Brian Stair


Fendler v. Hudson Services features the Supreme Court of Missouri’s first thorough discussion of section 288.030.1(23) and the Court’s decision illustrates a development in Missouri appellate court interpretation of the statute’s definition of “misconduct.” This Note describes that definitional development and addresses its potential effect on future disputes in which employers are seeking to prove that an employee’s behavior constituted misconduct. Specifically, this Note focuses on how the Supreme Court of Missouri, by refusing to require a showing of “willfulness” to prove “misconduct,” has further complicated the use of mental states in “misconduct” analysis and potentially broadened the scope of what qualifies as statutory “misconduct.” Finally, this Note will identify a potential result of this broadened definition and seek to show how this “Fendler effect” relates to two very important, competing public policy interests.

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