KOEWLER v. DEPT. OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
951 N.E.2d 272 (2011)
Nolan KOEWLER, Appellant,
REVIEW BOARD OF the INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT and Dillards, Inc., Appellees.
Court of Appeals of Indiana.
July 7, 2011.
BAILEY, Judge.Case Summary
Nolan Koewler ("Koewler") appeals the decision of the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development ("the Board"), concluding that Koewler is disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because he was discharged for just cause from the employment of Dillards, Inc. ("Dillards"). Koewler presents the sole issue of whether the decision is contrary to law. We reverse.Facts and Procedural History
On July 4, 2010, Dillards conducted a cookout, offering employees food, including hamburgers and hotdogs, which had been purchased using Dillard's credit card. Dock Manager Mike Marz ("Marz") intended the leftovers to be "saved for Labor Day."1 (Tr. 12.) He told employees "to carry it up and put it in the freezers in the break room for storage" and he "believed" Koewler had heard this instruction. (Tr. 13.) On the following day, Koewler removed two leftover hotdogs from the refrigerator and consumed them.
Marz reviewed a surveillance video and reported to the store manager that Koewler was a suspected hotdog thief. At a meeting with the store manager, Koewler admitted the truth of the allegation. A police officer was summoned, and the store manager advised Koewler that he had a choice: sign a statement that he stole two leftover hotdogs from the Fourth of July independence celebration for employees or spend the night in jail. Koewler signed a statement admitting theft. He was then discharged from his employment.