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Adina v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C

October 29, 2013

ARLEN B. ADINA, Appellant,

Not for Publication -Rule 28, Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure

Appeal from the Appeals Board of the Department of Economic Security of the State of Arizona A.D.E.S. Appeals Board No. U-1323337-BR and U-1331458-BR Administrative Law Judge Louis Deleon Administrative Law Judge Timothy Rollins

Arlen B. Adina, Appellant Phoenix In Propria Persona

Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General Phoenix by Carol A. Salvati, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic Security



¶1 Arlen B. Adina appeals from administrative decisions in two unemployment benefit cases. Adina challenges the Appeals Board's determination that she was discharged as a teller for negligent misconduct and challenges an overpayment determination. Because substantial evidence supports the decisions, the Appeals Board's determinations are affirmed.


¶2 Adina worked for JP Morgan Bank (Employer) as a full-time teller for 12 years. Adina had a good work record until her transfer to the Glendale branch in 2010, about a year before her discharge. Employer apparently began coaching and counseling Adina on errors just a few months after her transfer to the Glendale branch. Adina's discipline and eventual discharge resulted from several specific errors she made in the summer and fall of 2011.

¶3 In June 2011, Adina posted a customer's deposit to the wrong account, causing the customer to incur a fee for insufficient funds and resulting in a customer complaint. In July 2011, Adina told a merchant customer that a deposit was twenty dollars short. This resulted in a customer complaint, and once investigated, Employer found the twenty dollars on the floor near Adina's teller station.

¶4 In August 2011, without consulting a manager and contrary to Employer's policies, Adina informed a merchant customer that checks must be endorsed before coming to the bank and, if that did not occur, deposits would not be processed. The customer complained to a district manager and Adina received a written warning a week later specifically mentioning all three of these errors. The written warning noted general "unsatisfactory performance" and stated that Adina was expected to "remain focused on every interaction and fully review and verify what is presented to you every time, " as well as "seek management before telling customers if they have a transaction difference." Additionally, the written warning stated that failure to provide "[i]mmediate and sustained improvement . may result in further corrective action, up to and including termination."

¶5 In October 2011, again without consulting a manager, Adina incorrectly adjusted a customer's deposit amount from $690 to $241 because she believed there were checks missing from a deposit. In fact, the checks were included with the deposit. Unfortunately, it took Employer fourteen days to retrieve the archived checks amongst Adina's deposit paperwork and then properly credit the customer's account. Due to this error, Employer discharged Adina.

¶6 Adina applied for unemployment benefits, and the Deputy determined she was eligible because "[a] disregard of the employer's interest has not been established." On Employer's timely appeal, the Appeal Tribunal held a formal hearing on January 10, 2012.[2] Employer testified it discharged Adina for "[u]nsatisfactory performance, specifically to policy and procedures." Employer maintained that Adina was warned on accuracy and efficiency, including that mistakes could lead to discharge.

¶7 When asked for her reasons for the mistakes, Adina stated "[e]very time they coach me or they ask me . . . why I'm having . . . errors or mistakes, I told them that sometimes it's so busy, " adding she was required to cover multiple stations. When asked about the October 2011 incident that led to her discharge, Adina stated,

the scan [system] was just new to our . system. We didn't have this before, but it's . been like a year or more than a year that they put this in the system . . . the reason why I did the scan later, because it's so busy. . . . Those are not intentional ...

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