Monday, April 23, 2012


This is an issue that arises frequently and is especially relevant in the recent political discussions on working and non-working mothers.

The DOL first begins it's discussion with this cited case:

Index 1695-1
Unemployment Insurance Division
Adjudication Services Office
October 6, 1977

Interpretation Service - Benefit Claims
Appeal Board Decision 246,566


A claimant who, solely because of pregnancy, voluntarily leaves employment not harmful to her health, is subject to disqualification for voluntary quit upon filing before childbirth, since such filing negates any intent to withdraw from the labor market.

Referee decision: The revised initial determination of the local office holding the claimant eligible to receive benefits effective August 2, 1976 without any disqualifying conditions, is sustained.

Appealed by: Employer

Findings of fact: The claimant worked for a manufacturer as a secretary from June 25, 1975 until July 30, 1976. She requested and was granted a maternity leave from August 2, 1976 until February 1, 1977. She filed a claim for benefits effective August 2, 1976. She was capable of working and wasn't advised by a doctor to leave her job. The employer had continuing work. available for her. It did not require her to take a leave of absence because of pregnancy.

Opinion: The evidence establishes that the claimant left her job while continuing work was available for her. Her immediate filing of her claim for benefits negated any intent to withdraw from the labor market because of pregnancy. Absent such intent, her taking leave was for a personal reason which is not compelling under the Law. Accordingly, we hold that she voluntarily left her employment without good cause.

Decision: The initial determination of the local office is overruled.

The employer's objection is sustained. The claimant is disqualified from receiving benefits effective July 31, 1976 because she voluntarily left her employment without good cause. This disqualification remains in effect until she has subsequently worked in employment on not less than three days in each of four weeks or earned remuneration of at least $200. Self-employment and the remuneration therefrom will not count.

The decision of the referee is reversed. (July 21, 1977)


1. In this case the Appeal Board noted that claimant's employer did not require, and her doctor did not advise that she stop work. The Board held that a disqualification for voluntary quit applied even though claimant had requested and was granted a maternity leave."

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