BOARD OF APPEALS
|DECISION NO: 1500-BH-82
DATE: October 13, 1982
|CLAIMANT: Mary Brewington
|| APPEAL NO.: 03952
|EMPLOYER: Department of Social Services
||L.O. NO: 45
Issue: Whether the Claimant was discharged for gross misconduct
connected with the work within the meaning of Section 6(b) of the Law.
- NOTICE OF RIGHT OF APPEAL TO COURT -
YOU MAY FILE AN APPEAL FROM THIS DECISION IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE LAWS OF MARYLAND. THE APPEAL MAY BE TAKEN IN PERSON
OR THROUGH AN ATTORNEY IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF BALTIMORE
CITY, OR THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE COUNTY IN MARYLAND IN
WHICH YOU RESIDE.
THE PERIOD FOR FILING AN APPEAL EXPIRES AT MIDNIGHT November 14, 1982.
|For the Claimant:
Mary Brewington - Present
| For the Employer:
Sam Spicer Manager-Employee Relations.
The Board of Appeals has considered all of the evidence presented,
including the testimony offered at the hearings. The Board
has also considered all of the documentary evidence introduced
into this case, as well as the Employment Security Administration's
documents in the appeal file.
FINDINGS OF FACT
The Claimant was employed for several years for the Baltimore City
Department of Social Services. The Claimant was employed
as a worker at a day care center. Her duties at first
included the driving of the school bus.
The Claimant had several periods during which her job performance deteriorated
due to use of alcohol. The first of these periods occurred
about April 30, 1980. This period continued until about
the end of May 1980. At this time, the Claimant was warned
concerning this behavior and was referred to the Employee Assistance Unit.
The Claimant was later suspended without pay for appearing to be drunk
on June 16, 1980. Following this suspension, the Claimant's
job performance improved. Another incident of this type
occurred on March 19, 1981, and the Claimant was once
again referred to the Employee Assistance Unit. The Claimant's
job performance returned to the satisfactory level until
the beginning of 1982. The Claimant was hospitalized for
alcoholism treatment until January 25, 1982. On February
1 and 2, 1982, the Claimant was in such severe distress,
apparently because of her domestic problems, that she
was unable to function at work and was eventually sent
in a taxi to the Tuerk House Rehabilitation Center for inpatient treatment.
Charges were brought against the Claimant that she was incompetent
and that she suffered from a physical and mental incapacity
which would keep her from performing her job. The Claimant
was not actually discharged but was suspended pending
proceedings leading to her discharge. The next proceeding
regarding the discharge was a hearing which was scheduled
for May 11, 1982. Pursuant to an agreement reached just
before that hearing, the Claimant resigned from the Employer's
service with a stipulation that she would not have to
be considered for reinstatement by that department. The
charges against the Claimant were dropped and the case
was closed as a resignation. On May 3, 1982, the Claimant's
request to voluntarily resign was accepted.
This resignation was retroactive to February 8, 1982.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The Claimant was not discharged. The Claimant resigned rather
than face charges which may have led to her discharge.
In a similar case, the Board has ruled that a Claimant
who voluntary resigns his job rather than face charges
which may lead to discharge has voluntarily quit his employment
without good cause within the meaning of Section 6(a)
of the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law. Kulis v. State
of Maryland, 6@BH-81. The Board stated in that case that
was not good cause nor were there valid circumstances
within the meaning of Section 6(a) of the Law, in the
case of such a resignation.
This case is virtually identical to that case. The Board reaffirms
that a resignation in order to avoid facing charges which
lead to a discharge is a voluntary suit, and that there
are no valid circumstances associated with the voluntary
suit. It should be noted that the Board is distinguishing
between a situation in which a discharge had not yet occurred
and a case in which a Claimant was actually discharged
but did not exercise every possible appeal right. A person
who was actually discharged, but who declined to pursue
further appeal rights, is still discharged, and such a
case could not be decided under Section 6(a) of the Law.
The Board notes also that there may be cases where some type
of intentional harassment on the part of the Employer
causes the Claimant to voluntary resign rather than to
face repeated false or malicious charges. This type of
case could result in a different ruling. This clearly
is not the case here, where the Employer was obviously
bending over backward in order to help the Claimant
The Claimant voluntarily quit her job without good cause within
the meaning of Section 6(a) of the Maryland Unemployment
Insurance Law. She is disqualified from benefits from
the week beginning February 14, 1982 until she becomes
re-employed, earns ten times her weekly benefits amount
($1,400.00) and thereafter becomes unemployed through
no fault of her own.
The decision of the Appeals Referee is reversed.
Thomas W. Keech, Chairman
Maurice E. Dill, Associate Member
DATE OF HEARING: September 7, 1982
COPIES MAILED TO:
Department of Personnel
Administrative Service Director
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - PIMLICO