Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 - Maryland Unemployment Decisions Digest - Appeals
Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 continued
B. Conditions of Employment
1. General Dissatisfaction with the Job
The claimant property manager resigned his employment after two years to seek employment in another field because he was no longer willing to cope with the hectic and demanding nature of his job. The claimant was well aware of these job conditions at the time of hire. The claimant has neither good cause nor valid circumstances for resigning. Gisriel v. Charles H. Steffey, Inc., 1085-BH-83.
The claimant police matron believed a secretary in the office was not performing a sufficient amount of work and, on reporting it, was told the matter would be taken care of. The claimant resigned after becoming dissatisfied that her complaints did not have a more obvious and dramatic effect. The claimant's frustration with what she considered to be another employee's failure to live up to the rules does not constitute good cause or a valid circumstance. Lyons v. Baltimore County Police Department, 16-BH-86.
The claimant's coworkers failed to act in a friendly manner towards her. However, the employer is not required to provide a working atmosphere in which coworkers are friendly toward the claimant. The claimant left without good cause or valid circumstances. Veney v. Greater S.E. Community Hospital, 409-BR-87.
The claimant voluntarily quit because she could not get along with a coworker. This coworker was a son of one of the owners. The employer was aware of the conflict and talked about it with the claimant and the other employee. The claimant stated that she could handle the situation. However, subsequently, the claimant resigned. The claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances. There was insufficient evidence that the claimant was harassed or treated unfairly. McClain v. D and G Container, Inc., 187-BH-90.
The claimant misunderstood the position of secretary, which she took in good faith, which resulted in the claimant spending one-half of her time doing non-secretarial work. The claimant's leaving was for valid circumstances. Wingate v. American Trading and Production Corporation, 203-BR-87.
The claimant took a job, not understanding that her pre-existing medical condition made it impossible for her to perform her job duties. As soon as she realized that the job was medically unsuitable, she quit. Since the job was, in fact, medically unsuitable from the beginning, the quit was for good cause. Dean v. Eddie's Cleaners, Inc., 1114-BR-92.
The claimant was not provided with a suitable work place or the necessary equipment to do her job as a clerk typist, and she was not given assignments commensurate with her job classification, although she took steps to bring the problem to the attention of her superiors to no avail. The claimant left for good cause. Moore v. Department of the Army, 170-BH-89.
At the time of the claimant's hiring, he discussed with the employer the fact that he was unfamiliar with the type of fork lift used by the employer. Both parties agreed that the claimant would try to learn the job. The claimant received no training. After three weeks, the claimant found that he could not use that type of fork lift, despite making good faith efforts to learn, and he quit. The claimant had good cause for quitting the job. Smith v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., 1747-BR-93.
The claimant worked for the employer for two weeks, the first of which was supposed to be training in the position of assistant store manager. The claimant spent the first week cleaning and organizing and did not receive training. During the second week, the claimant spent three days working with other employees and was then told to open a store herself and perform all the duties of an assistant manager. The claimant informed the regional manager that she was uncomfortable doing this because she had not received proper training. The regional manager offered no solution to this. The claimant then quit. The Board, citing Smith v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., 1747-BR-93, held that the claimant quit for good cause. Bollinger v. Highs of Baltimore, Inc., 4584-BR-11.
The employer hired the claimant to make sure that cosmetology students had the practical experience and required course work they needed to pass state Boards for licensing. The students complained that they were missing some critical instruction. The claimant told her supervisor, but she told the claimant it was not her concern. The supervisor continued to make it difficult, if not impossible, for the claimant to accomplish her tasks and prepare students for the Boards. The claimant discussed her concerns with management until her supervisor told her to have no further contact with them. The claimant subsequently quit. Her reason for quitting was connected with the work and she had no remaining viable options. The Board held that she quit for good cause. Blackwell v. Md. Education Services LLC, 420-BR-11.
The claimant reasonably believed that she had accepted a position in outside sales and only learned after starting the employment, it was telemarketing. The claimant did bring her concerns about the difference in what she believed the job was and what it actually was to the employer. The claimant was advised there was no position available in outside sales and that the job for which she was hired was in telemarketing. The Board finds the claimant did explore all available alternatives to quitting this employment. The claimant had no other alternative, at that time, but to quit the position for which she lacked experience, training or education. The Board is satisfied that the claimant left his position for reasons which were personally compelling and, as such, has established valid circumstances for leaving. Stull v. New Horizons, 2937-BR-14.
The claimant accepted this contract position believing he would become part of the employer’s permanent staff rather soon. The claimant also thought he would be eligible for at least annual pay increases. However, the employer denied the claimant a pay increase after extending his contract without benefit of discussion or negotiation. The employer refused to discuss the matter further and foreclosed the claimant’s opportunity to obtain a benefit package. These perceived problems were the impetus for the claimant seeking other employment. The employer’s non-compete clause rendered a work search concurrent with this employment impossible. Leaving this employment to pursue other opportunities was the only option left to the claimant at this point. The employer created a situation wherein the claimant had no reasonable alternative when he left. The Board concludes that the claimant had good cause for leaving his employment under the circumstances. Aunallah v. Insight Global, Inc., 1188-BR-14.
2. Hazardous Conditions
The claimant was required by his employer to violate state and federal health and safety regulations in performing his work (asbestos removal). The claimant walked off without notice because he had already complained and had no expectation that further complaints would lead to a better result. The claimant quit with good cause. Hughes v. All State Boilers, 256-BR-86.
The claimant truck driver resigned due to alleged safety problems with his vehicle. However, the employer had repaired every significant safety defect prior to the claimant's resignation. The claimant quit for neither good cause nor valid circumstances. Dalton v. Francis O. Day Company, Inc., 1025-SE-85.
The claimant did not prove that working with a person who has AIDS endangered her health, thus her leaving was without good cause or valid circumstances. Morris v. Maryland National Bank, 339-BH-87.
The claimant presented a medical certificate to indicate an allergic reaction to a chemical used at the employer's premises, and her doctor advised her to secure a new position where she would not repeatedly come in contact with chemicals and water. The claimant's leaving was for a good cause. Deale v. Simpson Land Company, 390-SE-89.
The claimant felt that paint was causing his medical problems but did not seek medical attention, never informed his employer of the problems, and did not ask for a transfer. This denied the employer any opportunity to check out the matter or make corrections. The claimant left work voluntarily without good cause or valid circumstances. Berry v. Tnemec Company, Inc., 509-BR-89.
The claimant quit for good cause where she had repeatedly complained to the employer that the employer's machine gave off fumes that were very irritating to the claimant's eyes and throat, but the employer failed to take any action to correct the problem. After the claimant resigned, she filed a complaint with MOSH, who notified the employer. Within ten days of this notification, the employer notified MOSH that it had corrected the problem. Hanna v. Clinton Dental Lab, Inc., 956-BH-90.
The claimant was hired with the understanding that she would be working in a nonsmoking office. Due to her sensitivity to smoke, she would not have accepted the job otherwise. However, the employer did not have a nonsmoking office. The claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Mardis v. The Baltimore Sun, 211-BR-90. NOTE: This case was decided prior to the promulgation of COMAR 09.12.23, effective March 27, 1995, which prohibits smoking in an enclosed workplace.
The claimant conducted on-site repair of vending machines. He worked his territory with another worker, who was terminated and not replaced. Although the claimant was never robbed or beaten on the job, he was threatened by people while on the job, and he had seen armed men on the premises. One manager carried a gun, and a dead body had been found behind one of the buildings. The employer acknowledged that the claimant's territory was definitely dangerous, but he did not hire anyone to help the claimant, despite repeated requests. Although going into dangerous neighborhoods was part of the job, the claimant's requests that the employer rehire someone to help him was not unreasonable, given the dangerous nature of the area and the history of using two or more men to serve the area. The claimant quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Smith v. Macke Laundry, 1661-BR-92.
On the claimant’s first day of work he was sent to Washington to make a delivery using a flatbed truck. The claimant felt the truck was not safe. The next day, he was sent over the Key Bridge to make a delivery with the same truck. The claimant brought his safety concerns to the attention of the supervisor and boss. A couple of days later, the claimant did not use the truck since it was supposed to go into the shop for repair. The next day, the truck had not been repaired. The claimant resigned since he did not want to drive an unsafe truck. The Board found that the claimant voluntarily quit his job because of unsafe working conditions that persisted after notice. The Board finds the claimant’s reason for quitting was directly attributable to the conditions of employment. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Bremmer v. Marine Tech Equipment LLC, 4980-BR-13.
3. Threats, Assaults and Crime
a. By Employer
The fact that an employee does not immediately quit after being physically assaulted by her employer, when the assault in itself was a sufficient reason to establish good cause, does not mean that the reason she quit was not good cause. Lockhart v. Lyschik, 300-BH-92.
The claimant quit because her husband/employer consistently physically assaulted her in the office. The claimant provided a videotape of the final assault. The Board held that the claimant had good cause to quit. The fact that she did not quit until the week following the incident does not mean that the incident was not sufficient to establish good cause. Westcott v. Gregg Neck Boat Yard, Inc., 1245-BR-11.
b. By Coworkers
The claimant had good cause to resign where she was threatened with serious bodily harm by a coworker, and the employer's higher management refused to transfer or terminate the offending coworker. The claimant took all reasonable steps to alleviate the problem prior to resigning. Hickerson v. McDonald's, 1245-BH-82.
4. Instability of Job or Business
The claimant voluntarily quit for good cause where the employer was being taken over by the federal government and another bank due to financial problems and where the claimant's future there was uncertain. If the claimant had a job after the takeover, it would have been under different conditions and at reduced pay. The claimant's supervisor strongly advised her to seek other employment, and she did so. Himes v. Baltimore Federal Financial, 979-BH-90.
A claimant, who was informed that his job was coming to an end in two weeks, and that he would be laid off, quit before the two weeks were up and accepted an equivalent job elsewhere. The claimant's reason for leaving was connected with the total conditions of employment and constituted good cause. Gaillot v. Lane Construction Corporation, 481-BR-92.
The claimant discovered that she was definitely going to be fired, but that the employer was not going to tell her until she could be replaced. The claimant, who was a good worker, quit before she was fired. The claimant had good cause connected with the work to quit her job. Butler v. Circle Graphics, Inc., 852-BH-92.
Having been laid off from one office, the claimant commuted 27 miles to another office and found that she was unable to earn substantial commissions there. She was given a quota but was unable to fulfill that quota, despite her best efforts, and the employer's reminders of this had reached the point where he was hinting that she was about to be let go. These reasons taken together constitute a substantial cause for leaving the job, thus qualifying as valid circumstances under the law. Treadway v. Sovero Associates, Inc., 1582-BR-92.
The claimant's reason for leaving was that the employer's contract would expire in a few weeks and the employer could not guarantee continued employment after that. This was a substantial cause connected with the conditions of employment, which is a valid circumstance. Warren v. Melwood Horticultural Training Center, Inc., 969-SE-93.
The claimant voluntarily quit because he was notified that the employer would close in four weeks and because his responsibilities and commissions were substantially decreased during the last year due to poor business conditions. These reasons are not good cause because the claimant quit while several weeks of work were still available, and the change in the claimant's responsibilities was due to economic conditions. However, the impending demise of the business and loss of commissions was a substantial cause. Therefore, the claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Bressler v. Maryland Metal Moulding Company, 122-BR-91.
The claimant had an offer of work with the person who was planning to buy the equipment from her current employer and start up a new operation. Rather than wait for her current employment to disappear, she moved to the new employer prior to being discharged. The fact that the current employer was selling its equipment and closing its operations was a substantial cause, connected with the conditions of employment, and therefore, was a valid circumstance. Woollard v. Peoples Service Drug Stores, Inc., 1740-BR-92.
The claimant became aware that the business was about to be sold and that the result would be his layoff. As a result, he attempted to start his own business. Since the claimant came up with his plan to become self-employed only after learning that his regular job was coming to an end and he would soon be left without work, the primary reason for the resignation was the impending layoff and not the desire to become self-employed. The claimant quit for valid circumstances. Diggs v. F.E. Vale, Inc., 373-BR-86.
Although the employer was in a degree of financial trouble, the claimant did not have any reasonable fear of an impending layoff. The claimant did not meet the burden of showing that she left for good cause or valid circumstances. Humbert v. The Martin Pollak Project, 736-BH-87.
5. Leaving to Accept a Better Job
Voluntarily quitting one's job to accept better employment cannot constitute good cause within the meaning of Section 8-1001 as a matter of law. Total Audio - Visual v. DLLR, 360 Md. 387, 395, 758 A.2d 124, 128 (2000) ("[a] plain reading of Section 8-1001 makes clear that leaving employment for a better paying job does not constitute 'good cause'.") It may, however, constitute "valid circumstances" if it can be shown that the reasons for quitting meet the "necessitous or compelling" test of Section 8-1001(c)(ii). Section 8-1001(c)(i) is inapplicable as a matter of law in cases such as the one at bar. The Court of Appeals found, "[n]ot being directly related to, attributable to or connected with the employee's employment or the actions of that employing unit, offers of higher pay as an inducement to leave existing employment must fall, if at all into [Section 8-1001(c)(ii)]."
This is a stricter test than the "good cause" test. Plein v. DLLR, 369 Md. 421 (2002). Under this stricter test the Court of Appeals requires that more needs to be shown and that the precipitating event or cause "would reasonably [have] impel[led] the average able-bodied qualified worker to give up his or her employment." Total Audio-Visual, supra, quoting Board of Educ. of Montgomery County v. Paynter, 303 Md. 22, 29, 491 A.2d 1186, 1189-90 (1985).
The Board's current interpretation of Total Audio - Visual, read in conjunction with the Plein decision, finds that voluntarily quitting one's job for purely economic reasons is neither "necessitous" nor "compelling" under Section 8-1001. To the extent that this interpretation is inconsistent with Gagne v. Potomac Talking Book Services, Inc., 374-BH-03, the Board overrules its prior precedent decision in Gaskins v. UPS, 1686-BR-00.
There must be a showing of something more connected with the conditions of the prior employment which motivated the claimant to quit his or her job to better employment to constitute a valid circumstance within the meaning of Section 8-1001. The Court of Appeals has stated, "Accepting more money and changing jobs is as much of a gamble and thus, as much of a personal matter as going in to business for oneself. In [the Court of Appeals'] view, it is unmistakably clear that Section 8-1001(a) was not designed to provide benefits when the precipitating cause for the voluntary leaving of employment was for higher pay or a better job. Instead, it was designed to prevent hardship to persons who lose their job "through no fault of their own." Plein v. DLLR, 369 Md. 421 (2002), quoting Total Audio - Visual.
In Plein, supra, the claimant was employed by Atlas Tile & Terrazo as a tile setter's helper at a job paying $9.00 per hour. He accepted employment with Home Depot, U.S.A. as a sales associate in the floor and wall department. The Home Depot job paid $12.00 per hour with the prospect of receiving, after a waiting period, a health insurance plan and stock purchase options and, after one year, two weeks’ vacation and sick leave. The claimant left his employment with Atlas and began working at Home Depot on August 14, 2000. On September 27, 2000, the claimant was laid off through no fault of his own. The Courts of Appeals found that the claimant was not entitled to unemployment benefits under the "necessitous or compelling" test of Section 8-1001 under its interpretation and under the authority of Total Audio - Visual, 360 Md. 387, 400-01, 758, A.2d 124, 131-32 (2000).
The Court explained in Plein, "In Total Audio-Visual, this Court, albeit, and perhaps significantly so, a sharply divided one, determined, and held that the General Assembly did not intend that a person who voluntarily terminates his or her otherwise satisfactory employment for other employment with better pay be eligible to receive unemployment benefits when laid off through no fault of his or her own by the subsequent employer."
The Board of Appeals applied the ruling in Total Audio-Visual Systems, Inc. v. DLLR when it considered the precedent case of Gaskins v. United Parcel Service. In that case, the claimant voluntarily quit her job with UPS to work as a private investigator for an insurance company. Applying Total Audio-Visual Systems, Inc., the Board construed that the claimant did not have good cause to quit her job; however, the Board construed the Court of Appeals decision in finding that if a claimant can show that the acceptance of the new job was “of such necessitous or compelling nature that the individual has no reasonable alternative other than leaving the employment”, valid circumstances may be found. To establish “valid circumstances” the Board of Education of Montgomery County v. Paynter, 303 Md. 22, (1985), ‘necessitous or compelling’ test is applicable. Gaskins v. United Parcel Service, 1686-BR-00 (2000).
The Board applied the Gaskins case in finding that valid circumstances might exist when a claimant quits his job to accept better employment. The claimant left his job for another paying 16% more salary, similar fringe benefits, but an 85% less commute difference. The claimant counter-offered the first employer – giving this employer an offer to match what was being offered him by the prospective employer. The first employer declined and the claimant accept new employment. The Board applied Sinai Hospital v. Dept. of Employment and Training, 309 Md. 28 (1987) noting that “unemployment compensation laws should be read liberally in favor of eligibility . . .” The Board ruled the claimant’s reasons for quitting his job were of such compelling nature that the claimant had no alternative other than leave his employment. Griffith v. Leonardtown Ford, Inc., 1258-BR-01 (2001).
Various decisions following Gaskins have held “valid circumstances” for voluntary quits of employment:
The financial package at the new job was substantially better than the former job with a 40% increase in salary, retirement benefits, a 50% increase in vacation time, and substantial reduction in commute time. These factors were considered compelling, leaving the claimant no reasonable alternative to leaving the former employer. Purcell v. TRA Furniture Distributors, Inc., 749-BR-01 (2001).
The Board ruled that the acceptance of new employment was of such necessitous and compelling nature that the claimant had no reasonable alternative other than leaving his employment. “Valid circumstances were found when the claimant established that the “new” employment increased his income by 50%. Walker v. Rentacrate Inc., 904-BR-01 (2001).
The Board held that leaving one part-time job because it interfered with the claimant’s more substantial part-time job supported a finding of “valid circumstances”. The facts in this case were different than the facts in Gaskins or Total Audio-Visual Systems in that the claimant did not leave one job to accept another. Davis v. Harford County Public Schools, 1837-BR-00.
A voluntarily quit to accept a job for purely economic reasons cannot be considered for “good cause” as a matter of law. To establish “valid circumstances” for this voluntary quit, the claimant has the burden of demonstrating that the reasons for the voluntary quit were “necessitous or compelling”. Hall v. C. Brown Excavating, Inc., 701-BR-06.
The claimant was a construction worker who usually obtained work in his trade through a union hall. When there was no work in his usual field, the claimant accepted placements through a temporary agency. The claimant abruptly left a temporary assignment to accept a job in his primary trade through his union hall. The Board cited the claimant’s 25-years worth of contributions into his union retirement plan and availability of future jobs through the union hall (and not a pay increase from $6.50 to $24.50 per hour) as valid circumstances in claimant’s voluntary quit from the temporary employment agency. See v. ACT Personnel Services, Inc., 1214-SE-06.
The claimant quit his employment to accept other employment with more flexible hours. The requirement of more flexible hours was necessitated by the claimant’s responsibility as a father to keep his minor son free from harm. The claimant son had been previously assaulted and had become a witness for the prosecution in juvenile court. The claimant needed to wait with his child until school doors had opened so that his child could enter school free of harm. There was no other person to provide this service. The Board ruled that the voluntary quit was for personal, not economic, reasons and was necessitated by valid circumstances – the safety of a child. Dean v. Waco Products, 1639-BH-07.
The claimant’s job as a telecommunications technician was contractual and had no health or other benefits. The claimant quit this job to accept a permanent full-time job with health and other benefits. The Board found that the claimant’s reasons for quitting were not purely economic in nature and held that the claimant quit for valid circumstances. Rector v. Department of Transportation, 4800-BR-11.
The claimant quit her job to accept other employment because of a significant increase in her employer-sponsored health care premium. The new job provided full health care costs and a substantial raise. Voluntarily quitting one’s job for purely economic reasons is neither “necessitous” nor “compelling” under Section 8-1001. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Setters v. Psych Associates of Maryland LLC, 5286-BR-10. Note: This case is distinguished from Davis v. Daniel Schuster LLC, 438-BH-03, where the prior employment offered no health benefits.
The claimant’s primary motivation to quit her job as a bartender for new employment at a Catholic school was that the new job offered health benefits to her and her children. The Board, citing Davis v. Daniel Schuster LLC, 438-BH-03, held that quitting a job that does not offer health benefits to accept a job that has health benefits may be for valid circumstances within the meaning of Section 8-1001. Kilgore v. KDW Management LLC, 3108-BR-11.
The claimant voluntarily quit her job to accept employment with another company in the same field as the employer. The new job paid more money, offered better health benefits and offered a 401K retirement plan. Although the Court held in Total Audio-Visual that voluntarily leaving employment to accept higher pay does not constitute a necessitous or compelling reason under Section 8-1001, the Board held in Davis that accepting employment for health benefits is not solely for economic reasons. In the instant case, the query is whether better health benefits and a retirement plan meet the health benefits exception that Davis carved out. Although Davis’ fact pattern is somewhat different than that of the present case, (the claimant in Davis voluntarily quit to accept a job that provided health benefits from employment that did not offer health benefits), there’s another factor at play – that the new employer offered a retirement benefit package that the currently employer did not. The Board found that like the offer of health benefits, the offer of retirement benefits is not totally economic. The claimant left employment for a myriad of reasons; not the least of which was to accept a new position that offered benefits that would accrue to her when she was no longer able to participate in the work force. There is a large segment of the elderly population unable to stop working because they lack retirement plans. This scenario is creating a nationwide crisis as well. Planning for future care is analogous to planning for a health emergency. The acceptance of a position that offers a retirement plan over a current position that does not is necessitous and compelling reason and constitutes valid circumstances. The Board awarded benefits after a five-week penalty. Anderson v. Aspex Eyewear, Inc., 1869-BR-11. (Leaving for health benefits and a retirement package amounts to valid circumstances.)
The claimant quit a part-time job to accept a full-time job. The Board found that this quit was not purely economic in nature. A reasonable, average, able-bodied person would give up a part-time job to accept full-time employment. The Board found that the Total Audio-Visual Systems and Plein cases are inapplicable to the facts of this case and that quitting a part-time job to accept full-time employment was necessitous and compelling in nature, constituting valid circumstances. McCoy v. Manpower International, Inc., 603-BR-11.
The claimant worked part-time for the employer while also working full-time elsewhere. She lost the full-time job and subsequently found another full-time job. She submitted a written request to the part-time employer asking to change her part-time hours from evening shift to day shift so that her work hours with the new full-time job would not overlap with the part-time job. The part-time employer failed to respond by the claimant’s expected first day at the full-time job. The claimant quit the part-time job. The claimant did not quit for “better employment.” She quit only after the part-time employer failed to respond to her shift change request. This reason is a job-related cause. A reasonable, similarly situated person would have quit the part-time job to take the full-time job. The claimant pursued all avenues available prior to quitting. The Board held the claimant quit for good cause. Lindsey v. Arbitron, Inc. 1583-BH-11.
The claimant was hired for an hourly wage of $11.00 per hour. The claimant was required to complete a 90-day probationary period after which the claimant would be provided free housing and utilities. The claimant accepted the job (that paid a much lower wage than he was accustomed) on condition that after the expiration of the 90-day probationary period, he would receive free housing and utilities. This was the basis of the bargain for acceptance of the employment. Prior to completing the 90-day probationary period, the employer withdrew the housing and utilities offer. It was not withdrawn for a disciplinary reason. As a result, the claimant had to find work that paid more than $11.00 per hour. The claimant voluntarily quit the job because the free housing and utilities offer was withdrawn as part of the claimant’s compensation package. This was a detrimental change in the claimant’s conditions of employment. The Board found that the Total Audio-Visual vs. DLLR case was inapplicable to the case at bar. The claimant did not quit for purely economic reasons. The claimant quit because of a detrimental change in the conditions of his employment. The claimant’s acceptance of new employment was merely incidental and not related to the reason the claimant quit the job. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Gartner v. Price Self Storage, 397-BR-12.
The claimant quit employment with a temporary agency in order to accept an assignment with another temporary agency where she would have the opportunity to become permanent. Her primary reason for leaving was not the hourly wage increase she would receive. The Board held that this was a quit for valid circumstances. The claimant’s reason for leaving was not work-related. Nothing related to this employment compelled her to leave. She was offered a position which had the possibility of becoming permanent. This option did not exist with her current assignment with this employer. The claimant was attempting to improve her long-term, overall employment situation and when such an opportunity was offered her, she was compelled to leave her current employment. Her reasons for leaving were not purely economic. Williams v. Robert Half International, Inc., 717-BR-12.
The claimant voluntarily quit her job for several reasons. The new position paid more money, it was closer to home and it offered health care benefits. The old employer did not offer the claimant health care benefits. The Board, citing the case of Davis v. Daniel Schuster LLC, 438-BH-03, held that the claimant’s voluntary quit was for valid circumstances. Graves v. Board of Education of Baltimore County, 1045-BR-12.
The claimant worked as a full-time backhoe technician, earning $24.00 per hour. The claimant voluntarily quit the job to accept a full-time position elsewhere, paying $24.00 per hour. The reason the claimant took the job was that it was closer to his home and he would save money on gas. He would have to drive only 22 miles instead of the 70 miles he drove to the old employer’s location. The claimant knew the old employer’s location when he accepted the job. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit the job without good cause or valid circumstances. Mooney v. Oneida Communications, Inc., 4689-BR-12.
The claimant worked as a union electrician since 2004, with a current rate of pay of $26.00 per hour. The claimant kept in contact with his union to see if work was available, but his union did not have any available work. The claimant approached another employer to ask if it had work available. They offered the claimant a job paying $16.00 per hour. The claimant had an understanding with this employer that anytime the union called him, he would return to the union job. When the union informed the claimant that work was available, he left this employer to do the union work. The Board found that the claimant’s leaving his employment to accept employment with the union was not solely economic. The union required the claimant to leave the employment and accept a union job if it became available. The union’s call to work was of such a necessitous and compelling nature that the claimant had no reasonable alternative other than leaving the employment. The Board held that the claimant left his job without good cause, but for valid circumstances. Ike v. Total Electric, Inc., 5656-BR-12.
After three months as a temporary worker, the employer’s client offered the claimant a permanent position. The claimant accepted the full-time, permanent position with the client company and ended her assignment with the employer. The claimant initiated the separation from her employment in order to accept the full-time, permanent position with the client company to which she had been assigned. When a worker initiates a separation, it is a voluntary quit. A quit to accept other employment is not, generally, attributable to the first employer and therefore, insufficient to demonstrate good cause. However, the claimant may show valid circumstances if the evidence supports a finding that the claimant has placed herself in a better, overall position by accepting the new employment. That applies in this case. The claimant left the temporary position which would have ended at any time and which did not afford her any opportunity for benefits, advancement or job security. She accepted a new job which was permanent and full time. The claimant had a greater opportunity for growth and to receive benefits. The Board held that the claimant quit for valid circumstances. Brown v. Robert Half International, Inc., 1095-BR-13.
The claimant voluntarily quit his job as an electrical and gas meter installer, earning $13.00 per hour, in order to accept other employment. He accepted a full-time job with a temporary staffing agency and was placed on a temp-to-perm assignment where he would be working as a mechanical assembler earning $14.00 per hour. The claimant accepted the job because it was in the field that the claimant had studied in school. The Board held that the claimant’s acceptance of the new employment was of such necessitous and compelling nature that the claimant had no reasonable alternative other than leaving his employment. The new job afforded him career advancement in his field. The claimant quit for valid circumstances. Easley v. VSI Meter Services, 104-BR-13.
The claimant voluntarily quit her higher-paying position as a lead employee in audio-visual conferencing because she found employment as a medical assistant, a field in which she had recently been trained. The claimant’s new position paid a lower salary, but offered the opportunity to advance in the medical assistant field. In this case, the claimant’s voluntary quit was not “purely economic.” The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but for valid circumstances. Sousa v. Intercall, Inc., 2046-BR-13.
The Board finds that quitting a job that was subject to regular, periodic layoffs with no retirement or leave benefits for a job with steady, regular hours as well as a retirement plan and personal leave is not a voluntary quit for purely economic reasons (seeking only a higher wage rate). Notwithstanding, a finding of good cause cannot be found as a matter of law; however, the Board finds that the claimant sufficiently demonstrated that he voluntarily quit his job due to a cause substantially related to the unstable conditions of his employment. A finding of valid circumstances is supported. Under the circumstances, the Board finds that only the minimum five-week penalty is warranted. Timmons v. Insulation Specialties, Inc., 1981-BR-14.
The claimant worked two part-time jobs. One job as an information specialist was for 20 hours per two-week pay period. The second employer offered the claimant a permanent 30-hour per week position as a billing and payroll secretary working from home. It also provided health and dental benefits which were not offered through her first part-time position. The claimant quit her position as an information specialist and accepted the position as a billing payroll clerk. The claimant quit her part-time job to accept a permanent 30-hour per week position where she could work from home and secure health and dental insurance. The Board held the claimant quit for valid circumstances. Zimmerman v. Federal Working Group, Inc., 1082-BR-14.
The claimant worked part-time for the employer, 21st Century Oncology Services, from February 1, 2013 to April 18, 2014. The claimant had a second part-time job with a different employer from which he was laid off in October 2013. The claimant believed he could get another part-time position or work full-time for the employer, 21st Century Oncology Services. However, the employer had no full time positions. During his job search, the claimant was offered a full-time security position with benefits in the state of Florida. The claimant voluntarily quit his job to relocate to Florida for the warmth of the climate, his health and to accept a full-time job with benefits. The Board finds that the claimant’s reasons for quitting his part-time job were necessitous and compelling and that he had no option other than quitting to accept a full-time position. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit for valid circumstances and imposed a 15-week penalty. Adams v. 21st Century Oncology Services, Inc., 2763-BR-14.
This is a case of first impression on the issue of whether the claimant had good cause to voluntarily quit a job that paid less than the statutory minimum wage to seek and accept a job that paid at least the minimum wage. The claimant was employed as a bartender, earning $3.00 per hour, plus tips. She voluntarily quit this job to accept other employment. The new job was working as a bartender, but it paid $8.25 per hour. At no time during the claimant’s employment did she make more than $4.75 per hour, including tips. At no time during her employment did the claimant make the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour when combining her hourly wage with her earned tips. The Court of Appeals explained in Plein v. DLLR, “In Total Audio-Visual, this Court…held that the General Assembly did not intend that a person who voluntarily terminates his or her otherwise satisfactory employment for other employment with better pay be eligible to receive unemployment benefits when laid off through no fault of his or her own by the subsequent employer.” The Board is persuaded that the claimant’s job with O’Beery Mcliquors LLC was not satisfactory employment; in fact, it was not legal employment because the claimant was not paid at least the statutory minimum wage for services rendered. The employer’s refusal to pay the claimant the statutory minimum wage is directly attributable to or connected with the conditions of employment. Applying the objective standard, the Board has no trepidation finding that good cause for the claimant’s voluntary quit is supported by the weight of the evidence in the claimant’s record. Smith v. O’Beery McLiquors LLC, 605-BH-14.
The claimant voluntarily quit this employment for employment that not only offered additional income, but offered health care benefits. The Board of Appeals has held that valid circumstances for quitting employment within the meaning of Section 8-1001 shall be found where an individual leaves employment that does not offer health care benefits for other employment that does offer health care benefits. Poling v. Communications Electronics, Inc., 1242-BR-15.
6. Leaving Part-Time Work
NOTE: Section 8-1001(a)(2) was added to the statute October 1, 1995. It states that a claimant who is otherwise eligible for benefits from the loss of full-time employment may not be disqualified from the benefits attributable to the full-time employment because the claimant voluntarily quit a part-time employment, if the claimant quit the part-time employment before the loss of the full-time employment.
The claimant was laid off from Bethlehem Steel where he earned $10.00 per hour for a 40 to 48 hour work week. While unemployed, the claimant accepted part-time employment at the minimum wage. The claimant resigned his part-time employment when he was recalled by Bethlehem Steel. The claimant had good cause for leaving the part-time job. Ratliff v. Taco Bell, 2067-BR-83.
Prior to being terminated from a full-time position as a secretary for a telemarketing company, the claimant resigned her part-time position as a “shampoo girl” in order to attend beauty school during the hours of 5-9 p.m. The Board applied Section 1002(a)(2) and held that a claimant who is otherwise eligible for benefits from the loss of full-time employment may not be disqualified from benefits attributable to the full-time employment if the claimant quit the part-time employment before the loss of the full-time employment. Khouri v. Hair & Things, Inc., 1768-BR-97.
The claimant was working part time for this employer. He worked sporadically, depending upon the employer’s need. The claimant sought and secured a different job, which was full time. The new position paid slightly less per hour, but the claimant was assured a full work week, thus greatly improving his earnings. In addition, this new position appeared to be more stable and secure. The Board found that the claimant did not quit his part-time job for full-time work for purely economic reasons. The Board cited other cases where the claimant quit one employment for the purpose of accepting other employment which was more stable, had benefits, less travel, better hours or other more suitable conditions. Each claimant was found to have had valid circumstances. The Board found this claimant’s situation analogous and concluded that he had valid circumstances for leaving the part-time employment. Hughes v. T & T Enterprises of Ohio, Inc., 1656-BR-12.
The claimant was working as a waitress. The claimant quit her part-time employment to accept a full-time position in her field of work, wind energy development. She had been working in wind energy development since 2007. The claimant was working part time as a waitress to supplement her income. The claimant voluntarily quit in anticipation of full-time employment in her profession. The claimant did not primarily quit her part-time job for purely economic reasons. The claimant quit her part-time job in order to accept full-time work. This is a necessitous and compelling reason leaving the claimant with no other alternative but to quit. The Board held that the claimant had valid circumstances for quitting. Nozica v. Malvern Countryside, Inc., 2092-BR-12.
The claimant left her part-time job for another part-time job with more hours. The conditions of employment were not changed during the claimant’s employment with this employer. She was hired to work one to two days per week. Those conditions remained. The claimant found that she needed to find another job in order to secure additional hours and pay. The new part-time job did not offer additional benefits. The Board held that the claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Pallia v. Jocoed, Inc., 3110-BR-12. (In line with Plein and TAV)
The claimant had a full-time job for another employer. While she was employed full time, she maintained a part-time position with Wal-Mart. The claimant lost her full-time position, but continued to work part-time for Wal-Mart. She collected benefits during this time. The claimant obtained another full-time position and could not continue to work part-time for Wal-Mart, so she voluntarily quit the part-time position. The claimant did not quit the part-time position to obtain more remuneration, but to maintain a full-time position. The claimant’s voluntary quitting employment with Wal-Mart was for valid circumstances. Wilkinson v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., 1028-BR-13.
The claimant had been on a search for full-time employment. When she accepted the position with the employer, she was guaranteed a 5:30 AM to 2:00 PM shift one day per week. However, on one of the two shifts, she was told to leave early. While continuing to look for full-time work, she accepted another part-time job that offered four eight-hour shifts per week and quit the job that was one day a week. The Board held that the claimant did not quit her job for purely economic reasons. The Plein and Total Audio-Visual cases would apply if the claimant left a full-time job for another better-paying full-time job. A reasonable person in the claimant’s position who was seeking full-time work would have quit the one-day-per-week job. This is not a purely economic purpose. The fact that the employer did not fulfill its obligation to provide a claimant her guaranteed hours of employment is a substantial cause connected with the conditions of employment. Therefore, the Board concludes that a finding of valid circumstances is supported. Mattes v. CBS Personnel Services LLC, 3698-BR-13.
The claimant voluntarily quit part-time employment with this employer to preserve higher paying part-time employment with another employer - employment that offered an opportunity to become full-time. The Board finds sufficient evidence that the claimant demonstrated a necessitous or compelling reason for quitting; therefore, a finding of valid circumstances is supported. The Board finds the facts of this case warrant only the minimum five-week penalty. Bristow v. Shoprite of Governor’s Square, 125-BR-14.
The claimant quit because the schedule at his other employer, where he had received a promotion, conflicted with his schedule at the part-time employer in this case. This condition has nothing to do with the conditions of employment, directly or indirectly, at Broadway Services. The decision to leave employment, where continuing work was available and the working conditions remained unchanged, was the claimant’s personal choice and a personal decision. Quitting for personal reasons cannot be good cause under Section 8-1001(b) or valid circumstances under Section 8-1001(c)(1)(i). However, applying the objective Paynter test, the Board finds that the reasonable person in the claimant’s position would have been compelled to voluntarily quit the part-time job with this employer to accept the promotion job at the other employer. The claimant did not quit for purely economic reasons; the claimant quit because of the scheduling conflicts, a condition beyond the claimant’s control. Therefore, the Board finds the weight of the evidence supports a finding of valid circumstances, but not good cause. Getahun v. Broadway Services, Inc., 401-BR-15.
Quitting full-time employment though a temporary agency to accept a bona-fide offer of permanent, full-time employment with another employer is not “purely economic” in nature, as it goes to the permanency of the work. Such a voluntary quit, even when both positions offer comparable benefits packages, constitutes valid circumstances for the quit warranting only the imposition of a minimum weekly penalty. Judith E. Walsh v. Manpower International, Inc., 3887-BR-12.
C. Personal Problems and Beliefs
1. In General
a. Necessitous or Compelling
The claimant's abandonment of her job was due to urgent and compelling personal circumstances. One of the claimant's grandchildren had died under suspicious circumstances, and she was concerned for her other two grandchildren. The claimant quit with valid circumstances. Greenway v. Katzenberg Brothers, Inc., 1027-BR-89.
The claimant, who worked almost every weekend, was continually put in the position of choosing between employment or maintaining visitation rights with her son. She quit her job in order to maintain visitation rights. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Sealock v. Turner Development Company, Inc., 928-BR-90.
The claimant quit her job due to compelling financial circumstances. After suddenly being left as the sole support of her children, the claimant made a serious effort to economically survive. However, she found herself simply unable to afford living in the area and left to move in with a relative who resided out of state. The claimant quit her job without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Durst v. W. Bell and Company, Inc., 598-BR-90.
The claimant quit her job and relocated to Florida to live with family because she lost her housing in Maryland. The claimant made a good faith effort to find alternative housing arrangements in Maryland prior to quitting. The claimant, with due diligence, pursued the possibility of transferring to the employer’s Florida region, but her efforts were not successful. Having no other alternative, the claimant voluntarily quit her job for personal reasons. The Board held that the claimant demonstrated a necessitous and compelling reason for quitting. Therefore, a finding of valid circumstances is supported. Williams v. United Healthcare Services, Inc., 4272-BR-13.
The claimant was living with his family because he could not otherwise afford to live in the area. However, the claimant was unable to pay his rent and his family evicted him. He experienced a financial crisis and chose to move to Florida because it was cheaper. He made extensive efforts to secure a job with the employer at its Florida location through a transfer. However, the transfer did not go through. The Board found that the claimant’s dire financial circumstances necessitated the need for him to move to Florida where his family was located. This was a compelling personal reason. The Board held that the claimant quit for valid circumstances and a minimum five-week penalty is warranted. Baggins v. Target Division of Dayton Hudson, 4173-BR-13.
b. No Reasonable Alternative
The claimant voluntarily quit in order to help his parents due to a family emergency. No one else could help the claimant's parents. The claimant had no reasonable alternative but to leave his job. The claimant voluntarily quit for valid circumstances. Pyles v. Jems Contracting, Inc., 997-BR-91.
The claimant was working in Japan when he was notified that his mother, who resided in New Jersey, was in a coma and could die at any time. The claimant quit his job and went to New Jersey to be with his mother. This was a personal reason of a compelling nature, that left him no reasonable alternative other than to leave his employment. Since the claimant did not leave because he was required to care for his mother, documentation of his mother's medical condition is not required. Lahood v. University of Maryland, Asian Division, 2096-BR-92.
No reasonable alternative to quitting existed where the employer listed a number of alternatives at the unemployment hearing, but where none had been actually offered to the claimant when she brought up her problem in the course of the employment. Therefore, the claimant quit for valid circumstances. Pearson v. Annapolis Life Care, Inc., 1013-BR-92.
The claimant informed the employer that he needed to go to El Salvador to visit an ill relative who did not have much longer to live. The claimant was unable to give the employer a time frame when he would be returning to Maryland. The claimant was told that the employer could not hold his position open indefinitely, but that he could check to see if there was an open position upon his return. A leave of absence was not available to the claimant. The Board found that the claimant manifested the requisite intent to voluntarily quit when an indefinite leave of absence was not available. The claimant quit for personal reasons which cannot be good cause. The claimant did not demonstrate that it was necessary for him to quit because he was the only available primary caregiver for the ill individual. There was insufficient evidence that no one else was available to care for the individual. There was insufficient evidence that the ill individual was the claimant’s parent or child. The claimant did not sufficiently demonstrate that he had no reasonable alternative other than to quit. The Board held that the claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Orantes v. Monumental Vending, Inc., 3944-BR-13.
Every employee, at some point in her career, has transportation problems. Only when the problems are so severe as to be necessitous or compelling, and where it has been shown that there was no reasonable alternative other than to quit, do transportation problems amount to valid circumstances. Griffin v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1313-BR-93.
After the claimant did not show up for a ride to work, he was told that he would not be picked up anymore. The claimant did not show up for work after that. The claimant's leaving was without good cause or valid circumstances. Perry v. Fredco Construction Company, 399-BH-88.
The claimant lost his transportation through his own fault when his car was repossessed. Therefore, he had no valid circumstances for voluntarily quitting. Young v. Robert F. Thorne, Sr., 834-BR-88.
The claimant’s vehicle was repossessed and there was no other available transportation to work. The claimant told the employer that she could not afford a vehicle and did not know when she would be able to return to work. The claimant’s action of losing her transportation through her own fault led to the end of her employment. The Board held it was a voluntary quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Jenkins v. Addison Road Day Care Center, Inc., 2252-BR-11.
The claimant voluntarily quit because he had no transportation after his car broke down. The claimant made every attempt to get to the job but was unable to do so. The claimant tried to get a loan to repair his car but was unable to obtain one. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Avery v. Robert A. Kinsley, Inc., 240-BR-91.
The claimant voluntarily quit after only three days of car trouble. She failed to make an extensive investigation of transportation alternatives and failed to explain why the problem was intractable. The employer had not given the claimant a final warning. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Ellinger v. Howard County Government, 422-BR-91.
The claimant was hired to begin work at 7:00 a.m. at a location that was not accessible by public transportation at that hour. At first, the claimant rode with a coworker. Later, the employer let him use a company vehicle. The employer's withdrawal of its offer of the use of the vehicle, after the claimant worked one year in these circumstances, constitutes a valid circumstance. Appleman v. B and J Pool Contractor, Inc., 21-BR-93.
Although transportation to and from the job site is primarily the responsibility of the employee, the claimant's inability to obtain other transportation at an hour when public transportation is not available, constitutes valid circumstances for resignation. Johnson v. Direct Marketing Association, 1814-BR-82.
The claimant lost, through no fault of his own, his only transportation to a job located 50 miles from his home. The claimant accepted this job despite the distance to alleviate his previous unemployment. The claimant's resignation was not for good cause, but was for valid circumstances. Apson v. Kenster Tri-State and Company, 655-BH-83.
The claimant’s job required him to have a car. When the claimant’s car broke down and he lost his transportation, he lost his ability to perform the essential function of his work. The claimant could not afford to repair his car. There was insufficient evidence that there were any alternatives available to the claimant; the employer failed to appear to present testimony. The Board, citing the case of Griffin v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1313-BR-93, held that the evidence supports a finding that the claimant voluntarily quit for valid circumstances. Hossny v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, 532-BR-12.
The claimant delivered newspapers for part-time employment. The job required the claimant to have a vehicle in order to make the required deliveries. The claimant’s car broke down. The claimant bought another used car. Subsequently, this car broke down and the claimant did not have the money to have it fixed. The claimant informed his employer that there were no alternatives available to the claimant that would have enabled him to continue the newspaper delivery. The Board held that the quit was for valid circumstances. Jones v. Wilcan Services, 4827-BR-12.
The claimant lived in Silver Spring, Maryland and worked a full-time position in Baltimore, Maryland. She also worked for this part-time employer in Columbia, Maryland. The claimant does not drive. She obtained a ride from a friend to Baltimore and from Baltimore to Columbia. The friend also worked in these locations. The friend lost the job in Baltimore and could no longer transport the claimant to either location. The claimant attempted to find alternate transportation, to no avail. Unable to get to work, the claimant quit her position. The Board held that the claimant had valid circumstances and imposed a minimum penalty. Melendez v. Abacus Corporation, 727-BR-13.
The claimant was working part time as a pizza delivery person. In order to perform the duties of his job, the claimant had to use his own automobile. Once his automobile became inoperable, the claimant could no longer perform the duties of the job. Lacking sufficient funds to repair the automobile, the claimant had no reasonable alternative but to quit. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances and imposed a five-week penalty. Asaah v. Team Washington, Inc., 3116-BR-14.
3. Distance from Work
The claimant voluntarily moved a distance of 37 miles from her place of employment and then resigned due to distance. No effort was made to resolve the transportation problems. The claimant's resignation was without good cause or valid circumstances. Ennis v. Ramada Hotel, 701-BH-84.
The claimant received threats on her life and for this reason moved 60 miles from her place of work. The claimant resigned due to distance. The reason for the claimant's resignation was personal in nature and does not constitute good cause. However, the claimant had a compelling personal reason for resigning, and valid circumstances were supported. Riggs v. Technitrol, Inc., 922-BR-85.
The claimant worked for a year on a job that was about 400 miles from his family. He could only see his family on weekends. He was also angry with the employer about a bonus which he mistakenly believed was due him. The claimant quit with valid circumstances since he worked extremely far from home and did make an effort to keep working even at the cost of his personal convenience. Ruckert v. Mr. Kool Service Company, Inc., 243-BH-87.
The claimant is a resident of Baltimore. The claimant accepted a “stop-gap” job in Philadelphia, approximately 2 hours away from his home, notwithstanding the fact that he did not have a car. The claimant took a commercial bus to and from the job. When the cost and inefficiency of the commute became too much for the claimant, he opted to quit. The Board held that the claimant met his burden of proving that he had valid circumstances for quitting his employment. The Board found the ten-week penalty to be excessive and modified his penalty to a five-week penalty. Seldon v. Marketing Resources, 5297-BR-12.
The claimant accepted a part-time job as a language teacher in order to re-enter the work force. The claimant was paid $10.45 per hour per 45 minute unit. After accepting the part-time position, the claimant worked for one day, then realized that he could not afford to keep the position due to the low payment of wages and the cost of the long commute. When the claimant made the actual calculations, of compensation versus costs, he found that instead of making money he would actually lose money. The cost that the claimant would experience in his part-time job was so severe as to be a necessitous and compelling reason to quit. The claimant pursued all reasonable alternatives before he quit. The Board held the claimant quit for valid circumstances. Scharf v. Berlitz Languages, 3612-BR-13.
4. Health Problems
a. In General
The claimant had to breast feed her baby and would have had to work in an area of various chemical exposures which could be dangerous to breast feeding. The employer would not extend her leave. The claimant's leaving was for a necessitous and compelling reason and she had no reasonable alternative other than to leave. Her documentation and testimony was sufficient to find valid circumstances. Mills v. Martin Marietta Corporation, 353-BR-89.
The claimant worked 20 hours per week and the job required riding a bus to five different locations per week. This was quite stressful, and caused the claimant's diabetes to worsen. At times she felt shaky and was having problems seeing. The claimant had a necessitous and compelling reason for leaving her job and had no reasonable alternative but to do so. This constitutes valid circumstances. Macon v. Department of Health, 465-BH-89.
The claimant accepted employment knowing that he would be assigned to a trailer which was over 1,000 feet away from the nearest restroom. However, the claimant's stomach problems required that he be near a restroom at all times. When the claimant was unable to work with the restroom so far away, he quit without informing the employer of the problem. Good cause cannot be found where the employer was not informed of the claimant's health problem so that an accommodation might be made. However, valid circumstances are supported. Dunn v. Goodwill Industries, 286-BR-84.
The claimant was physically unable to perform a new assignment, due to a documented medical problem of which the employer was aware. The claimant explained this to the employer, but the employer insisted that the claimant perform the work or quit. The claimant's decision to quit rather than continue to risk his health is a voluntary quit for good cause. Leech v. Leonard W. Kearney, et al., 830-BH-93.
The claimant voluntarily quit her job because of a documented medical condition not directly attributable to the employer. This is a necessitous and compelling reason to quit. Because the claimant quit for reasons not attributable to the employment, a finding of good cause cannot be made as a matter of law. However, a finding of valid circumstances is supported. The Board finds only the minimum five-week penalty is measured and appropriate on the facts of this case. Douglas v. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 3014-BR-14.
The claimant voluntarily quit this employment due to the fact that she could no longer perform the duties of the job. The claimant’s health prevented her from being able to stand the long hours required by her position. The employer had no light duty available for the claimant. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but for valid circumstances. Swift v. Giant of Maryland LLC, 967-BR-14.
b. Evidentiary Requirements
The claimant voluntarily quit because he was experiencing severe stress and burnout on the job. The claimant produced medical documentation confirming this. The claimant's psychological condition was a substantial cause for quitting. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Friedman v. Maryland Treatment Center, Inc., 1340-BR-91.
The claimant quit without notice after he informed the employer that he was having back problems. Although the claimant produced medical documentation that he suffers from "low back syndrome," he had been working at his job up until his last day of work without any noticeable problems or complaints. The claimant's doctor's notes do not match the claimant's actions and statements prior to his last day of work. The Board found no significant medical injury. The claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Shaffer v. McHenry, 838-BH-90.
There is no requirement under Section 8-1001(c)(2) that the medical document state that the claimant's physician specifically advised her to quit the employment. Miles v. Patriarch, Inc., 1982-BR-93.
The medical documentation required under Section 8-1001(c)(2) of the law need not state that the claimant is needed to assist the ill person. Whether the claimant's assistance was actually needed is an issue of fact which must be decided based on the totality of the evidence presented. Winchester v. Wareheim Air Brakes, Inc., 77-BR-93.
The claimant resigned because her job was too physically demanding. Excessive standing and walking caused a pre-existing foot impairment to flare up. The claimant’s feet were constantly swollen and painful. The claimant met with human resources for help, but the employer had no other work available. Taking a leave of absence would have given her only temporary relief. There is insufficient medical evidence that the claimant’s job caused the claimant’s maladies, therefore, a finding of good cause cannot be supported. The claimant did present sufficient medical documentary evidence to meet her evidentiary burden pursuant to Section 8-1001(c)(2). The Board finds the claimant quit for personal reasons and that the personal reasons were necessitous and compelling. A minimum five-week penalty is warranted. Council v. Janjer Enterprises, Inc., 279-BR-15.
The claimant was diagnosed with an infection and was hospitalized from November 22, 2013 through December 5, 2013. The claimant was subsequently unable to return to work during the month of December due to the effects of her illness. The claimant was removed from the employer’s payroll when her leave ran out on December 27, 2015. The claimant provided medical documentation of her illness. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit her employment for valid circumstances and imposed a minimum five-week penalty. Skiados v. Blue Ocean Two LLC, 1867-BR-14.
In October 2013, the claimant was diagnosed with COPD, bronchitis and asthma. He was also diagnosed with an enlarged left side of his heart. The claimant was required by his doctor to go on oxygen 24 hours a day and was required to cease working due to the job requirements. The claimant’s doctor said that he may be out of work until October 2014. The claimant voluntarily quit the job. He provided medical documentation that he was advised not to return to work unless his COPD was better controlled. The Board held the claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but for valid circumstances. Sloman v. BJ Foods, Inc., 2532-BR-14.
c. Reasonable Alternatives
The claimant voluntarily quit for valid circumstances when he had serious, documented medical reasons for leaving the job. The only alternative available to the claimant was an unpaid leave of absence. The Board has held that an unpaid leave of absence for an indefinite period of time is not a reasonable alternative under Section 8-1001. Since the claimant had no reasonable alternative, he had valid circumstances for leaving. Washington v. University of Maryland Medical System, 1079-BR-91.
The claimant's back problems were aggravated by the conditions of her employment. She has a valid circumstance for leaving the employment because she had no reasonable alternative other than to quit. The claimant's condition does not amount to good cause because there is no evidence that the duties of her position were any more onerous than would normally be expected in such a job. Arnold v. Friends Lifetime Care Baltimore, 767-BH-93.
d. Health of Another Individual
The claimant's husband was in an automobile accident and he developed disk problems and arthritic problems in his spine. His doctor recommended that he move to Tennessee for the drier climate and the company of his relatives. The claimant resigned to go with her husband and take care of him. The claimant's spouse was ambulatory and could drive a car, but he did need to have continuing surgery on his spine and the claimant was required to drive him to the doctor's office every other night. The claimant's spouse's inability to work, the requirement that the claimant take him to the doctor every other night, and the necessity for further surgery constituted valid circumstances for the claimant's leaving her employment. Hurd v. Franklin Square Hospital, 684-BR-87.
The claimant took a leave of absence to care for her seriously ill father. When she realized she needed a longer leave of absence, she requested this from the employer, but her request was denied. No other family members were available to assist the claimant's father. The claimant subsequently resigned. The claimant produced medical documentation of her father's condition. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Leonard v. Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, 129-BH-91.
The claimant provided medical evidence that her daughters were ill, however, the claimant's situation was not necessitous or compelling. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Jenkins v. Echelon Service Company, 1573-BR-91.
The claimant worked for the employer as a full-time pilot. He requested to move to a part-time, per diem basis because he needed to care for his sick mother. The employer could not accommodate this request. The claimant had no alternative but to separate from his full-time employment to care for his sick mother. The Board found that the credible evidence supported a finding that the claimant voluntarily quit for valid circumstances. Standish v. Airpark Sales & Service, Inc., 5008-BR-12.
The claimant voluntary quit his job and moved to South Carolina to be the primary caregiver for his father, who suffered from several major medical conditions and had bypass surgery. The claimant requested a transfer but the employer denied it. The claimant did not explore alternatives under the FMLA because he did not believe the employer would hold his position for more than two weeks and more importantly, because he did not know how long he would need to be gone. The claimant left for a purely personal reason, unrelated to the employment and thereby cannot establish good cause. However, the claimant’s reason for leaving was necessitous and compelling. He was the only person available in his family who could provide the care his father needed. A claimant is expected to explore reasonable alternatives to quitting, but is not required to explore all possible options when good reasons exist to not do so. The claimant submitted medical information from his father’s doctor with a reasonable explanation for the altered name and lack of specificity in the beginning date for his father’s care. The Board finds that the claimant demonstrated valid circumstances for quitting his job. Bell v. Eyemasters, Inc., 535-BR-14.
The claimant lived and worked in Prince George’s County, but quit and moved to Baltimore in order to care for her father. The claimant’s father had no one to help care for him in conjunction with his surgery and ongoing medical care. The claimant did not request FMLA before quitting because she reasonably concluded she would not be able to find affordable housing and return to this employment. The law does not require individuals to engage in acts of futility for the sole purpose of meeting some requirement. The claimant is only expected to pursue these other options when there is some possibility of success. Here, the claimant already knew what housing costs, what was available and what her resources were. She did not need to engage in some fruitless exploration of all this prior to leaving her employment. The Board finds the claimant was compelled, for personal reasons to leave this employment. She established that she had valid circumstances for quitting. Williams v. Prince George’s Board of Education, 1190-BR-14.
The claimant voluntarily quit his job in order to relocate to New Jersey to provide care to his brother. The claimant’s brother had advanced vascular dementia and lived in an assisted living facility. The claimant’s sister had cancer and it had become difficult for her to take care of his brother by herself. There were no other family members to help provide care. The distance was too great for the claimant to commute back and forth on a daily basis. The claimant produced medical documentation of his brother’s condition. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit for valid circumstances. Coloccia v. Benfield Electric Company, Inc., 1598-BR-14.
The claimant voluntarily quit her job to care for her mother due to a documented medical condition. The evidence supports a finding that the claimant’s care was necessary and that the claimant was the only person available to care for her mother. The claimant presented sufficient evidence to meet her evidentiary burden under Section 8-1001(c)(2). The Board finds the minimum five-week penalty is measured and appropriate on the facts of this case. Harris v. Acosta, Inc., 263-BR-15. (Burden of proof)
Although the claimant was pregnant, she was fully capable of working, but did not wish to work anymore. The claimant quit without valid circumstances. Gault v. Werner's, Inc., 24-BR-87.
The immediate cause of the claimant's quitting was her physical inability to work, due to her pregnancy. In this case, there were no reasonable alternatives available to the claimant at the time she became disabled. She quit with valid circumstances. Woods v. Triple Crown Restaurant, Inc., 616-BR-89.
5. Babysitting Problems
The claimant was required to abruptly change the shift that she worked for years and did not have a chance to change her child care arrangements. She had a valid circumstance for leaving. Young v. Evergreen Health Group, 31-BR-88.
The claimant continued to work until she took a leave of absence because of her advanced stage of pregnancy. In November, she told the employer she would return to work in January, but placed restrictions on the time and days she would work, since she could only get a babysitter for certain hours and days. The employer could not accommodate her. Her leaving was without good cause or valid circumstances. Hilderbrand v. NMCS, Inc., 549-BR-88.
The claimant, who quit her job due to the unexpected loss of her babysitter, had no alternative but to leave. The claimant was unable to find another babysitter and was not eligible for a leave of absence. The claimant quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Bond v. Rosewood Center, 770-BR-90.
The claimant quit when her day care was involuntarily terminated. The claimant made a reasonable attempt to find alternative care on short notice, but found it too late to keep the job. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Morrison v. Halper Eye Associates, 292-BR-91.
The claimant voluntarily quit because he had no one to care for his daughter during the evening hours. Quitting one's job due to child care problems is not good cause, but can be valid circumstances if the situation is compelling or necessitous and there is no reasonable alternative to quitting. The claimant's situation meets these standards. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Norman v. Esskay, Inc., 470-BR-91.
The claimant voluntarily quit her job after the employer, for business reasons, changed the hours the claimant was expected to work. The claimant could not work these hours because of child care arrangements she already had. The Board held that the claimant’s reason for quitting was a necessitous and compelling personal reason and constituted valid circumstances for quitting. Hernandez v. Euro Motorcars Collision Center, Inc., 3743-BR-11.
The claimant lived in Denton, Maryland and worked in Baltimore, Maryland. The claimant worked from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The claimant’s travel time was approximately an hour and a half each way, which required him to leave home at 5:00 AM. He would not arrive home until nearly 7:00 PM. The claimant received notification from Social Services that his children were removed from the custody of their mother and if he did not retain physical custody, they would be placed in foster care. The claimant chose to have his children live with him. Because of the commute and hours worked, the claimant was unable to keep the job. He had no one else to help care for his children and lacked money for child care. He chose to voluntarily quit so that he could care for the needs of his children. There was no testimony elicited during the hearing as to whether the employer was able to offer the claimant alternative options to meet his scheduling issues. The Board held that the claimant demonstrated that he had valid circumstances for quitting his employment. Harris v. Fru-Con Construction LLC, 1237-BR-13.
The claimant worked for the employer from 2004 until January 10, 2014. In January 2014, the employer advised the claimant that he could no longer bring his disabled son to work with him. The employer felt that the son’s presence in the workplace presented a potential safety and/or liability issue. The employer had previously condoned the claimant bringing his son to work. The claimant was unable to make alternative arrangements on short notice and voluntarily quit the job. The Board held that this was a voluntary quit for personal reasons which cannot be good cause. However, the Board held that a finding of valid circumstances was supported and a minimum five-week penalty was warranted. The claimant demonstrated a necessitous and compelling reason for quitting and that all reasonable alternatives were exhausted prior to quitting. The employer’s short notice truncated the claimant’s opportunity to secure adequate care for his son in order to comply with the employer’s otherwise reasonable directive. Barnes v. Service Parts Company, Inc., 2406-BR-14.
The claimant voluntarily quit his job due to the unavailability of child care when the employer changed his schedule. This constitutes a personal reason for quitting. Therefore, a finding of good cause cannot be found as a matter of law. The Board finds however, that due to the short notice, the claimant had no other reasonable alternative but to quit. Therefore, a finding of valid circumstances is supported. The Board imposed a minimum five-week penalty. Patricio v. UPM Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 3241-BR-14.
The claimant quit for a compelling personal reason. The sudden change in the claimant’s schedule at work and the lack of daycare on Wednesdays left the claimant with no other reasonable alternative but to quit her job. Because the claimant’s reasons for quitting did not arise from the conditions of employment, a finding of good cause is not supported. However, the Board finds that a finding of valid circumstances is supported and that only a five-week penalty is warranted. Mehani v. MCMJ Yia Yia’s Bakery, Inc., 3233-BR-14.
Employees could be assigned to any shift on any day. The claimant was assigned to work 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM. The claimant has three children, ages two, three and seven years, and she had child care in place for them. The employer notified the claimant that she was reassigned to work from 1:30 PM until 10:00 PM. The claimant sought child care from her provider and also other providers, but was unable to find child care for late in the evening. She spoke to her supervisor and found that her ending time could be adjusted to 9:00 PM, but this was still too late for day care providers. She sought part-time work, but was told it was not available. The claimant quit her job because of this. The Board found that the claimant exhausted all reasonable alternatives prior to quitting. Because the reason for the claimant’s quit was not due to a condition of employment, a finding of good cause cannot be supported. The Board found that the claimant voluntarily quit with valid circumstances and imposed a minimum five-week penalty. Lockhart v. TWC Administration LLC, 2943-BR-14.
A claimant who is incarcerated, but who is later released without having been convicted of a crime, has not voluntarily quit his job, provided that he has appropriately notified his employer of his absence. Lansinger v. Baltimore County Fire Department, 1305-BR-82.
Where the claimant was requested to contact his employer after his trial, but did not do so, and where he also failed to contact his employer upon the expiration of his three-day jail sentence, his job abandonment was a voluntary quit, without good cause or valid circumstances. Hicks v. Francis Scott Key Medical Center, 976-BR-85.
7. Leaving to Accompany or Join a Spouse
NOTE: See Section II.B.2.