Labor & Employment

Law Firm Coffee Spat Leads to Unemployment Case

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A Wisconsin law firm known for its representation of workers in cases against employers got the worst of legal dispute with its own ex-receptionist after a disagreement over an empty coffee pot.

Sandy Weidner said she was fired on a trumped-up claim that she hadn’t included a few breaks on her time card after management of the Cross Law Firm got aggravated one day last September because coffee needed to be made and she wasn’t at her desk. The administration contended that a review of her hours after the incident brought to its attention that Weidner on several occasions “stole time” by requesting to leave 15 or 30 minutes early and then failing to adjust her entries accordingly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

An administrative judge ruled Nov. 16 that Weidner must be paid unemployment. Weidner was an employee of Racine County for more than 20 years before she retired last year and joined the Cross Law Firm approximately six months ago. Weidner told the newspaper she didn’t need the $150 weekly unemployment benefit but pursued the claim on principle.

“I’ve worked since I was 14. I never stole a thing from anyone,” Weidner said. “I was appalled.”

The law firm didn’t respond to an email from the Journal Sentinel seeking comment.

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