K.L. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Indiana University Health (mem. dec.) ( 2015 )


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  • MEMORANDUM DECISION
    Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D),
    this Memorandum Decision shall not be
                                                                    Aug 25 2015, 10:13 am
    regarded as precedent or cited before any
    court except for the purpose of
    establishing the defense of res judicata,
    collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.
    
    
    ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT                                  ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
    Abigail Seif                                            Gregory F. Zoeller
    Epstein, Cohen, Seif & Porter                           Attorney General of Indiana
    Indianapolis, Indiana                                   Kristin Garn
                                                            Deputy Attorney General
                                                            Indianapolis, Indiana
    
    
    
                                               IN THE
        COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA
    
    K.L.,                                                   August 25, 2015
    Appellant-Defendant,                                    Court of Appeals Case No.
                                                            93A02-1409-EX-682
            v.                                              Appeal from the Review Board of
                                                            the Department of Workforce
    Review Board of the Indiana                             Development
    Department of Workforce                                 Steven F. Bier, Chairperson
    Development and Indiana                                 George H. Baker, Member
    University Health
                                                            Lawrence A. Dailey, Member
    Appellee-Plaintiff
                                                            Cause No. 14-R-01546
    
    
    
    Friedlander, Judge.
    
    
    
    
    Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 1 of 19
    [1]   K.L. appeals from the decision of the Review Board of the Indiana Department
    
          of Workforce Development (the Review Board) denying her application for
    
          unemployment benefits. K.L. presents four issues for our review, which we
    
          consolidate and restate as:
    
                  1. Whether the Review Board applied the appropriate standard in
                  evaluating the evidence?
                  2. Whether enactment of Ind. Code Ann. § 22-4-1-2 (West, Westlaw
                  current with all 2015 First Regular Session of the 119th General
                  Assembly legislation), which redefined the burden-shifting framework
                  previously applied in making determinations as to unemployment
                  benefits, violates an applicant’s due process rights?
                  3. Whether the Review Board properly concluded that K.L. was
                  terminated for just cause and therefore was ineligible for
                  unemployment benefits?
    [2]   We affirm.
    
    [3]   K.L. was employed by Indiana University Health (IU Health) in Indianapolis
    
          from October 11, 2010 until May 20, 2014. At the time of her termination,
    
          K.L.’s job title was Strategic Value Analyst. The Director of Contracting and
    
          Value Analysis for IU Health, Linda York, cited K.L.’s failure to meet
    
          deadlines, to use critical thinking abilities, and her overall inability to perform
    
          the functions of the job as reasons for her termination. After her termination,
    
          K.L. sought unemployment benefits. On June 30, 2014, a claims deputy with
    
          the Indiana Department of Workforce Development determined that K.L. was
    
          not discharged for just cause and therefore was eligible for unemployment
    
          benefits. On July 10, 2014, IU Health appealed the claims deputy’s
    
          determination. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) conducted an evidentiary
    
    
          Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 2 of 19
          hearing on July 30, 2014, at which K.L., York, and Stacey Slott, a Team
    
          Leader with IU Health, testified.
    
    [4]   On August 1, 2014, the ALJ issued a decision. The facts as determined by the
    
          ALJ and subsequently adopted by the Review Board are as follows:
    
                  The claimant began work with the employer on October 11, 2010.
                  The claimant was transferred to the contracting department in January
                  2013. The claimant’s job title was strategic value analyst and she was
                  a full time salaried employee. The claimant was discharged on May
                  20, 2014.
                  When the claimant came to the new department, Ms. Slott continually
                  repeatedly trained the claimant on the programs and procedures for
                  the department. The claimant’s responsibility was to do cost analysis
                  information for supplies, negotiate contracts and keep track of this
                  information. The employer works with hospitals. For example if the
                  hospitals needed more ID bracelets, it was the claimant’s obligation to
                  gather the information, obtain quotes from vendors and negotiate the
                  contact and the pricing. The employer became increasingly concerned
                  regarding the claimant’s performance in January, 2014. By this time,
                  the claimant had been relieved of her duties of her old job, but was still
                  not performing her new job duties adequately. The employer was
                  receiving complaints that the claimant was repeatedly requesting the
                  same information, not following instructions and failing to follow up
                  on information.
                  Ms. Slott began to have one-on-ones with the claimant to discuss her
                  performance. Ms. Slott testified and the Administrative Law Judge
                  finds, that the claimant’s attitude improved but she continued to fail to
                  follow up on her items and to get work done. She would repeatedly
                  not meet deadlines or utilize tools that Ms. Slott had made available to
                  her. In April 2014, the employer sent the claimant an[] email
                  requesting that she set out timelines for completing some work that the
                  employer was concerned about. This included a project involving
                  batteries. However, the claimant never read the email even if she had
                  admits [sic] receiving it from her supervisor. The employer met with
                  the claimant to discuss the timelines on April 24th. At that time, the
                  claimant admitted she had not read the email and had not drafted any
    
          Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 3 of 19
            timelines. The employer was concerned by this and gave the claimant
            a warning. The claimant was warned that she was given until May 2
            to draft a timeline and deadlines for her work assignments. The
            claimant was also spoken to about using appropriate procedures and
            initiative.
            On May 2nd, the claimant presented her timelines. However, the
            timelines failed to follow procedures the employer utilizes for their
            work. It did not include any deadlines. The claimant was given a
            continued performance improvement plan on May 5, 2014 regarding
            these concerns. The employer was concerned that the timelines did
            not include any deadlines. The employer also expressed concerns
            about the claimant’s continued lack of understanding the processes
            despite multiple training sessions and the claimant had repeatedly
            signed off admitting that she understood the information. She did not
            understand the process of initiatives and continued to have vendor
            complaints. For example, the claimant had failed to use forms and
            information on proper procedures found on the F drive. The claimant
            alleged she was never told of these documents on the F drive.
            However, the claimant had been repeatedly trained on them and
            signed off, acknowledging having been trained on them. The
            expectations for improvement included that the claimant needed to
            meet deadlines immediately, demonstrate the ability to correct price
            discrepancies and to provide project plans for ongoing initiatives. On
            May 6, 2014, the employer sent a follow up email, with the claimant’s
            timelines attached, reminding the claimant that “it is the expectation
            that you will have all of the initiatives listed well under way with clear
            progress or completion” within the next two weeks. On May 20th, the
            employer met with the claimant again. The claimant had not
            completed the projects. The claimant continued to fail to utilize the
            appropriate steps and procedures for completing work. The claimant
            was discharged.
            The claimant argued at the hearing that her poor performance was
            caused by lack of training or other employee’s errors. For example,
            she claims she was never told of forms and procedures available on the
            F drive. However, the employer testified and the Administrative Law
            Judge finds that the claimant was repeatedly trained on them and
            signed off that she knew and understood the procedures. The claimant
            blamed other employees for giving her poor information. However,
            the employer noted that one of the claimant’s job duties is to manage
    
    Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 4 of 19
                  her timeline and making sure she’s obtaining correct and timely
                  information. The claimant argues that she had shown improvement
                  between the May 5th and the May 20th discharge. However, the
                  employer testified and the Administrative Law Judge finds, that the
                  claimant continued to fail to understand procedures, follow initiatives
                  and complete work in a timely manner.
          Appellee’s Appendix at 2-3. Based on these findings, the ALJ concluded that K.L.
    
          was terminated for just cause1 and therefore was ineligible for unemployment
    
          benefits. K.L. appealed the ALJ’s decision to the Review Board. On August
    
          29, 2014, the Review Board issued its decision in which it affirmed and adopted
    
          as its own the decision previously rendered by the ALJ. K.L. now appeals.
    
                                                               1.
    
    [5]   K.L. argues that the Review Board did not properly apply the law with regard
    
          to burden of proof. Specifically, K.L. asserts that the Review Board erred by
    
          retroactively applying I.C. § 22-4-1-2(c), which provision redefined the burden-
    
          shifting framework that had been previously articulated in case law by
    
          reviewing courts such that now both parties are required to present their
    
          evidence as to whether termination was for just cause and a decision is to be
    
          made thereon “without regard to a burden of proof.”
    
    
    
    
          1
            Reading the ALJ’s conclusions in total, it is clear that the ALJ, and ultimately the Review Board,
          determined that K.L. was discharged for “just cause” because she breached a duty “in connection with work
          which is reasonably owed an employer by an employee.” Appellee’s Appendix at 4; see also Ind. Code Ann. §
          22-4-15-1 (West, Westlaw current with all 2015 First Regular Session of the 119th General Assembly
          legislation) (“[d]ischarge for just cause . . . is . . . any breach of duty in connection with work which is
          reasonably owed an employer by an employee”).
    
          Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015            Page 5 of 19
    [6]   A general rule of statutory construction is that unless there are strong and
    
          compelling reasons, statutes will not be applied retroactively. See Holding Co. v.
    
          Mitchell, 
    589 N.E.2d 217
     (Ind. 1992); Chestnut v. Roof, 
    665 N.E.2d 7
     (Ind. Ct.
    
          App. 1996). In other words, a statute will be applied prospectively in the
    
          absence of an express statement by the legislature that it be applied
    
          retroactively. Ind. Dep’t of Envtl. Mgmt. v. Chem. Waste Mgmt. of Ind., Inc., 
    604 N.E.2d 1199
     (Ind. Ct. App. 1992), trans. denied. “An exception to this general
    
          rule exists for remedial statutes, i.e. statutes intended to cure a defect or
    
          mischief that existed in a prior statute.” Bourbon Mini-Mart, Inc. v. Gast Fuel &
    
          Servs., Inc., 
    783 N.E.2d 253
    , 260 (Ind. 2003). The issue of retroactivity is a
    
          question of law which this court reviews de novo. Ind. Dep’t of Envtl. Mgmt. v.
    
          Chem. Waste Mgmt. of Ind., Inc., 
    604 N.E.2d 1199
    ; Bellows v. Bd. of Comm’rs of
    
          Cnty. of Elkhart, 
    926 N.E.2d 96
     (Ind. Ct. App. 2010).
    
    
    [7]   The legislature enacted I.C. § 22-4-1-2, which went into effect July 1, 2014, and
    
          redefined the burden of proof to be used in making determinations about
    
          eligibility for unemployment compensation. Specifically, in subsection (c), the
    
          legislature provided that “[a]n applicant’s entitlement to unemployment benefits
    
          is determined based on the information that is available without regard to a burden
    
          of proof.” (Emphasis supplied.) Subsection (c) superseded existing case law
    
          which, prior to the enactment of I.C. § 22-4-1-2, set forth a burden-shifting
    
          framework in the unemployment context whereby the employer who alleged
    
          that an employee was discharged for just cause carried the burden of
    
          establishing a prima facie case of discharge for just cause. See Albright v. Review
    
          Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 6 of 19
          Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 
    994 N.E.2d 745
     (Ind. Ct. App. 2013). Only
    
          after the employer met its burden did the burden then shift to the employee to
    
          rebut the employer’s evidence. Id.
    
    
    [8]   Here, K.L. was terminated from her position and filed her application for
    
          unemployment benefits prior to July 1, 2014. The claims deputy granted K.L.’s
    
          application for unemployment benefits on June 30, 2014. I.C. § 22-4-1-2 went
    
          into effect the following day. IU Health appealed and the ALJ conducted a
    
          hearing and issued findings of fact and conclusions of law on August 1, 2014, a
    
          month after I.C. § 22-4-1-2 went into effect. At the start of the July 10 review
    
          hearing and in her order denying K.L. unemployment benefits, the ALJ set
    
          forth the new standard set out in I.C. § 22-4-1-2, specifically noting that the
    
          burden of proof had been redefined and that there was no longer a presumption
    
          of entitlement to unemployment benefits.2 The ALJ then made findings and
    
          conclusions based upon the evidence submitted by both sides. The Review
    
          Board affirmed the ALJ’s findings and conclusions with the following
    
          addendum:
    
                  In her opening remarks, the Administrative Law Judge initially began
                  to instruct the parties as to which party had the burden of proof, but
                  the Administrative Law Judge corrected herself and explained that
                  there is no longer a burden of proof in unemployment cases. The
                  Administrative Law Judge did not assign the burden of proof to either
    
    
    
          2
           In subsection (d) the legislature provided: “There is no presumption of entitlement or nonentitlement to
          unemployment benefits. There is no equitable or common law allowance for or denial of unemployment
          benefits.”
    
    
    
          Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015           Page 7 of 19
                   party after correcting herself on the record. Furthermore, the
                   Administrative Law Judge correctly explained in her decision that the burden of
                   proof has been eliminated and did not apply the burden of proof to either party
                   in her decision.
           Appellee’s Appendix at 1 (emphasis supplied).
    
    
    [9]    On appeal, K.L. argues that the Review Board “violated a time-honored
    
           presumption against retroactive application of laws absent clear legislative
    
           intent to the contrary.” Appellant’s Brief at 6. K.L. notes that the initial decision
    
           granting her unemployment benefits was made applying the burden of proof to
    
           the employer to establish that K.L. was terminated for just cause. K.L.
    
           maintains that she was not given notice that a different standard would be
    
           applied and that the application of the different standard midway through her
    
           case is unfair. In response, the Review Board asserts that I.C. § 22-1-4-2(c) is
    
           directed at the administrative appeals process, and thus, maintains that it
    
           correctly applied the law in effect at the time the administrative appeals process
    
           was initiated, i.e., July 10, 2014, which was after I.C. § 22-1-4-2 took effect.
    
    [10]   We need not delve into the parties’ competing arguments because under either
    
           standard, the result is the same. We begin by noting that both parties were
    
           present during the telephonic hearing with the ALJ, were permitted to present
    
           testimony and cross-examine witnesses, and each submitted documentation in
    
           support of their respective positions. K.L. testified on her own behalf and
    
           explained her understanding of the events leading up to her termination. York
    
           and Slott testified on behalf of IU Health. The ALJ considered all of the
    
           evidence presented and found that the evidence tipped the scales in favor of IU
    
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 8 of 19
           Health. Thus, even if the burden-shifting framework that existed prior to the
    
           enactment of I.C. § 22-4-1-2 had been applied, the outcome would have been
    
           the same. To be sure, the Review Board’s evidence would have satisfied its
    
           burden of proof had the burden been attributed to the Review Board, and K.L.’s
    
           evidence did not rebut the evidence presented by IU Health. We therefore
    
           conclude that if the Review Board incorrectly applied the new standard set forth
    
           in I.C. § 22-4-1-2, any resulting error was harmless. See Ind. State Highway
    
           Comm’n v. Ind. Civil Rights Comm’n, 
    424 N.E.2d 1024
     (Ind. Ct. App. 1981)
    
           (applying the doctrine of harmless error in appellate review of an administrative
    
           decision).
    
    
                                                             2.
    
    [11]   K.L. argues I.C. § 22-4-1-2 in its current form is unconstitutional as it deprives
    
           the applicant for unemployment benefits due process of law. Specifically, K.L.
    
           asserts that the legislature’s enactment of I.C. § 22-4-1-2 redefining “the long
    
           standing burden on the employer to prove ‘just cause’ and ‘breach of duty forces
    
           ALJ’s [sic] to make arbitrary and unpredictable decisions.” Appellant’s Brief at
    
           15. K.L. further assets that the change brought about by I.C. § 22-4-1-2
    
           essentially gives absolute discretion to ALJs and the Review Board in deciding
    
           who may receive unemployment benefits. K.L. maintains that the result will be
    
           a “loss of any predictability or protection for the employee” and an increase in
    
           erroneous deprivation of unemployment benefits. Appellee’s Brief at 14. K.L.
    
           requests a new hearing at which IU Health should be required to bear the
    
           burden of proving that she was discharged for just cause.
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 9 of 19
    [12]   When a statute is challenged as an alleged violation of the Indiana
    
           Constitution, our standard of review is well-established. Every statute stands
    
           before us clothed with the presumption of constitutionality until clearly
    
           overcome by a contrary showing. Boehm v. Town of St. John, 
    675 N.E.2d 318
    
           (Ind. 1996). The party challenging the constitutionality of the statute bears the
    
           burden of proof, and all doubts are resolved against that party. Id. If there are
    
           two reasonable interpretations of a statute, one of which is constitutional and
    
           the other not, we will choose that path which permits upholding the statute
    
           because we will not presume that the legislature violated the constitution unless
    
           such is required by the unambiguous language of the statute. Id. This court
    
           reviews the constitutionality of statutes with the understanding that “‘[t]he
    
           legislature has wide latitude in determining public policy, and we do not
    
           substitute our belief as to the wisdom of a particular statute for those of the
    
           legislature.’” Id. at 321 (quoting State v. Rendleman, 
    603 N.E.2d 1333
    , 1334
    
           (Ind. 1992)).
    
    [13]   The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment declares that no State
    
           shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of
    
           law.” U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1. Due process contains both substantive
    
           and procedural elements. The issue presented concerns a burden of proof,
    
           which is a procedural matter.
    
    [14]   In analyzing a procedural due process claim, we engage in a two-part inquiry:
    
           “‘The first inquiry in every due process challenge is whether the plaintiff has
    
           been deprived of a protected interest in property or liberty. Only after finding
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 10 of 19
           the deprivation of a protected interest do we look to see if the State’s procedures
    
           comport with due process.’” Perdue v. Gargano, 
    964 N.E.2d 825
    , 832 (Ind. 2012)
    
           (quoting Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sullivan, 
    526 U.S. 40
    , 59 (1999)). Further, we
    
           note that “the fundamental requirement of procedural due process is the
    
           opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.” Id.
    
           When a deprivation is contemplated, “these principles require ... an effective
    
           opportunity to defend by confronting any adverse witnesses and by presenting
    
           his own arguments and evidence orally.” Id. Whether a party was denied due
    
           process is a question of law that we review de novo. NOW Courier, Inc. v. Review
    
           Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 
    871 N.E.2d 384
    .
    
    
    [15]   Here, the legislature simply redefined the burden of proof and expressly
    
           provided that new procedure for determining entitlement to unemployment
    
           compensation is to consider all the information brought forth by the parties. A
    
           review of the statutes comprising Indiana’s Unemployment Compensation Act
    
           shows that there are numerous procedural safeguards to protect against
    
           arbitrary decisions by ALJs and any erroneous deprivation of unemployment
    
           benefits. By statute, ALJs are trained and required to ensure that a case is fully
    
           presented. To be sure, ALJs must be trained annually concerning
    
           unemployment law, rules for the conduct of hearings and appeals, and rules of
    
           conduct for ALJs and other individuals who adjudicate claims. I.C. § 22-4-17-
    
           4(b) (West, Westlaw current with all 2015 First Regular session of the 119th
    
           General Assembly legislation). The Department of Workforce Development is
    
           charged with monitoring hearings and decisions of ALJs, review board
    
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 11 of 19
           members, and other adjudicators to ensure that they follow the law. I.C. § 22-4-
    
           17-4(c). To safeguard against arbitrary decisions by an ALJ, the Review Board
    
           is statutorily charged with reviewing decisions of ALJs and has discretion to
    
           decide whether additional information is necessary. I.C. § 22-4-17-5(b) (West,
    
           Westlaw current with all 2015 First Regular Session of the 119th General
    
           Assembly legislation).
    
    [16]   During the hearing, the ALJ took care to allow both parties to present their
    
           evidence. K.L. and representatives from IU Health, including K.L. ’s direct
    
           supervisor and a team leader, appeared at and participated in the July 30
    
           hearing regarding K.L. ’s entitlement to unemployment benefits. The ALJ
    
           conducted direct examination of K.L. , York, and Slott, and K.L. was given
    
           the opportunity to cross-examine them. The ALJ asked K.L. whether she
    
           objected to inclusion in the record of documents establishing the ALJ’s
    
           jurisdiction and K.L. responded that she had no objection. K.L. also
    
           confirmed that she had been provided with IU Health’s exhibits prior to hearing
    
           and that she had no objection to consideration thereof. K.L. was also given the
    
           opportunity to rebut the evidence provided in the exhibits. Additionally, the
    
           ALJ ensured that K.L. understood the procedures to be employed during the
    
           hearing and that she understood her appeal rights. After the ALJ rendered the
    
           decision, K.L. appealed to the Review Board. The Review Board reviewed the
    
           matter and affirmed the ALJ’s determination.
    
    [17]   K.L. does not argue that she was deprived of her right to be heard or that the
    
           hearing was conducted improperly. To the contrary, K.L. was unquestionably
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 12 of 19
           afforded a meaningful opportunity to be heard. Moreover, the elimination of
    
           the burden of proof would have had no impact on the conclusion as the ALJ’s,
    
           and subsequently the Review Board’s, determination was based on all of the
    
           evidence presented.
    
    [18]   On yet another ground, we conclude that I.C. § 22-4-1-2 does not violate
    
           principles of due process. As noted above, prior to enactment of I.C. § 22-4-1-2,
    
           case law had long placed the burden of proof upon the employer to make a
    
           prima facie showing that an employee was discharged for just cause. See P.K.E.
    
           v. Review Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 
    942 N.E.2d 125
     (Ind. Ct. App. 2011),
    
           trans. denied; Indus. Laundry v. Review Bd. of Ind. Employment Sec. Div., 147
    
           Ind.App. 40, 
    258 N.E.2d 160
     (1970). In redefining the manner in which
    
           unemployment decisions are to be made, the legislature was exercising its
    
           constitutional prerogative to determine public policy relating to unemployment
    
           benefits and to enact legislation in furtherance thereof. We will not second-
    
           guess the legislature’s decision in this regard. K.L. has not shown that she was
    
           denied due process in this matter.
    
                                                             3.
    
    [19]   K.L. argues that the Review Board failed to make appropriate findings to
    
           support its determination that she breached a duty in connection with her work,
    
           which duty she reasonably owed to IU Health as her employer. In any event,
    
           K.L. also argues that there is insufficient evidence to support the Review
    
           Board’s determination that K.L. was terminated for just cause.
    
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 13 of 19
    [20]   The Indiana Unemployment Compensation Act provides that any decision of
    
           the Review Board shall be conclusive and binding as to all questions of
    
           fact. I.C. § 22-4-17-12(a) (West, Westlaw current with all 2015 First Regular
    
           Session of the 119th General Assembly legislation effective through June 28,
    
           2015). When the Review Board’s decision is challenged as being contrary to
    
           law, our review is limited to a two-part inquiry into: “(1) ‘the sufficiency of the
    
           facts found to sustain the decision;’ and (2) ‘the sufficiency of the evidence to
    
           sustain the findings of facts.’” Recker v. Review Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev.,
    
           
    958 N.E.2d 1136
    , 1139 (Ind. 2011) (quoting I.C. § 22-4-17-12(f)); McClain v.
    
           Review Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 
    693 N.E.2d 1314
     (Ind. 1998).
    
           Applying this standard, we review “(1) determinations of specific or ‘basic’
    
           underlying facts, (2) conclusions or inferences from those facts, sometimes
    
           called ‘ultimate facts,’ and (3) conclusions of law.” Recker v. Review Bd. Of Ind.
    
           Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 
    958 N.E.2d 1139
    .
    
    
    [21]   The Review Board’s findings of basic fact are subject to a “substantial
    
           evidence” standard of review. Id. In conducting our analysis, we neither
    
           reweigh evidence nor judge witness credibility; rather, we consider only the
    
           evidence most favorable to the Review Board’s findings. McClain v. Review Bd.
    
           of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 
    693 N.E.2d 1314
    . The Review Board’s
    
           conclusions regarding ultimate facts involve an inference or deduction based on
    
           the findings of basic fact, and we typically review them to ensure that the
    
           Review Board’s inference is “reasonable” or “reasonable in light of its
    
           findings.” Id. at 1317-18 (citation and quotation marks omitted). We review
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 14 of 19
           the Review Board’s conclusions of law using a de novo standard. Ind. State
    
           Univ. v. LaFief, 
    888 N.E.2d 184
    , 186 (Ind. 2008).
    
    
    [22]   In Indiana, an individual is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits if
    
           he/she was discharged for “just cause.” I.C. § 22-4-15-1(a). Discharge for just
    
           cause is defined, in pertinent part, as “any breach of duty in connection with
    
           work which is reasonably owed an employer by an employee.” I.C. § 22-4-15-
    
           1(d)(9). “[T]he ‘breach of duty’ ground for just cause discharge is an
    
           amorphous one, without clearly ascertainable limits or definition, and with few
    
           rules governing its utilization.” Hehr v. Review Bd. of Ind. Employment Sec. Div.,
    
           
    534 N.E.2d 1122
    , 1126 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989). When applying a breach of duty
    
           analysis in this context, the Review Board must ascertain whether the action of
    
           the employee was considered a breach of a duty reasonably owed to the
    
           employer, and second, the Review Board must determine if the employee was
    
           at fault for the breach. Recker v. Review Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 958
    
           N.E.2d at 1140. Whether a person beaches a duty owed to the employer “is a
    
           very fact-sensitive determination which must be made on a case by case basis.”
    
           Hehr v. Review Bd. of Ind. Employment Sec. Div., 534 N.E.2d at 1127.
    
    
    
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 15 of 19
    [23]   Here, the ALJ concluded, and the Review Board affirmed, that IU Health
    
           discharged K.L. for just cause within the meaning of I.C. § 22-4-15-1(d)(9).3
    
           Specifically, it was determined that
    
                   the claimant failed repeatedly to perform her job duties adequately.
                   The ALJ concludes the claimant’s failure to perform adequately was
                   within the claimant’s control, because she was failing to follow such
                   simple steps such as reading emails, utilizing available forms, meeting
                   deadlines, and following the employer’s instructions. The claimant
                   was given adequate training and assistance to meet her requirements,
                   but failed to do so. Therefore, the Administrative Law Judge
                   concludes the claimant was discharged for just cause as defined by
                   Chapter 15-1 of the Act.
           Appellee’s Appendix at 4-5.
    
    
    [24]   K.L. first argues that the Review Board did not make appropriate findings to
    
           support its conclusion. Although the Review Board, in adopting the ALJ’s
    
           findings and conclusions, did not explicitly state its conclusion that she was
    
           terminated for just cause in terms of I.C. § 22-4-15-1(d)(9), such does not
    
           necessitate reversal. A reading of the Review Board’s decision in its entirety
    
           and the reasonable inferences drawn therefrom demonstrate that the Review
    
           Board determined that K.L. breached a duty in connection with her work,
    
           which duty she reasonably owed to IU Health as her employer.
    
    
    
    
           3
             K.L. argues that the Review Board failed to make specific findings relating to I.C. § 22-4-15-1(d). Upon
           reading the ALJ’s order, which the Review Board adopted, it is clear in context that a determination was
           made that K.L. was discharged for just cause because she “breach[ed] a duty in connection with work which
           is reasonably owed an employer by an employee.” I.C. § 22-4-15-1(d)(9).
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015         Page 16 of 19
    [25]   K.L. also argues that the Review Board’s factual findings do not support its
    
           conclusion that she was terminated for just cause. Specifically, K.L. argues that
    
           her actions, which she does not dispute, did not constitute breach of a duty
    
           reasonably owed to her employer. Further, K.L. directs us to evidence that she
    
           claims supports her belief that she was discharged in retaliation for a letter she
    
           wrote criticizing the manner in which she was evaluated.
    
    [26]   The record demonstrates that K.L. performed substandard work, despite
    
           repeated training and correction. As noted in the Review Board’s findings,
    
           K.L. failed to follow such simple steps such as reading emails, utilizing
    
           available forms, meeting deadlines, and following specific instructions. In
    
           January 2014, K.L.’s supervisors reviewed K.L.’s work and informed her that
    
           she was not meeting expectations in taking initiative and developing expertise.
    
           Over the course of the next few months, K.L.’s work performance did not
    
           improve despite additional training and assistance. We have before held that a
    
           pattern of substandard work performance, despite repeated correction, may
    
           constitute a breach of duty in connection with work that was reasonably owed
    
           to an employer and is of such a nature that a reasonable employee would
    
           understand that the conduct was a violation of a duty owed to the employer.
    
           Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville, Inc. v. Review Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 
    973 N.E.2d 647
     (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) (citing Van Cleave v. Review Bd. of Ind.
    
           Employment Sec. Div., 
    517 N.E.2d 1260
     (Ind. Ct. App. 1988) (noting that the
    
           claimant persisted in a pattern of substandard work performance even though
    
           he knew what his duties were, had received training and assistance, and had
    
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 17 of 19
           been disciplined for substandard performance, and affirming the Board’s
    
           decision denying the employee benefits)).
    
    [27]   In addition to the above, K.L. asserts that IU Health did not establish that its
    
           expectations relating to K.L.’s work product were reasonable. K.L., however,
    
           did not argue and does not now challenge that IU Health’s expectations were
    
           unreasonable. The facts demonstrate that K.L. was adequately trained and
    
           received assistance in completing tasks related to her position. K.L.
    
           acknowledged that she understood IU Health’s policies and that she understood
    
           the requirements of her position. K.L. never indicated that IU Health’s
    
           expectations of her in her position were unreasonable.
    
    [28]   Further, we note that K.L. does not claim her inability to adequately perform
    
           the functions of her job was the result of factors not within her control. See, e.g.,
    
           Giovanoni v. Review Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 
    927 N.E.2d 906
     (Ind.
    
           2010) (holding that claimant’s violation of employer’s attendance policy due to
    
           debilitating medical condition subjected claimant to discharge, but such did not
    
           disqualify employee from unemployment compensation because employee was
    
           discharged through no fault of his own). Indeed, K.L. acknowledged that she
    
           had been trained on how to perform her job and admitted that she could have
    
           done a better job with certain aspects of her position. She offered no
    
           explanation for her inability to follow procedures, contact appropriate parties
    
           for necessary information, or timely complete tasks. K.L. simply did not follow
    
           procedures, use appropriate forms, read emails, meet deadlines, or follow
    
           instructions.
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 18 of 19
    [29]   Having reviewed the record that was before the ALJ and the Review Board,
    
           including the testimony of the parties, we conclude that IU Health adequately
    
           demonstrated that K.L. breached a duty in connection with work, which duty
    
           was reasonably owed IU Health, and that a reasonable employee of IU Health
    
           would understand that the conduct at issue was a violation of the duty owed.
    
           Accordingly, the Review Board’s determination that K.L. was terminated for
    
           just cause is affirmed. To the extent K.L. asserts on appeal a different reason
    
           for her termination, we will not reweigh the evidence.
    
    [30]   Judgment affirmed.
    
    
           Baker, J., and Najam, J., concur.
    
    
    
    
           Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 93A02-1409-EX-682 | August 25, 2015   Page 19 of 19