Lizabeth A. Meyer, Petitioner,
Industrial Claim Appeals Office of the State of Colorado and Division of Unemployment Insurance, Benefit Payment Control, Respondents.
Claim Appeals Office of the State of Colorado DD No.
AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED WITH
Office of Warren Domangue, Warren Domangue, Lakewood,
Colorado, for Petitioner
Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Evan Brennan, Assistant
Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Respondent Industrial
Claim Appeals Office
Appearance for Respondent Division of Unemployment Insurance,
Benefit Payment Control
1 In this unemployment compensation benefits case,
petitioner, Lizabeth A. Meyer (claimant), seeks review of a
final order of the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (Panel).
The Panel upheld a hearing officer's decision that
claimant had received an overpayment of unemployment
compensation benefits because of unreported earnings from her
employment. The Panel also upheld the imposition of monetary
penalties against claimant. We affirm the Panel's order
in part, reverse in part, and remand the case for entry of a
Factual and Procedural Background
2 Claimant filed an unemployment compensation benefits claim
with an effective date of March 11, 2012. Following that
date, claimant worked part-time as a sales associate, and, in
May 2012, she obtained full-time work as a controller for
3 A deputy for the Division of Unemployment Insurance
(Division) conducted an audit of claimant's file and
determined that she had been overpaid unemployment
compensation benefits in the amount of $1712 for the period
from March 18, 2012, through May 19, 2012. The deputy found
that claimant had underreported her hours and earnings for
certain weeks during that period. The deputy also assessed a
monetary penalty of $1112.80 against claimant.
4 Claimant appealed the deputy's determination and an
evidentiary hearing was conducted. At the hearing, claimant
conceded that the hours reported on her paystubs, rather than
the ones she reported online to the Division, accurately
reflected the hours she had worked. She asserted, however,
that she was required only to report her taxable, rather than
gross, earnings to the Division.
5 The hearing officer accepted, except for one week,
claimant's concessions regarding the number of hours she
had worked after applying for unemployment compensation
benefits. The hearing officer concluded, however, that
claimant had been instructed to report accurately her gross
earnings and hours for each benefit week to the Division.
Claimant had also been advised that giving false information
in her request for payment constituted fraud.
6 The hearing officer found that claimant knowingly
misreported her gross earnings and hours for certain weeks
which resulted in her being overpaid $1890.64 in unemployment
compensation benefits. The hearing officer also rejected
claimant's explanations regarding the method she used to
report her hours and earnings and found that her misreporting
was willful. The hearing officer consequently assessed a
monetary penalty of $1228.91.
7 Claimant appealed the hearing officer's decision to the
Panel, which affirmed on review.
8 Claimant then brought this appeal. After the case was at
issue, we requested that the parties address the following
Whether any payment made to or on behalf of an employee or
his beneficiary under a cafeteria plan (within the meaning of
26 U.S.C. section 125), as specified under section
8-70-142(1)(c)(VIII), C.R.S. 2015, affects the amount of
wages a claimant must report as his or her earnings when
filing a claim for unemployment benefits?
Standard of Review
9 We may set aside the Panel's decision if the findings
of fact do not support the decision or the decision is
erroneous as a matter of law. See §
8-74-107(6), C.R.S. 2016; Colo. Div. of Emp't &