ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that a worker’s mistake on the job is not enough reason to deny unemployment benefits.

Joan Dourney was fired from Panino’s Restaurant in Shoreview in January 2010 for serving alcohol to a minor. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that when Dourney tried to file for unemployment, she was told she was ineligible because the restaurant found her guilty of misconduct.

A judge found that Dourney’s firing wasn’t due to misconduct and she should receive benefits. The restaurant appealed. The appeals court issued its ruling Tuesday.

Dourney claimed she assumed the customer was older than 21 because she was accompanied by Dourney’s former co-worker, whom she knew was old enough to drink.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
  1. KM says:

    You cannot assume anything…she should have checked and she should not be able to get unemployment!

  2. TF says:

    So lets get this strait, Wally the beer man and others can get fined and you can loose your job for serving a minor, but that doesn’t make you ineligible for precious unemployment.

    Wonder why this nation is broke?

  3. se says:

    how come when i minor goes in for the sting they are allowed to drink the drink. but if i am underage and buy liquor i can get sited for underage. interesting how being in the law gives you a pass to break it.

    1. huh!? says:

      what on earth are you talking about?? lol why would they be allowed to drink it??
      I work in the restaurant business and the stings never happen like that.. They ask if they get carded they leave if they get the drink they leave nothing more..

  4. chinwhiskers says:

    Do you mean the guy who got Wally The Beerman busted could have gotten arrested too, but didn’t? OOOOOOOooooo.

    1. Ow says:

      No, the kid doesn’t drink the beverage. They are ticketing for serving a minor.

  5. EZ says:

    What a jerk, underage kids on stings are accompanied by police officers and they do not get to drink the beer. You are misinformed and unaware of what you are talking about.

  6. Keeping it real in Minnesota says:

    First of all, how much would the unemployment actually be for someone working in that position at a restaurant?…..3.00/Hr plus tips?…….so she would get $150.00/Week?….wow….lets all fight for that……GET ANOTHER JOB LOSER

    1. huh!? says:

      3.00/Hr??? Wow not to poke fun but get with the times..

  7. Dave Seavy says:

    So what if it’s only $3.00/hr. I’d fight for unemployment too. She’s not a loser, she was working. These stings are getting out of hand. As far as I’m concerned, it’s setting people up. Yes, she should have checked the ID, but at the same time, we don’t know the circumstances. Was the place packed? How many tables was she tending? The losers are those who have no job and don’t try to find one.

  8. Citizen says:

    The server was probably busy and made a mistake. I’m sure everyone here has made a mistake–that does not rise to the level of “misconduct.” The court was fair.

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