Assisted Living Concepts , Inc. v. Idaho Dept of LaborAnnotate this Case
Claimant Brooke Stark worked for Assisted Living Concepts, Inc. from 2008 to 2010 as a "residence director" of one of Assisted Living's facilities. Claimant was called into the sales director's office one day, and the two talked about a rumor that one of Assisted Living's other facilities was imminently closing. Later that evening, Assisted Living's divisional director of human resources called Claimant to ask where Claimant heard of the closing rumor. Claimant did not disclose her source. Five minutes following that call, Assisted Living's chief executive officer called Claimant (with the director of HR on the call) to ask about the rumor. Claimant said she talked to a number of people, but that she did not want to share the information. The CEO emphasized the importance of knowing who started the rumor so that the company could reassure those involved that the facility in question would not close. Still declining to reveal her source, the CEO suspended Claimant. The human resources director, after a little investigation, found that Claimant violated company policy by refusing a direct order from her supervisor. Claimant was then terminated in the fall of 2010. The issue before the Supreme Court involved whether Claimant's refusal to respond to the CEO's question. The Industrial Commission held that Claimant's refusal to obey the direct order did not constitute misconduct under the Employment Security Law. The Supreme Court held as a matter of law, Claimant's conduct was indeed misconduct under the Employment Security Law, and reversed the Industrial Commission.