FOLLOW UP TO SB 381 AFFECTING COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL DEFENSE IN RETALIATORY DISCHARGE CASES
SB 381, by Sen. Quinton Ross (D) of Montgomery, was previously mentioned on the blawg here at http://www.alabamaworkerscompblawg.com/template_permalink.asp?id=133.
This bill limits the preclusive effect of a finding of fact, conclusion of law, judgment, or final order made under the unemployment compensation statutes. Also, the bill precludes an employer from using an employee's previous statements and findings in court in certain cases. In a workers compensation case, not allowing evidence about a claimant's other cases or judgments could be very detrimental to an employer.
Finally the bill prohibits the release of a finding that an employee was terminated for cause and not entitled to unemployment and prohibits the use of such prior findings in a retaliatory discharge case as evidence.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill on a 5 to 3 vote on Wednesday. Senators Ben Brooks, Arthur Orr and Ted Little voted against the bill. Senators Myron Penn, Roger Bedford, Zeb Little, Hank Sanders and Bobby Singleton voted for the bill. The bill could be considered by the full Senate as early as next week.
Remember, you can contact your House and Senate members in Montgomery by calling the House operator at (334) 242-7600 or the Senate operator at (334) 242-7800, or writing to them via the State House Office Building, Montgomery, Alabama 36130. You can also visit the Legislature's official web site at http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLogin.asp.