Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
appeal from the 357th District Court of Cameron County,
Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Rodriguez and Benavides
ROGELIO VALDEZ Chief Justice.
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) appeals the trial
court's judgment, which reversed the TWC's
determination that appellee Patricia Macias was disqualified
from receiving unemployment benefits. See Tex. Labor
Code Ann. § 207.044(a) (West, Westlaw through 2015
R.S.). We affirm.
over two decades, the Harlingen Independent School District
employed Macias as a paraprofessional. Macias's job
duties primarily consisted of helping teachers manage
students in the classroom. A school policy prohibited
paraprofessionals from having "conferences" with
parents about students; instead, parent conferences were
reserved for teachers.
October 18, 2012, a teacher at the school where Macias worked
told the principal that she overheard Macias talking to a
student's grandfather about the student. The principal
determined that Macias violated the school's policy
against conferencing and fired her.
four months after her termination, Macias filed a claim with
the TWC seeking unemployment compensation starting from the
date of her termination. The TWC determined that Macias was
disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation because
she committed "misconduct" as defined by the Texas
Unemployment Compensation Act, by "mismanag[ing] her
position of employment." See id. (providing
that "an individual is disqualified for benefits if the
individual was discharged for misconduct connected with the
individual's last work"); see also id.
§ 201.012 (West, Westlaw through 2015 R.S.) (defining
misconduct as, among other things, "mismanagement of a
position of employment"). Specifically, the TWC
concluded that Macias mismanaged her position as a
paraprofessional by having a conference with the
student's grandfather on October 18, 2012.
Macias timely appealed the TWC's finding of misconduct to
the trial court. After an evidentiary hearing on the issue,
the trial court entered a judgment reversing the TWC's
decision to deny Macias unemployment benefits. This appeal by
the TWC followed.
first issue, the TWC contends that the trial court erred in
reversing the TWC's finding of misconduct.
Standard of Review
the applicable standard of review, the trial court's
judgment stands if the TWC's finding of misconduct was
not supported by "substantial evidence." See
id. § 212.202(a) (West, Westlaw through 2015 R.S.);
see also State v. Pub. Util. Comm'n of Tex., 883
S.W.2d 190, 204 (Tex. 1994); Tex. Employment Comm'n
v. Holberg, 440 S.W.2d 38, 42 (Tex. 1969). Substantial
evidence means more than a scintilla. See Pub. Util.
Comm'n of Tex., 883 S.W.2d at 204.