Collingsworth Gen. Hosp. v. Hunnicutt

In Collingsworth Gen. Hosp. v. Hunnicutt, 988 S.W.2d 706 (Tex. 1998), the issue on appeal was whether the employee's misconduct had to occur while the employee was on duty or while on the employer's premises, to satisfy the "connected with" requirement. 988 S.W.2d at 709. The Supreme Court concluded that neither circumstance was required, depending on the circumstances. Hunnicutt, 988 S.W.2d at 709-10. In Collingsworth, Fredonia Hunnicutt was fired from her job at Collingsworth General Hospital after the hospital learned that she had pled guilty to the felony charge of aggravated assault. The assault charge stemmed from Hunnicutt's slashing another woman with a box cutter. 988 S.W.2d at 708. The assault did not occur while Hunnicutt was on duty or on the hospital's premises. The Texas Employment Commission (TEC) denied Hunnicutt's claim for unemployment benefits, concluding that her actions constituted "misconduct connected with her last work" under Section 207.044(a) of the Texas Labor Code. The trial court sustained the TEC's decision denying Hunnicutt's claim. On appeal, Hunnicutt contended her crime was not "connected with" her work because it was committed while off-duty. The court of appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court, and rendered judgment for Hunnicutt.