On October 4, 2011, the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed another decision by the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission (“Commission”) denying unemployment benefits to a claimant who had been involuntarily discharged from her employment.  In Harris v. Div. of Employment Sec., the claimant filed a claim for unemployment benefits after her employer replaced her following the expiration of her medical leave.  Upon the expiration of her medical leave, the claimant’s doctor’s office submitted incomplete paperwork to her employer.  As soon as the claimant learned of the deficiency, she made numerous attempts to gather the proper paperwork.  However, while the claimant was waiting for the paperwork, her employer replaced her with another employee. The employer disputed the claim for unemployment benefits by arguing that the claimant voluntarily abandoned her job by choosing not to provide the employer with the proper paperwork. Section 288.050, RSMo., provides that a claimant shall be disqualified from unemployment benefits if it is determined that “the claimant has left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work or to the claimant’s employer.”  In its decision, the Court of Appeals noted that previous Missouri decisions had found difficulty in applying the phrase “left work voluntarily” when the claimant indicated a desire to be at work and claimed constraint from attendance by circumstances such as sickness or some other difficulty. Relying upon these previous decisions, the court held that based upon an examination of the record, there was insufficient competent and substantial evidence to support the Commission’s finding that the claimant voluntarily left her employment.  In particular, the court found that the claimant’s conduct upon learning of the incomplete paperwork showed that she was not “so unreasonably lax or irresponsible that this could be considered a voluntary relinquishment of the job.”  Rather, the claimant’s actions indicated that she had a desire to keep her job and that she conscientiously sought to retain it.  Accordingly, the court held that the claimant was discharged from her employment, thereby warranting a reversal of the Commission’s finding.