty called in shortly before her shifts to say she was sick and going to the doctor, but failed to provide a doctor’s excuse. On Oct. 11, Doughty’s shift manager asserts she asked Doughty to acknowledge her unexcused absences which violated Breaux Mart’s Handbook, but she refused to complete the necessary personal action forms. When the manager attempted to counsel Doughty, she refused and clocked out, further violating Breaux Mart’s handbook. Breaux Mart terminated Doughty on the spot, the suit says.

The plaintiff accuses Doughty of insubordination, violating Breaux Mart’s policies, and willfully disregarding Breaux Mart’s interest. The plaintiff claims the judge’s charge that Doughty had already worked her day and clocked out after a superior instructed her to stay is erroneous.

Breaux Mart requests the opportunity to conduct discovery, file motions, participate in motion hearings, and trial, or conduct an oral argument using a transcript of the telephone hearing.

The plaintiff is represented by Natasha Z. Wilson of New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division M Judge Paulette R. Irons.

Case no. 2014-00361.

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