from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable W.
Thomas Sullins, Judge
Representing Appellant/Petitioner: Keith R. Nachbar of Keith
R. Nachbar, P.C., Casper, Wyoming.
Representing Appellee/Respondent: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming
Attorney General; John D. Rossetti, Deputy Attorney General;
Michael J. Finn, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Charlotte
M. Powers, Assistant Attorney General.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
Appellant/Petitioner Billy Clark applied for unemployment
insurance benefits after he was discharged from his position
as a fuel truck driver for Homax Oil Sales, Inc. (Homax).
Appellee/Respondent State of Wyoming ex rel. Department of
Workforce Services, Unemployment Insurance Commission (the
Commission) denied his request for benefits on the basis that
he was fired for misconduct connected with his work. Mr.
Clark filed a petition for judicial review of the
Commission's decision, and the district court affirmed.
We, likewise, affirm.
Two issues must be addressed in this appeal:
I. Can serious and/or repeated negligence qualify as
misconduct under Wyoming law?
II. Was the Commission's decision that Mr. Clark
committed misconduct connected with his work supported by
Mr. Clark began work as a fuel truck driver for Homax in
Casper and Evansville, Wyoming on July 21, 2014. He delivered
fuels to various locations, including Homax's convenience
stores, with trucks that were compartmentalized so that
different fuels could be hauled in the same load. Once he
reached his destination, Mr. Clark was responsible for
unloading the fuels into the proper tanks. When Mr. Clark was
hired, his supervisor, Michael Dwyer, was aware that Mr.
Clark had dispensed the wrong fuel into tanks at his previous
job. Mr. Dwyer warned Mr. Clark that "mixing
product" was not acceptable and could result in
termination from his job. In addition, Homax trained Mr.
Clark on the procedure for unloading product to avoid placing
the wrong fuel in a tank.
Nevertheless, in August 2014, Mr. Clark mixed premium and
regular unleaded gas during a delivery. Homax was still able
to sell the fuel, but Mr. Clark was reprimanded for his
error. Mr. Dwyer warned him that there would be no further
chances if he unloaded fuel into the wrong tank again.
On September 14, 2014, Mr. Clark delivered fuel to one of
Homax's convenience stores in Casper. He incorrectly
unloaded approximately 8, 500 gallons of fuel, valued at
approximately $25, 000, by placing diesel fuel in the
unleaded gasoline tank and unleaded gasoline in the diesel
fuel tank. When he realized his mistake, he called Mr. Dwyer
and shut down the store to prevent customers from putting the
wrong fuel in their vehicles. Mr. Dwyer arranged for the
tainted fuel to be removed from the tanks at an approximate
cost of $1, 000. Mr. Clark continued to work as a fuel truck
driver over the next week; ...