Court: Helpful airport guard can get jobless pay

An airport security guard fired for using a computer to help a traveler seeking flight information can collect unemployment benefits, the Michigan appeals court said Wednesday.
AP Wire
Jul 17, 2014


U.S. Security Associates has opposed jobless aid for Carnice Hodge, saying she was fired for violating company policy in 2011, even if she was trying to help a harried traveler at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

But the appeals court, in a 3-0 decision, said there's no evidence of a "willful and wanton disregard" for the interests of Hodge's employer.

"The fact that (Hodge) merely accessed public flight information, not sensitive information, advances her claim that this was a good-faith error in judgment and not evil design," judges Kurtis Wilder, Peter O'Connell and Patrick Meter said.

A message seeking comment was left for an attorney for U.S. Security.

Hodge's pursuit of unemployment assistance has taken many steps. The state's unemployment insurance agency denied her application for benefits, a decision that was affirmed by an administrative law judge and the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission.

But Wayne County Judge Robert Ziolkowski overturned the commission's decision in 2012. The appeals court agreed with Ziolkowski.

"Ordinary negligence in isolated incidents, or good-faith errors in judgment or discretion, are also not to be deemed misconduct" under state law covering unemployment aid, Ziolkowski said.


Tri-cities realist

Would have been nice if common sense was used, the whole mess could have been avoided, and likely she could have kept her job. But I wonder why they wanted her fired?

Harry Kovaire

She was fired for being helpful, an act of wanton disregard for the mission of the TSA.

Tri-cities realist

You're right, I should have thought of that.


They were desperate to fire her as demonstrated by their lack of judgement and common sense. Look how many times in the work place and religious organizations someone gets caught pilfering, plagiarizing, or just plane ole being lazy. But because they have the gift to gab and ability to schmooze a boss or various school, corporate or church board they keep their jobs. Undercover studies have shown "good looks" does get a person a long way. So the woman in question must have been also "ugly" to management.


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