DLLR's Unemployment Insurance Appeals

 

Decision Number 1691-BR-93 - Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 - Maryland Unemployment Decisions Digest

 

BOARD OF APPEALS

DECISION

DECISION NO: 1691-BR-93
DATE: October 9, 1993
 
CLAIMANT: Karen V. Wilson APPEAL NO.: 9314836
 
EMPLOYER: Vincent A. Butler & Assoc. L.O. NO: 43
 
APPELLANT: Claimant

Issue: Whether the claimant's unemployment was due to leaving work voluntarily, without good cause, within the meaning of §8-1001 of the Labor and Employment Article.

- NOTICE OF RIGHT OF APPEAL TO COURT -

YOU MAY FILE AN APPEAL FROM THIS DECISION IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR BALTIMORE CITY OR ONE OF THE CIRCUIT COURTS IN A COUNTY IN MARYLAND. THE COURT RULES ABOUT HOW TO APPEAL CAN BE FOUND IN MANY PUBLIC LIBRARIES, IN THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, MARYLAND RULES, VOLUME 2, B RULES.

THE PERIOD FOR FILING AN APPEAL EXPIRES November 7, 1993.

APPEARANCES

For the Claimant: For the Employer:

REVIEW ON THE RECORD

Upon review of the record in this case, the Board of Appeals modifies the decision of the Hearing Examiner.

The Hearing Examiner decided the case under the wrong legal standard.

First, the Board does not agree that the reason for quitting was "a purely personal reason." The reason the claimant left was because the employer moved its place of business. This is a change in the conditions of employment. It is not a personal reason. The fact that an employer's change in the conditions of employment causes an employee personal problems does not mean that the employee quit for a personal reason.

Once it is determined that the reason for leaving is connected with the conditions of employment, it must be determined whether that reason amounts to "good cause" or "valid circumstances ." The Board agrees with the Hearing Examiner that the reason for leaving does not amount to good cause. With respect to valid circumstances, however, the Hearing Examiner applied the wrong standard of law.

The Hearing Examiner concluded that the claimant did not have valid circumstances because her reasons for leaving were not "necessitous or compelling" and because the claimant failed to show that she had "no reasonable alternative" other than to leave the employment. This standard, however, is the standard which should be applied when the reason for leaving the job was for personal reasons, under §8-1001(C) (1) (ii). When the reason for leaving is due to the conditions of employment, the standard for determining whether valid circumstances is set out in §8-100l(c) (1) (i). Under that standard, valid circumstances exist where the reason for leaving was "a substantial cause" connected with the conditions of employment.

The Board has held in the past that relocation Insubstantial of the cause "work site by the employer may constitute a connected with the conditions of the work, Langley v. Tec Fab of Maryland (142-BR-84), or may even constitute good cause, depending on the circumstances. Thomas v. Washington Inventory Services (899-BR-85). Although the circumstances in this case are not sufficient to amount to "good cause," they do amount to a "substantial cause." Since the circumstances amount to a substantial cause, the claimant had "valid circumstances" to leave the employment, and a lesser penalty will be imposed.

DECISION

The claimant left work voluntarily, without good cause, but for valid circumstances, within the meaning of §8-1001 of the Labor and Employment Article. She is disqualified from receiving benefits from the week beginning June 6, 1993 and the six weeks immediately following.

The decision of the Hearing Examiner is modified.

Thomas W. Keech, Chairman
Donna P. Watts, Associate Member

K:D
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COPIES MAILED TO:

CLAIMANT
EMPLOYER
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - WHEATON

 

 

LOWER APPEALS DECISION

DECISION

DECISION DATE: August 17, 1993  
 
CLAIMANT: Karen V. Wilson APPEAL NO.: 9314836
 
EMPLOYER: Butler and Associates L. O. NO.: 43
 
APPELLANT: Employer

Issue: Whether the claimant left work voluntarily, without good cause, within the meaning of the Code of Maryland, Labor and Employment Article, Title 8, Section 1001. Whether the appealing party filed a timely appeal or had good cause for an appeal filed late within the meaning of the Code of Maryland, Labor and Employment Article, Title 8, Section 806.

- NOTICE OF RIGHT TO FURTHER APPEAL -

Any party may request a further appeal either in person or by mail which maybe filed in any local office of the Department of Economic and Employment Development, or with the Board of Appeals, Room 515, 1100 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Your appeal must be filed by September 1, 1993.

Note: Appeals filed by mail are considered timely on the date of the U.S. Postal Service postmark.

APPEARANCES

For the Claimant: For the Employer:
Present Vincent A. Butler

FINDINGS OF FACT

A Benefit Determination mailed to the parties provides that the last day to file a timely appeal was July 14, 1993. In this case, the appeal was filed by mail on July 20, 1993 and received on July 21, 1993. The appellant offers as a reason for the late appeal that he received notice on July 16, 1993, after the appeal deadline had past. He then mailed the appeal within a few days. The appeal is deemed to be timely filed.

The claimant worked as a legal secretary for this employer from April 5, 1993 until June 8, 1993, earning a wage of $26,000.00 a year. She worked fill time.

When the claimant was hired, the employer's law office was located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just a short distance from the claimant's home. The drive from home to office took approximately five minutes. On May 30, 1993, the employer relocated his law office to Calverton, Maryland. The new office location is only a 20-minute drive from the Gaithersburg location. At the time of the change, the employer invited the claimant and other office personnel to join the firm at its new location.

The claimant quit his employment rather than relocate, because she wanted a job in her immediate neighborhood to be near her children in case they needed her. The claimant worked approximately two weeks in Calverton during the transition period.

Throughout the claimant's employment, she traveled to and from work in her own vehicle.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

The appellant had good cause for filing a late appeal within the meaning of Maryland Code, Title 8, Section 806.

The Maryland Code, Labor and Employment Article, Title 8, Section 1001, provides that an individual shall be disqualified for benefits where his unemployment is due to leaving work voluntarily, without good cause arising from or connected with the conditions of employment or actions of the employer. The preponderance of the credible evidence in the record will support a conclusion that the claimant voluntarily separated from employment, without good cause, within the meaning of Title 8, Section 1001.

EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE

In the instant case, the claimant severely restricted the geographical area in which she was willing to work. Her reason was to be near her children in case they needed her. This is purely a personal reason, not arising from or connected with the conditions of employment or actions of the employer. The claimant quit employment without good cause. When a separation is caused by a voluntary quit, the burden of proof is on the claimant to show good cause or valid circumstances. In this case, the claimant was not present and there is no evidence to support a conclusion that the claimant's separation was precipitated by another cause of such a necessitous or compelling nature that the claimant had no reasonable alternative but to leave the employment. There is no showing of valid circumstances.

DECISION

The appellant had good cause for filing a late appeal under Maryland Code, Title 8, Section 806.

The claimant left work voluntarily, without good cause, within the meaning of Maryland Code, Title 8, Section 1001. Benefits are denied for the week beginning June 6, 1993, and until she becomes reemployed, earns at least fifteen times her weekly benefit amount in covered employment, and thereafter becomes unemployed through no fault of her own.

The determination of the Claims Examiner is reversed.

C. White, ESQ., Hearing Examiner

Date of hearing: August 9, 1993
cd/Specialist ID: 43719
Seq. No. :005

Copies mailed on August 17, 1993 to:
KAREN V. WILSON
BUTLER AND ASSOCIATES
LOCAL OFFICE #43