Construction company claims TWC wrongfully awarded unemployment benefits

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 13, 2013, 1:56pm

GALVESTON - Chase Construction Inc. is pursuing legal action against the Texas Workforce Commission after the agency ruled a former employee can receive unemployment benefits, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed May 8 in Galveston County District Court explains that area resident Stacey Wasek successfully appealed the denial of said benefits, arguing TWC made its decision "without regard to the law or the facts."

Chase employed Wasek, who is also a defendant in the litigation, as its environmental and maintenance manager.

The plaintiff states Wasek's responsibilities included ensuring compliance with all rules and regulations for underground tanks and pipelines at Buc-ee's stores throughout the state, but she "ignored environmental compliance requirements and seriously threatened the operations, health and safety of Chase and Buc-ee's."

Such infractions eventually resulted in her termination on Dec. 3, 2012.

Wasek applied for the aforementioned benefits earlier this year only to have her request turned down.

A three-month appeals process subsequently ensued that ended in Wasek's favor.

TWC decided to award Wasek unemployment benefits and charge the cost of those benefits to the complainant though she was discharged for misconduct, the original petition says.

It calls TWC's purported actions "unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious."

Attorney Elizabeth Lieb of Lake Jackson is representing Chase, and Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter is presiding over the case.

Case No. 13-CV-645

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