from the A.D.E.S. Appeals Board No. U-1548356-001 B No.
U-1548603-001 B No. U-1548481-001 B No. U-1548369-001 B
PLC, Phoenix By Stephen C. Biggs Counsel for Appellants
Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By JoAnn
Falgout Counsel for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic
Jon W. Thompson delivered the Opinion of the Court, in which
Presiding Judge Kenton D. Jones and Judge Michael J. Brown
This is an administrative law case. The appellant-claimants
(hereafter, employees) timely appeal from the decisions of
respondent Arizona Department of Economic Security
(Department) Appeals Board's (Board) denial of their
claims for unemployment benefits. Employees raise one issue:
whether the Board erred as a matter of law by denying them
benefits for the 2016 summer recess between school terms. We
find the Board did err and employees are entitled to
AND STANDARD OF REVIEW
This court has jurisdiction to review unemployment benefit
decisions pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.)
§ 41-1993(B) (2018). We defer to the ALJ's factual
findings unless they are arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse
of discretion. Munguia v. Dep't of Econ. Sec,
159 Ariz. 157, 158-59 (App. 1988). However, this court draws
its own legal conclusions and determines whether the Board
properly interpreted the law and applied it to the facts.
Avila v. Ariz. Dep't of Econ. Sec, 160 Ariz.
246, 248 (App. 1989).
AND FACTUAL HISTORY
Employees work for the respondent employer, Chicanos Por La
Causa (the non-profit), an Arizona non-profit corporation, at
its childcare centers. The non-profit operates licensed
childcare facilities for infants, toddlers and preschool
children up to the age of five-years-old. The
non-profit's childcare facilities administer federally
funded Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start
programs as part of its Early Childhood Development program.
Employee Maria Rosas worked as an infant and toddler teacher
and employee Maria Castillo worked as a cook at the childcare
center, in Somerton, Arizona. Employee Alicia Solorzano
worked as a cook's assistant at the childcare center in
Yuma, Arizona. Employee Xochitl Correa worked as an
infant and toddler teacher at the childcare center in San
Before each childcare center closed for the summer break, the
employees all received a reasonable assurance of reemployment
in the fall. Employees applied for, and were granted,
unemployment benefits for the summer break. The non-profit
appealed the deputy's determinations, and the
department's Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal) held evidentiary
Relying on A.R.S. § 23-750(E)(5) (2018), the Tribunal
reversed and found employees were not entitled to
unemployment benefits. The Tribunal reasoned that the
non-profit "provides services to or on behalf of an
educational institution," namely the Gadsden, Somerton,
and Yuma school districts (collectively, school districts),
and that each employee "had reasonable assurance of
reemployment for the following school year." For these
reasons, it concluded that the employees were subject to
the" between and within terms" exclusion to payment
of unemployment benefits. Employees appealed to the Board,
which adopted the Tribunal's reasoning and affirmed the
denial of benefits.
Employees timely filed applications for appeal to this court.
We granted leave to appeal and ...