Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division
from the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission
Before: Mark D. Pfeiffer, Chief Judge Presiding, Thomas H.
Newton, and Lisa White Hardwick, JJ.
H. Newton, Judge
Lucille Mandacina appeals an order of the Labor &
Industrial Relations Commission affirming an appeals tribunal
ruling denying her unemployment compensation benefits because
she had voluntarily left work without good cause attributable
to the work or the employer. Ms. Mandacina challenges the
sufficiency of the evidence to support a finding that she
voluntarily quit, and she argues that the evidence shows that
she had good cause to "quit" her position as a
casino table games dealer. We affirm.
Mandacina began her employment with Harrah's North Kansas
City in August 2010, working as a table games dealer. The
position required a valid Missouri gaming license. After Ms.
Mandacina placed herself on the state's disassociated
person's list, which forbids problem gamblers from going
onto a casino floor other than for work, she used an ATM
machine on the casino floor. She was cited for trespassing in
2012 for this conduct and fought the revocation of her gaming
license, but ultimately failed. Ms. Mandacina learned in
early November 2015 from her employer that her license had
been revoked and she could no longer be employed as a casino
dealer. Because she was concerned about her family's
health-care coverage and was willing to work at a
lower-paying position, Ms. Mandacina agreed to a thirty-day
reassignment status that would allow her to continue her
health-insurance benefit if she secured other available
employment at Harrah's within that period.
transcript is somewhat unclear as to whether Harrah's
failed to "reach out" to Ms. Mandacina as promised
to inform her about any job openings or whether she failed to
fulfill her own responsibility to apply for jobs posted on
the company's website. Regardless, Ms. Mandacina did not
apply for any other position at Harrah's. When Ms.
Mandacina learned that she could not apply for food stamps,
collect unemployment compensation, or access her 401(k)
savings if she remained on reassignment status until it was
scheduled to conclude in mid-December, she signed a
resignation letter on December 2, 2015. Ms. Mandacina knew
that it was her responsibility to apply for other work at
Harrah's. According to the employer, a housekeeping
position was available and posted on its website during Ms.
Mandacina's reassignment period.
deputy denied her application for unemployment benefits, and
a Commission appeals tribunal affirmed, finding that Ms.
Mandacina voluntarily separated from her employment when she
signed the resignation letter on December 2, 2015, and that
she did not have good cause attributable to the work or her
employer to quit. The Commission affirmed, and Ms. Mandacina
filed this appeal.
reviewing a Commission decision, we must affirm unless
"the commission acted without or in excess of its
powers, " "the decision was procured by fraud,
" "the facts found by the commission do not support
the award, " or "there was no sufficient competent
evidence in the record to warrant the making of the
award." § 288.210 (1)-(4). As to the sufficiency of the
evidence, which is at issue here, and our authority when a
question of law is implicated, we apply the following
standard of review:
A court must examine the whole record to determine if it
contains sufficient competent and substantial evidence to
support the award, i.e., whether the award is contrary to the
overwhelming weight of the evidence. An award that is
contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence is, in
context, not supported by competent and substantial evidence.
Nothing requires this Court to review the evidence and all
reasonable inferences drawn from the evidence in the light
most favorable to the Commission's decision. The whole
record is considered to determine if there is sufficient
competent and substantial evidence to support the
Commission's award. A reviewing court considers whether
the Commission could have reasonably made its findings, and
reached its result, upon consideration of all the evidence
This Court defers to the Commission's factual findings
and recognizes that it is the Commission's function to
determine credibility of witnesses. This Court may not
substitute its judgment on the evidence, and when the
evidence before an administrative body would warrant either
of two opposed findings, the reviewing court is bound by the
administrative determination, and it is irrelevant that there
is supportive evidence for the contrary finding.
We do not defer to the Commission's conclusions of law or
its application of the law to the facts. Additionally, where,
as here the Commission adopts the decision of the Appeals
Tribunal, we consider the Tribunal's decision ...