Judge: Laurel man’s claim of diabetes doesn’t warrant unemployment benefits


GEORGETOWN — A Superior Court judge on Monday found no merit in a Laurel man’s claims seeking unemployment benefits after being terminated last year for allegedly taking unauthorized work breaks at Allen Harim Foods.

While Michael A. Briggs pointed to his diabetic condition as reason for leaving his work station as a box stacker, the Court agreed with an Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board’s denial due to violating company policy for clocking in and out of work. The six-page finding followed the matter’s submission to Judge E. Scott Bradley.

Judge Bradley noted evidence that Mr. Briggs took an assigned lunch break on Dec. 21, 2017, and a second unauthorized break. While Mr. Briggs said he tried to report to the medical officer about the alleged emergency, no contact was made before leaving or when returning, the Court noted.

“The Board’s decision that you were terminated for just cause for stealing time from Allen Harim is based upon substantial evidence and free from legal error,” according to the judge.

During an earlier hearing, according to the Court, the Board found Mr. Briggs’ testimony to be “evasive.” The Board also supposedly found he also took an hourlong lunch break when only permitted 36 minutes, documents said.

Mr. Briggs worked at the company from March 18, 2010 through December 22, 2017 and was making $12.30 hourly when terminated, according to the decision.

In addition to the Board finding Mr. Briggs ineligible for unemployment benefits, the decision noted, a Claims Deputy and Appeals Referee also reached the same conclusion.

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