Peery v. Rutledge

In Peery v. Rutledge, 177 W. Va. 548, 355 S.E.2d 41 (1987), the Court once again employed the Michigan definition of misconduct and held that a claimant may be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for misconduct evincing such willful and wanton disregard of employer's interest as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which employer has right to expect of an employee. 177 W. Va. at 551, 355 S.E.2d at 44. The Peery Court concluded that the employee's refusal to drive a truck over mountainous roads after working a full shift did not constitute misconduct where the employee had expressed his belief to employer that driving the route in an exhausted condition after five hours of strenuous labor would risk his life or the lives of others. Id. at 553, 355 S.E.2d at 46. "The term 'misconduct' should be construed in a manner most favorable to not working a forfeiture. The penal character of the provision should be minimized by excluding cases not clearly intended to be within the exception denying unemployment compensation benefits." Id. at 551, 355 S.E.2d at 44.