Judicial review of a commission decision is by trial de novo based on the substantial- evidence rule. Tex.
Lab. Code Ann. ' 212.202(a). The substantial-evidence rule requires the court to determine, as a matter of
law, whether the commission's decision is supported by substantial evidence. Mercer v. Ross, 701 S.W.2d
830, 831 (Tex. 1986); Hernandez v. Tex. Workforce Comm'n, 18 S.W.3d 678, 681 (Tex. App.-San Antonio
2000, no pet.); Direct Commc'ns, Inc. v. Lunsford, 906 S.W.2d 537, 541 (Tex. App.- Dallas 1995, no writ).
Reviewing courts are not bound by, nor do they review, the commission's findings of fact. Hernandez, 18
S.W.3d at 681; Direct Commc'ns., 906 S.W.2d at 541. The trial court bases its decision on the evidence
admitted at the trial de novo, not the evidence presented at the commission hearing. Mercer, 701 S.W.2d at
831; Hernandez 18 S.W.3d at 681. The purpose of the de novo trial is not to substitute the court's judgment
for that of the agency on controverted issues of fact. Mercer, 701 S.W.2d at 831; Hernandez 18 S.W.3d at
681. Rather, the court may only set aside the commission's decision if the decision was made without regard
to the law or the facts and was therefore unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious. Mercer, 701 S.W.2d at 831;
Hernandez 18 S.W.3d at 681.
... a party aggrieved by a final decision of the commission must bring an action in a court of competent
jurisdiction against the commission on or after the date on which the decision is final, and not later than 14
days thereafter. Tex. Lab. Code Ann. §212.201(a). A decision of the commission becomes final 14 days
after the date the decision is mailed. Tex. Lab. Code Ann. §212.153 (Vernon 2006). In this case, the
commission's decision was mailed on June 2 and became final on June 16. The last day to appeal was June
30. The city filed its petition in the district court on June 26. Therefore, the appeal was timely, and we have
subject-matter jurisdiction over the June 2 decision.
TWC v. City of Houston (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 19, 2009)(Brown)
(unemployment claim, employment law, unemployment claim, judicial review suit, appeal, untimely protest)
REVERSED AND RENDERED: Opinion by Justice Brown
Before Justices Brock Yates, Anderson and Brown
14-07-00407-CV Texas Workforce Commission v. City of Houston
Appeal from 152nd District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Kenneth Price Wise