Sunday, December 4, 2011

NEW YORK UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - HEARINGS AND APPEALS - MISCONDUCT OR SEPARATION WITH GOOD CAUSE - CASE NO. 7

Another early case from 1953 on the issue of "constant nagging" and/or harassment:


"A-750-1243
Index No. 1650A-1
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DIVISION
ADJUDICATION SERVICES OFFICE

January 25, 1954

INTERPRETATION SERVICE – BENEFIT CLAIMS
VOLUNTARY LEAVING OF EMPLOYMENT
Grievances and Objections
Action of Employer
Appeal Board Case Number 39,427-53


VOLUNTARY LEAVING – IMPUGNMENT OF HONESTY AND INTEGRITY BY EMPLOYER

Incompatibility with an employer ordinarily does not constitute good cause for a voluntary quit unless accompanied by factors such as resulting impairment of the claimant’s health or impugnment by the employer of claimant’s honesty and integrity.

Referee’s Decision: The initial determination disqualifying claimant for 42 consecutive days on the ground that she voluntarily left her employment without good cause and the alternative initial determination holding claimant unavailable for employment, effective June 19, 1953 are sustained. (July 28, 1953)

Appealed By: Claimant

Findings of Fact: Claimant, a knitting instructress, was thus employed with a retail yarn store in the Bronx for 22 years to May 22, 1953. Her terminal salary was $76 per week. Due to unfavorable business conditions, disagreements arose from time to time between the claimant and the employer’s wife. Such differences were precipitated by remarks of the latter pertaining to the expense incurred by the firm in operating the instruction department of which claimant was supervisor. During the final portion of claimant’s employment, the employer’s wife on several occasions accused claimant of giving instructions in knitting to persons who were not patrons of the store, which claimant considered accusations of dishonesty. Following the last of such accusations she resigned from her position. Claimant filed for benefits effective May 25, 1953 and registered for employment. On June 19, she refused employment in her occupation at $60 to $65 for a six-day week because of the rate and the hours. Claimant was on vacation from June 24 through July 18, 1953. Thereafter, her efforts in search of employment consisted of one or two personal contacts, resulting in one week of employment commencing September 14, 1953. Claimant left that employment voluntarily and became engaged in self-employment. Based on interviews with the claimant and a report received from her previous employer, the local office issued an initial determination disqualifying claimant from receiving benefits for 42 consecutive days effective May 24, 1953 on the ground that she voluntarily left her employment without good cause. A second initial determination was issued by the local office disqualifying claimant from receiving benefits, effective June 19, 1953, on the ground that, without good cause, she refused employment for which she is reasonably fitted by training and experience. An initial determination was issued, in the alternative, holding claimant ineligible to receive benefits, effective June 19, 1953, on the ground that she was unavailable for employment. Claimant protested and requested a hearing before a referee. The referee overruled the initial determination disqualifying her from receiving benefits, effective June 19, 1953, for refusal of employment. No appeal was taken from that portion of the referee’s decision. The referee sustained the remaining initial determinations. Claimant appealed from the portion of the referee’s decision adverse to her.

Appeal Board Opinion: The referee, in sustaining the initial determination pertaining to claimant’s voluntary leaving of her employment, concluded that the objections which prompted her resignation were personal and not compelling. We do not subscribe to this view. Ordinarily, incompatibility existing between an employee and an employer would not be justification for voluntarily leaving employment, unless it were shown that such differences impaired the employee’s health. In the instant case, although the latter element is lacking, we are persuaded that claimant nevertheless was justified in voluntarily leaving her employment since her honesty and integrity were impugned. Concededly, claimant was on vacation from June 24 through July 18, 1953 and ineligible to receive benefits for that period. After July 18, 1953 her efforts in search of employment were of a mere token nature. Claimant made only limited personal contacts in an effort to gain employment during that period. Her resignation from employment after working only one week, in order to engage in self-employment, is further evidence of her tenuous attachment to the labor market at that time. Upon all the facts and circumstances herein, we are convinced that claimant voluntarily left her employment with good cause but that she was unavailable for employment commencing June 24, 1953, when she went on vacation.

Appeal Board Decision: The initial determination of the local office, disqualifying claimant from receiving benefits for 42 consecutive days, effective May 25, 1953, on the ground that she voluntarily left her employment without good cause, is overruled. The alternative initial determination of the local office, holding claimant ineligible to receive benefits, effective June 19, 1953, on the ground that she was unavailable for employment, is modified by fixing the effective date thereof as June 24, 1953 and, as so modified, is sustained. The decision of the referee is modified accordingly. (December 24, 1953)"

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