B. Refusal of Transfer or Demotion
A refusal to accept a transfer to another position with
the same employer constitutes a voluntary quit and not a
refusal to accept suitable work. Kramp v. Baltimore
Gas and Electric Company, 1051-BR-82.
The claimant, who worked as a driver, had eight accidents in one year,
two of which were not his fault. The employer offered
to transfer the claimant to another position because the
employer's insurer refused to insure the employer if the
claimant remained as a driver. The new position was a
demotion, since the claimant would have less responsibility
and would receive $.50 to $.75 less per hour. The claimant
did not accept this transfer. The claimant quit without
good cause or valid circumstances. The employer's actions
were reasonable in light of the claimant's driving record.
Williams v. Suggs Transportation Services, 609-BR-90.
The claimant was transferred from a position as a salesman to a position
as a carpenter. The claimant agreed to the transfer but
then made himself unavailable to the employer. The transfer
was reasonable under the circumstances. Abandoning a job
rather than transferring is a voluntary quit, without
good cause or valid circumstances. Levin v. Wycoff Marine, 228-BR-91.
The claimant quit after being demoted to a new position by the employer.
A refusal to accept a new position constitutes a voluntary
quit. A demotion is not unreasonable where the employee
has demonstrated inability to perform in the higher position.
The claimant's new assignment would have meant a reduction
of responsibilities, but would have paid the same. The
new assignment was reasonable given the problems the claimant
experienced in performing his old assignment. The claimant
voluntarily quit without good cause or valid circumstances.
Benjamin v. Creaney and Smith Properties, Inc., 145-BR-91.
When the employer permanently closed the laundry establishment
in which the claimant worked, the employer informed the
claimant that she could apply for work at another similar
establishment owned by the employer some distance away.
This is not a refusal of a transfer. Rather, the claimant
was laid off and then offered the opportunity to apply
for another position. Therefore, a disqualification for
a voluntary quit is not appropriate. Taylor v. A.
Samuel Kurland t/a Speedway Launderette, 563-BH-84.
C. Leave of Absence
The term "leaving work" refers only to an actual severance
of the employment relationship and does not encompass
a temporary interruption in the performance of services
caused by a leave of absence. Muller v. Board of Education, 144-BH-83.
Where no work is available for the claimant upon the expiration
of an approved leave of absence, the claimant's separation
is for a non-disqualifying reason. No penalty is warranted
under Section 8-1001. Savage v. Church Hospital, 1067-BH-83.
Where the claimant's pay is reduced upon the expiration of a leave
of absence in which the claimant's former position was
not guaranteed, and where the claimant accepted the revised
conditions of employment prior to resigning, the claimant's
resignation was not for good cause, but was for valid
circumstances. Carbone v. Baltimore Goodwill, Inc., 1144-BR-83.
The claimant took a maternity leave of absence and was still an employee.
Generally, a claimant who takes a voluntary leave of absence
has not voluntarily quit her employment pursuant to Section
8-1001. However, the claimant is generally not considered
available for work within the meaning of Section 8-903
for the duration of the leave. No disqualification was
imposed upon the claimant under Section 8-1001. Batty
v. Baltimore School Teachers, 165-BR-89.
The claimant failed to return to work after having been out on a medical
leave of absence. The claimant never contacted the employer
to request an extension of the leave. The claimant voluntarily
quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Drury
(Armbrester) v. Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Inc., 313-BR-90.
The claimant refused to return to work after the expiration of her
leave of absence because she believed that the positions
offered by the employer were lower than her previous position.
However, both positions offered were at the same rate
of pay as the claimant's previous position, were at convenient
locations, and entailed duties which the claimant was
capable of doing. The claimant voluntarily quit without
good cause or valid circumstances. Gasior v. Joseph
A. Bank Manufacturing Company, 23-BR-90.
Where a claimant accepts a leave of absence for the purpose of relocating
to another state, and where she has no intention of returning
to her job or to Maryland, the claimant is considered
to have voluntarily quit. The leave of absence in this
case was a pure technicality, as the claimant intended
to leave her job and never return, and she told her employer
of her intention from the outset. Hurt, 673-BR-93.
The claimant received a leave of absence to care for her seriously
ill father, but was still unable to return upon the expiration
of the leave and could not give the employer a date for
her expected return. The employer replaced the claimant.
Although the claimant did not want to quit, she intended
not to return to work for an undefinable period and this
constitutes a voluntary quit for valid circumstances.
Sortino v. Western Auto Supply Company, 896-BH-83.
D. Sale of Own Business
The claimant's voluntary sale of his own business which
was motivated by non-necessitous and non-compelling personal
reasons, and which caused his unemployment, constitutes
a voluntary quit without good cause or valid circumstances.
Swartz v. Packett's Pharmacy, Inc., 1142-BH-83.
The claimant sold his half of the business because it was suffering
losses, business conditions were not as expected, and
the claimant and his partner had business differences.
There was an agreement on both sides that the partnership
be dissolved. The claimant voluntarily quit for reasons
that were not good cause, but were valid circumstances.
Glassman v. Computers Communications Group, Inc., 99-BR-88.
E. Temporary Employment Agencies
The general rule is that a worker for a temporary agency
becomes unemployed the moment he finishes his remunerative
assignment. As an unemployed person, he cannot be considered
to have quit. The reason behind this rule is to assure
that those who take action to alleviate their unemployment
by accepting a temporary assignment are not treated more
harshly than those who do less. Steelman v. SES Temps, Inc., 2013-BR-93.
For purposes of the unemployment law, a person becomes unemployed when
his remunerative assignment comes to an end. A person
whose temporary assignment has come to an end is unemployed
already and cannot quit. Only a documented, longstanding
history of continual and virtually uninterrupted employment
will lead the Board to conclude that a failure to recontact
a temporary agency amounts to a voluntary quit. Laster
v. Manpower, Inc., 220-BR-90.
The temporary agency employer has the burden of proving that the claimant's
work tenure meets the requirements set out in Laster,
supra, before a claimant's failure to recontact the employer
can constitute a voluntary quit. Goodwin v. R and R Service, Inc., 1361-BR-92.
Once a person has begun work on an assignment from a temporary agency,
leaving that assignment before it is completed is a voluntary
quit. Flack v. Sparks Personnel Service, 354-BR-90.
The claimant voluntarily quit employment with a temporary agency because
the employer would not pay her $7.00 per hour. The claimant
had accepted the position knowing the rate of pay. When
she objected to the employment, she was offered another
job that same day at the same rate of pay and the same
location. The claimant refused. The claimant voluntarily
quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Thomas v. Kennedy, 424-BH-91.
The claimant worked for a temporary agency at a full-time assignment
for over one and one-half years. When that assignment
came to an end, the claimant was offered part-time positions
doing less responsible work at a 27% pay cut. The claimant,
who was searching for full-time work, declined the assignments.
Since the claimant was not employed at the time the offers
were made, her refusal of the offers was not a voluntary
quit. Blair v. Sparks Personnel Service, Inc., 672-BR-92.
The claimant was discharged from employment when her temporary assignment
ended. This assignment was one year in length. Nothwithstanding
the length of this single assignment the Board held that
the employer failed to establish that the claimant's tenure
of employment met the test as set forth in Laster
v. Manpower, Inc., 220-BR-90. Since this case failed
the Laster test, the claimant had no duty to recontact
the employer for another assignment. In this case, the
claimant completed her assignment and no intent to quit
employment was found. Wheeler v. Just Temps Inc., 1101-BR-01 (2001).
F. Employees on Strike
The disqualifications under Section 8-1004 (for being
unemployed due to a stoppage of work at the employer's
premises due to a labor dispute) and Section 8-1001 (for
voluntarily quitting employment) are mutually exclusive.
The term "leaving work" in Section 8-1001 refers only
to a severance of the employment relationship and does
not include a temporary interruption in the performance
of services. Therefore, Section 8-1001 does not apply
where the claimants were on strike and refused to return
to their jobs, even after the employer told them they
would be replaced if they failed to do so. Bibbens
et al. v. Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, 368-BH-85.
NOTE: The Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed the Board's
decision in this case. See, Sinai Hospital v. Department
of Employment and Training, 309 Md. 28, 522 A.2d 382 (1987).
There was a labor dispute and the union was the claimants' only
certified bargaining agent. On November 20, 1987, the
company and the union entered into a new collective bargaining
agreement and the labor dispute ended. Many employees
did not like the agreement but they did not have the right
to ratify the contract before it was entered into by the
union and the employer. The claimants had until November
25, 1987 to return to work. Those that did not return
by that date voluntarily quit without good cause or valid
circumstances. Sampedro v. Curtis Bay Towing Company, 622-BH-88.
G. Effect of Offering or Revoking a Resignation
Section 8-1001 does not require that an employer accept
a resignation in order for it to be a voluntary resignation.
Stefan v. Levenson and Klein, 1794-BR-82.
When a claimant's resignation is tendered, the employer is under no obligation
to disregard the resignation, even where the claimant
seeks to revoke it during the notice period. Roberts v. Tracor, Jitco, 991-BR-83.
The claimant wrote a letter of resignation effective February 12, 1988.
Following this, the employer repeatedly asked the claimant
to continue her employment. The claimant then agreed to
stay on indefinitely. The claimant continued to work through
March 18, 1988, at which time the employer told the claimant
that it was accepting her resignation. The claimant, at
the employer's request, clearly engaged in a course of
action that indicated that her resignation was rescinded.
Therefore, her failure to physically retrieve her resignation
letter cannot be used by the employer to change her layoff
into a resignation. Chambers v. Buffalo Tank Corporation of Delaware, 743-BR-88.
The fact that the employer asked for and received one week's notice,
as opposed to three days notice, does not negate the claimant's
intention to voluntarily quit. Nor does the employer's
act of allowing the claimant to continue working until
a replacement was found void the resignation. An employer
is not required to accept an employee's withdrawal of
her voluntary quit because the employee later changes
her mind. Bean-Armstrong v. Industrial Knife Company, 756-BR-92.
H. Discharge Prior to Effective Date of a Resignation
Where the claimant gave two weeks' notice and the employer
accelerated the claimant's leaving to be effective immediately,
the penalty under Section 8-1001 of the law does not commence
until two weeks after his separation from employment.
Stefan v. Levenson and Klein, 1794-BR-82.
After incurring a long history of unexcused absences and tardiness, the
claimant submitted a resignation to be effective in two
weeks. During the notice period, the claimant was away
from his work station and became disruptive when he was
reprimanded. The claimant was discharged prior to the
effective date of the resignation. The termination was
not merely an acceleration of the leaving, but was for
a series of repeated violations of employment rules constituting
gross misconduct under Section 8-1002. The penalty begins
on the actual week of termination. Salisbury v. Levenson and Klein, 395-BH-84.
Where a claimant submits a resignation effective six weeks in the future,
but is laid off for lack of work before the six weeks
is over, the penalty for voluntarily quitting does not
begin until the end of the six-week period. Fountain
v. J.H. Neuman and Son, 833-BH-81.
I. "Buy-Out" Offers and Voluntary Layoffs
The employer decided that a definite number of employees
were going to be laid off and their jobs eliminated. Rather
than make an arbitrary decision on its own, the employer
decided to give monetary inducements to encourage people
to voluntarily accept a layoff. The claimants really didn't
have a choice, since their jobs were eliminated. There
were very few other jobs within the company to which they
could transfer, particularly within the local area. The
employer increased the inducement by arranging it so that
the longer the employee stayed on and thought about the
severance package, the less money he would receive. Each
employee knew or was led to believe that eventually he
would be laid off, with or without the severance package,
which induced him to accept the layoff sooner, rather
than later. This is not a voluntary quit. Bishop et
al. v. Digital Equipment Corporation, 270-BH-91.
Where the employer has already decided to lay off two people immediately
from that particular office, the two people are considered
laid off whether they are chosen by the employer or whether
they choose themselves. The layoff was caused by a lack
of work, and the fact that the employer allowed the claimant
to suggest that he be laid off does not change this fact.
Casamento v. Merrill Lynch Pierce, 2-BR-92.
In order to reduce the number of its employees for economic reasons,
the employer offered all employees a "buy-out." The employer
anticipated that an adequate number of people would accept
the package so that no one who wanted to work would be
laid off. The claimant subjectively felt that his department
was slowly being eliminated and that he would eventually
lose his job if he did not take the "buy-out" package.
This is not sufficient to change a situation from a voluntary
quit to a layoff, nor was the decision made for good cause
or valid circumstances. Gonder v. The Baltimore Sun Company, 1765-BR-92.
The claimant, an employee with over thirty years on the job, chose early
retirement when he was at risk of losing continuing, affordable
health benefits if he did not retire before March 15,
1997. He retired on February 14, 1996. The claimant's
reason for quitting was the need to have continuing affordable
health care. Thus, it was held that the claimant left
work voluntarily but had valid circumstances for doing
so. Voris, Jr. v. Avesta Sheffield East Inc., 02408-BR-97.
Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 continued