Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 - Maryland Unemployment Decisions Digest - Appeals
Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 continued
V. Good Cause or Valid Circumstances
When a claimant quits a job for a work-related reason, it may be determined that the quit was for good cause or was due to a substantial cause amounting to a valid circumstance. Whether the quit is considered to be good cause or a substantial cause is often a matter of the degree of the seriousness of the condition that led to the quit. For example, a work-related reason for quitting may be the unilateral modification of the employment contract or agreement by the employer. A substantial modification of the employment contract to the employee's detriment may support a finding of good cause or valid circumstances, depending on the substantiality of the modification.
In general, an employer's right to make changes in the employment depends on the agreement made with the employee at the time of hire, the nature of the changes and the changed circumstances and whether the changes were the employee's fault. For example, where a claimant quits due to modifications brought about by the claimant's own misconduct at work, the quit is without good cause or valid circumstances. However, the employer's failure to pay the agreed upon salary in a timely manner, after the employee has worked diligently, is a substantial modification of the employment contract that constitutes good cause for resigning. Similarly, the employer's failure to pay an expressly promised raise is good cause for resigning.
Generally, unreasonable wage deductions that are imposed without the employee's prior consent or knowledge constitute good cause for resigning.
Changes in the employee's hours or schedule can constitute good cause, valid circumstances or neither, depending on the circumstances. For example, where the employee's hours are reduced solely because he has stolen merchandise from the employer and can no longer be trusted on the premises alone, the employee's resignation is for neither good cause nor valid circumstances. But, where the employee's hours are substantially reduced due to no fault of the employee, the employee has good cause to resign.
Sometimes employees quit due to various conditions of the employment. A general dissatisfaction with the work does not amount to a good cause or valid circumstance for quitting where the employee was aware of the conditions at the time of hire. Generally, when an employee quits due to the conditions of the job, he must show that he complained to the employer or informed the employer of the conditions prior to resigning in order to support a finding of good cause.
Quitting a job because the employer is discriminating against an employee or subjecting him to harassment is generally for good cause. However, where an employee is harassed by a coworker, but fails to inform the employer of this prior to quitting, good cause will probably not be found, but valid circumstances likely will be.
A voluntary quit due to the employer's disciplinary methods constitutes neither good cause nor valid circumstances if the discipline is reasonable.
Where the employment causes the employee to commit illegal or unethical acts, the employee's resignation is for good cause.Leaving employment due to purely personal reasons generally cannot be considered to be good cause, but may constitute valid circumstances, depending on the facts of each case.
A. Actions of the Employer
1. Modifications of the Employment Contract or Agreement
a. Detrimental Changes
(1) In General
A substantial change in working conditions to the detriment of an employee can constitute good cause for voluntary leaving under Section 8-1001. In this case, the claimant's demotion from her guaranteed position as manager to that of waitress was clearly a substantial change in employment which was detrimental to her, and a finding of good cause is supported. Rockstroh v. Brocato's Restaurant, 154-BH-86.
The claimant voluntarily quit for good cause because the employer substantially violated the employment agreement to make the claimant a permanent employee after six weeks and give the claimant health benefits at that time. Although the claimant requested that the employer honor the agreement, the employer declined to do so. Johnson v. Gladenia, Inc., 702-BR-91.
When the claimant was hired, she was informed that she would not be paid until she earned commissions. This condition did not change. The claimant took the job because the possibility of making quick and regular sales was made to appear easy. She quit when she learned this was not the case. Since the claimant could not afford to stake her economic survival on these sales, she had a compelling personal reason to quit and no reasonable alternative other than to do so. The claimant thus quit for valid circumstances. Mallory v. Gulf Development, 988-BR-91.
Where a change in the working conditions is caused by a claimant's own detrimental conduct at work, and where the claimant subsequently quits the employment on account of these changes in the working conditions, the resignation is without good cause or valid circumstances. Wysling v. BPS Guard Services, Inc., 1179-BH-92.
Because of staff reductions and reorganization, the claimant was transferred from the mechanical engineering division to the design division. The only detriment suffered by the claimant was the change in his promotional structure. The change in the claimant's potential promotional structure was neither good cause nor valid circumstances. Lee v. Litton Systems, Inc., 1034-BR-89.
The claimant, a convenience store manager, had continuing communication problems from the multiple owners of the employer’s business. The new managing partner made scheduling changes without the claimant’s knowledge. He changed the claimant’s wages significantly, without notice or reason. He changed the locks on the store such that the claimant could not open, as was her responsibility. The claimant was left outside with customers, past the opening time, without any response from the managing partner. The Board held that the claimant’s reasons for quitting were directly connected to her employment, she did not have options and a reasonable person would have left under the same conditions. The Board held that the claimant quit for good cause. Digennaro v. IMI Lending LLC, 3966-BR-11.
The claimant worked for the employer for fifteen years. The employer restructured its practice, hired a new supervisor for the claimant, relocated the claimant’s office and drastically changed the claimant’s job duties. The new supervisor yelled at the claimant and degraded her on a daily basis. The claimant complained to human resources and others to no avail. The Board held that the claimant quit with good cause. France v. University Physicians, Inc., 4448-BR-11.
The claimant quit her job after several instances of having her pay reduced, her responsibilities increased, her bonus eliminated, her benefits cut and theft of her personal property in the office. Her attempts to resolve her grievances were fruitless. The final incident occurred when she asked to step down from being a supervisor. She was told that if she did that, her pay would be reduced, but she would retain the majority of her supervisor responsibilities. The Board held that she quit for good cause. Dorsey v. Capitol Women’s Care LLC, 1418-BR-11.
The claimant returned to the position after a layoff, believing certain terms and conditions would be met. He worked for three months anticipating that the employer would increase his hours to full-time, increase his percentage on completed jobs and provide benefits. The hours did not appreciably increase, nor did his percentage. Because he was expected to be on call every day, he was precluded from effectively seeking other employment. Additionally, the claimant was incurring expenses for which he was not reimbursed and he was not earning sufficient income to warrant the continued costs. The claimant attempted to resolve this with the employer, but was told only that he would get more hours when business increased. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit the job with good cause. Swartz v. Osterman Ventures, Inc., 443-BR-13.
The claimant’s job duties chronically increased through the last day of employment. Additional job duties outside the claimant’s job description were assigned to the claimant over the course of time to the point where the claimant had to work additional hours. Notwithstanding the claimant’s input and complaints, the employer did not change the claimant’s conditions of employment or accommodate the claimant in any other manner. The claimant’s job was materially and detrimental changed when she was assigned additional duties and an increased workload. This continued to the point of unreasonableness at the end of her tenure. The claimant voluntarily quit due to detrimental conditions directly attributable to the employment. There was no higher authority to which the claimant could complain. The Board finds the claimant had no alternative but to quit and that the claimant quit for good cause. Gary v. Nasheds PA, 4265-BR-13.
The claimant accepted her job on the condition that she would work only the day or overnight shift, but not the second shift. The claimant had to assist her son with his specialized course of study due to his autism. The employer was aware of the claimant’s needs and hired her knowing the claimant’s schedule and restrictions. Shortly after she started working the day shift, the employer advised her she would have to move to the 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM shift. The claimant voluntarily quit her job when her schedule was changed. The claimant’s need to be home with her son during the evening was an agreed-upon condition of employment. The Board finds that the claimant’s change of scheduling was a detrimental change in the agreed-upon hours of employment and a finding of good cause is supported. Miranda v. Unilever Manufacturing US, Inc., 4177-BR-13.
The claimant voluntarily quit her employment when the employer offered her another similar job at the same salary in the organization as an accommodation for the claimant's erratic arrivals at work due to "panic attacks". The claimant was being treated by a physician for this disorder. Once the claimant arrived at work, she performed her work satisfactorily. There was no evidence that the alternative offered by the employer was either punitive in nature or a demotion. The employer's action was a reasonable balance between management prerogatives to make reasonable changes in the working environment while, at the same time, accommodating the claimant's disability. The claimant declined the "reasonable alternative" by the employer by resigning. The voluntary quit was without good cause or valid circumstances. Praylow v. Chesapeake Appraisals & Settlement Services, Inc., 01712-BR-99.
(2) Change in Ownership
After a change in ownership, the claimant was not paid commissions, his health insurance was canceled, and the new employer implied that the claimant was not wanted. The claimant made repeated efforts to recover the commissions due him. Taken together, these factors constitute good cause for the claimant's resignation. Mayhugh v. Fischer Educational Systems, Inc., 1000-BR-85.
(1) Pay Rate
(a) Wages Not Paid
The Fair Labor Standards Act and its regulations provide that an employer must pay overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of the maximum allowable regular hours for the industry. 29 C.F.R. Section 778.103. The claimant's resignation is for good cause where the employer fails to pay such overtime pay in violation of the statute and regulations. Dunbar v. St. Charles Fitness Center, 726-SE-83.
The obligations of the employment contract are reciprocal. While the employee has the obligation to work diligently and in good faith for the employer, the employer has an obligation to pay the remuneration agreed upon in a timely manner. A failure of the employer to do so is a substantial breach of the employment obligation and constitutes good cause to quit. Quina v. Marlo Furniture Company, Inc., 1121-BR-92.
The claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances where the only time that he received no pay was for the half hour that he reported early each day. The employer did not require the claimant to report to work early. Sullivan v. Bayliner Marine Corporation, 148-BR-90.
The claimant was not paid the minimum wage, had unauthorized deductions taken from her pay and was not paid for all hours actually worked. These were conditions detrimental to the claimant’s proper employment and constitute good cause for quitting. Hassell v. Reily LLC, 622-BH-12.
The claimant had an ongoing dispute with the employer over the number of hours for which she was paid overtime and the amount of overtime pay. The claimant did not fail to give the employer an opportunity to correct the situation. The claimant corresponded with the employer for several months, expressing her concerns and reiterating her position that she was not being properly compensated for her hours worked. The employer had an extended period of opportunity to correct this situation or to strictly limit the claimant to working no more than 40 hours per week. The employer only questioned the claimant’s hours when she requested compensation for overtime at 1 ½ times her regular hourly wage. The claimant’s request appears to have been consistent with Federal law on the subject. The Board does not find that the claimant had any further obligation to allow the employer additional time to correct the situation. When the claimant was not properly and timely paid for hours worked, the damage was done. The Board finds these circumstances sufficient to support a finding of good cause for quitting. Yowell v. Marvin Liss PC, 2292-BR-12.
The claimant was a hair stylist. The employer failed to pay the claimant money that was due her. The bank said there were insufficient funds in the account to cash the claimant’s paycheck. Additionally, the salon was operating without a license and under Maryland law (with a few exceptions not relevant to this case) cosmetologists are only allowed to work in a beauty salon that holds a beauty salon permit. The failure of the employer to pay the remuneration agreed upon in a timely manner is a substantial breach of the employment obligation and constitutes good cause to quit. The employer did not pay the claimant in a timely manner. Therefore, the claimant had good cause to quit. Morehead v. Marilyn L. Paige, 4213-BR-13.
The claimant knew the employer’s policy of not working in the rain. Yet, the claimant continued to work in the rain on one occasion. The claimant did not receive pay for the time that he worked. He informed his foreman about this and the foreman said he would talk to the owner to see if something could be worked out. Instead of waiting for the foreman to have an opportunity to discuss the matter with the owner, the claimant quit. The Board found the claimant did not pursue reasonable alternatives prior to quitting. The Board held that the claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Johnson v. East Coast Underground, Inc., 3098-BR-14.
The claimant worked part time as a registered nurse. She was required to submit documentation for her hours of work. On some occasions, the claimant was late in her submittals and there was a reasonable delay in the payment for the work performed. The claimant observed that she was not being paid accurately and that her paychecks were short of the monies that she should have been paid for the work performed. The claimant brought the problem to her clinical manager and was assured that the problem would be remedied. However, the pay problems persisted. The claimant informed the payroll division about the problem. However, the problem continued and the claimant subsequently resigned. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Brown v. Bayada Nurses, Inc., 752-BR-15.
(b) Wages Paid Late
The claimant voluntarily quit for good cause where her paychecks were repeatedly late and sometimes were only partial checks. Although the late paychecks were due to the employer's efforts not to discharge anyone, despite the employer's financial difficulties, the claimant was entitled to receive her full pay on time. Donatelli v. Egli and Gompf, Inc., 2058-BR-93.
If wages are not paid correctly and on time, the damage to the employee has already been done. Efforts to correct the situation are laudable (and legally required) but they have little effect on the issue of good cause unless an employer can show that the employee is being totally unreasonable. The timely and prompt payment of all wages due is one of the most basic obligations of an employer to an employee, and an employer's failure to meet this obligation constitutes good cause for leaving. Kimmell v. Dennis J. Smith, et al., 2065-BR-92.
The employer was having financial difficulty and hired the claimant as a “turn-around specialist.” The claimant quit this job in order to accept other employment because “many times,” the employer allegedly did not pay the claimant on his agreed-upon payday, Friday, and did not have funds until the following Tuesday. The Board found the claimant’s testimony on this issue vague and insufficiently specific. The claimant offered no documentary evidence to support this. The employer credibly proved that there was only one occasion when the payroll company had a “glitch” and did not issue the claimant a paycheck. The employer paid the claimant in cash on the same pay day. The employer’s testimony was supported by payroll records. The Board held that the claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Christofano v. Tellen Foods LLC, 2005-BH-11.
(c) Changes in Method or Amount of Payment
The claimant's pay system was changed so that he could not automatically draw $200.00 per week. Instead, he could receive the money earned in the pay period or he could build up his earnings due to commissions and draw a regular check based on these credited earnings. However, he needed a regular and predictable income in order to keep financially afloat, so he quit. The claimant quit for valid circumstances since the change in the method of payment was a substantial cause connected with the conditions of employment. Butka v. John Ferguson Company, Inc., 225-BR-89.
A substantial detrimental change in the agreed-upon conditions of employment amounts to a good cause. A reduction in pay is a detrimental change. This is an even more serious concern where one party has relied upon the higher pay rate and foregone another business opportunity (a second job) in order to accept it. This aspect of the case alone amounts to good cause. Smith v. James Hondroulis, 1687-BR-92.
Once a claimant establishes that he is not being paid the proper amount, there is no requirement that he make more than a reasonable effort to obtain the money due him. In this case, two complaints to his supervisor, who admitted that the higher amount was due, were enough. The claimant quit for good cause. Clark v. Sheila Sue Mattingly, DIP, 688-BR-93.
The claimant resigned because of a disagreement arising out of a misunderstanding of her salary arrangement. This was the fault of the employer, who informed the claimant that she was being hired for a monthly salary when she was being paid by the hour. The misunderstanding amounted to a substantial cause connected with the conditions of employment and therefore, there were valid circumstances for leaving. Reynolds v. Spa Lady U.S.A., Inc., 152-BR-89.
The Board found that the claimant quit for good cause when she quit, not in order to accept a better job, but because of the change in her remuneration, which was a substantial and detrimental change in the conditions of employment. The old employer changed the claimant’s tip procedure. Kuilan v. Wiffie Palm Concepts LLC, 1031-BR-11.
The claimant did not quit to accept “better employment.” He quit because he was not being paid the hourly wage agreed upon at the time of hire. The individual who told the claimant the wage at the time of hire was not present at the hearing. Upon receiving his paycheck, the claimant told the employer he did not receive the wage he was offered at the time of hire, but the employer refused to recompense him. The Board held that the claimant quit for good cause. Bowmaster v. Sinnott’s, Inc., 1595-BR-11.
(2) Promise of a Raise
The claimant voluntarily quit for good cause where the employer broke a promise to the claimant made at the time of hire concerning wages and hours. The employer had promised the claimant full-time work to start immediately and a substantial raise after several months. Neither of these promises materialized and the claimant quit because he could not afford to work part-time for $9.45 per hour. Ferraer v. Stay, Inc., 300-BR-91.
Where a specific promise of a specific raise at a specific time in the future is made, this promise must be considered to be one of the conditions of employment. Failure to fulfill that promise is a substantial detrimental change in the conditions of employment. There was no evidence that the employer's failure to give the promised raise was due to the claimant's performance. The claimant quit for good cause. Delucca v. Frontier Systems of America, 1089-BR-93.
(3) Deductions from Wages
The claimant resigned after the employer required repayment of money the claimant took from the employer. The claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances since the employer's request for restitution was reasonable. Chambers v. White Coffee Pot, 2044-BH-83.
The claimant voluntarily quit with valid circumstances when she learned that $85.00 per month would be deducted from her salary in order to pay for health benefits. This was a substantial detrimental change in the work conditions originally agreed upon at the time of hire. The claimant did expect to pay a token amount, but not this much. The employer did not deliberately deceive the claimant about this. Rather, the employer simply omitted mention of the $85.00 payment. Nabavian v. RMI and Associates, Inc., 607-BR-90.
(4) Indemnification of Employer for Losses or Shortages
The claimant gas station cashier resigned for good cause where the employer required the claimant to sign an agreement to indemnify the employer for all cash shortages on the claimant's shift. No such indemnification had ever before been required, and the claimant was not allowed to count the money at the end of her shift. The required agreement was a substantial and unreasonable change in the claimant's working conditions. McGuire v. Quince Orchard Shell, 472-BR-85.
(5) Reduction of Benefits
The employer failed to properly report the claimant's correct income to its insurance carrier and also failed to make and withhold the appropriate contributions for insurance, as agreed in the employment contract. As a result, the claimant suffered real monetary loss during a period of illness because she received lower disability payments than she should have received. The claimant made efforts to rectify the problems. The claimant was entitled to have the employer live up to its agreement, and the employer's failure to do so constitutes good cause for resignation. Yingling v. The Hub, 638-BR-82.
After the claimant worked part-time at her own request, a reduction in vacation time was not unreasonable, and the claimant had no good cause or valid circumstances for quitting. Reed v. Eduardo Armenta, M.D., 340-BR-87.
The claimant voluntarily quit her job after the employer failed to pay 100% of her health insurance coverage as promised. The claimant had discussed the specific employment conditions relating to the insurance with Lou Grasso, a current employee. Mr. Grasso was subpoenaed for each of the appeal hearings and failed to attend either. In light of Mr. Grasso’s failure to attend the appeal hearing after being subpoenaed, the claimant proffered that he had assured her that she would have health insurance and that the employer agreed to pay 100% of her health insurance benefits. There is nothing to impeach the claimant’s testimony. Therefore, the Board finds that the claimant voluntarily quit for good cause when her employer failed to meet the terms of her employment agreement that required the employer to pay 100% of her health insurance premiums. Marques v. Matrix Marine Group LLC, 217-BR-15.
c. Changes in Hours or Schedule
(1) In General
The claimant resigned for good cause when he was required to work some Sundays contrary to his religious practices and beliefs, despite the fact that the employer led the claimant to believe at the time of hire that Sunday work would not be required. Spellman v. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, 246-BR-84.
At the time of hire, the claimant and employer agreed that the claimant’s religious accommodation would be met. The claimant would not be scheduled to work after 6:00 PM on Wednesday nights and on Sundays the claimant would not come in before noon and beginning in 2013, the claimant would not work until after 3:00 PM on Sundays. After a new area sales manager was brought in, the claimant was informed she did not have off the times for her religious observances unless she found someone to work for her. The claimant met several times with management to complain of the violation of her employment agreement with no results. The claimant quit her job due to the employer’s failure to abide by the terms under which the claimant had been hired. The Board held the claimant quit for good cause. Murray v. Lord & Taylor LLC, 1869-BR-14.
As an alternative to being laid off, the claimant accepted a transfer from the day shift at a location near her residence, to the night shift at a distant location which required that she take two buses home after midnight. After being delayed by work and missing the last bus home, which left the claimant stranded in the city overnight, she resigned. The changes in the claimant's work schedule and location, which caused the claimant unusually severe transportation problems, constituted a valid circumstance for her resignation. Johnson v. Direct Housekeeping, 183-BR-86.
When the employer made substantial changes in the claimant's job requirements, the claimant, recognizing that she could not comply with these changes, voluntarily submitted her resignation. Specifically, prior to her hiring, the claimant had reached an agreement with the employer about her flex-time hours. The revocation of these hours was a significant and detrimental change in the contract of employment on the part of the employer. The claimant quit for good cause. DiBartolomeo v. Yaffe and Company of Baltimore, Inc., 1089-BH-89.
The claimant was hired as a bookkeeper to work from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The claimant made the employer aware that the 9:00 a.m. starting time was crucial to her daily schedule. Shortly after the claimant was hired, the employer changed the starting time to 8:30 a.m. In addition, the employer required the claimant to perform janitorial duties. The claimant had good cause to voluntarily quit her job since two important conditions of employment were changed. Heavner v. Auto Trader Company, 195-BR-90.
The claimant was hired as an operations manager, working a day shift. Due to budget constraints, the employer eliminated the claimant's position. The employer asked the claimant to accept the position of dispatcher/inspector on the evening shift. The claimant's pay and the amount of travel would not change. The claimant was unable to work the evening shift due to medication that he had to take at 7 p.m. The medication made him drowsy and he could not drive. The claimant quit his job because he could not work the hours required by the employer. This was a substantial change in the conditions of employment. The claimant quit for good cause. Phillips v. Loughlin Security Agency, Inc., 2116-BH-92.
The claimant voluntarily quit her job because her employer required her to work on the two days per week she needed to attend graduate school. Prior to hiring, the employer agreed to accommodate the claimant’s need to be off on these two days. The Board finds that the employer made a significant and detrimental change in the contract of employment. The claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Boyd v. AP Woodson Company, 2274-BR-14.
The claimant quit this employment because there was a substantial change in the terms and conditions of employment between the time the claimant accepted the position and the time the claimant began her employment. The claimant applied for and accepted a job, working daytime hours. On her first day, she learned she would be working evening hours, with no assurance of continued employment after three months. The claimant’s permanent part-time job would conflict with this new part-time position. She quit this new job only because of this conflict in hours, of which the claimant was unaware when she accepted the new position. The Board finds that this was a significant difference in the terms and conditions of employment sufficient to support a finding that the claimant had good cause for quitting her employment. Price v. Pier I Imports US, Inc., 2750-BR-14.
(2) Long Hours and Overtime
The claimant, a salaried employee, was told she would have to work six days instead of five at the same salary. Salaried employees were to work extra when necessary. The claimant did not inquire about this but quit immediately. The situation only lasted one week. There was neither good cause nor valid circumstances for the claimant's leaving. Tarr v. McDonald's of Jacksonville, 234-BR-87.
The employer required the claimant to work over 40 hours per week but did not pay him for it. This was a violation of 29 C.F.R. Section 778.103 and Sections 3-415 and 3-420 of the Labor and Employment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The claimant left for good cause. Bishop v. Ward Component Systems, Inc., 801-BR-87.
The claimant worked 800 hours of overtime during one year, which was far in excess of the overtime contemplated at his hiring. The excessive overtime amounted to valid circumstances. Beckmann v. Peninsula General Hospital, 1165-BR-88.
The claimant's schedule was much more varied and broken up than she was lead to believe when she was hired. Consequently, the time she had to be available for work extended over the entire day and late into the evening. This made child care almost impossible to arrange. The claimant made a good faith effort to work this out, but was unable to do so. The claimant voluntarily quit for a substantial cause, connected with the work, which is one of the definitions of valid circumstances. Smith v. Lourn M. Boyce, Sr., 135-BR-93.
The employer transferred the claimant to another location where he was now supervising three restaurants instead of one, as he previously had done. The claimant’s hours increased from 65 to 80 hours per week, while his salary remained the same. He informed his general manager of the problem and was then transferred to manage a different restaurant, but continued to work 80 hours per week. When the employer refused to transfer the claimant to the original restaurant he was hired to supervise, the claimant quit. The Board held that a substantial, detrimental change in the claimant’s working conditions and agreed-upon hours of work constitute good cause for the claimant to voluntarily quit his employment. Minkovich v. Creative Host Services, Inc., 1089-BR-11.
The employer and claimant agreed at the time of hire that the claimant would not work overtime during the first six months of her employment and that the claimant could work from home between six to twelve months after her start date. Notwithstanding this agreement, the employer unilaterally changed the claimant’s conditions of employment about six weeks after the claimant’s start date. The employer mandated that the claimant work ten hours of overtime per week, including working on Saturdays. The employer denied the claimant’s accommodation request to work from home during the extra hours. The employer’s premature change in the conditions of employment was a breach of the original agreement and caused the claimant unexpected undue hardship. The Board finds this change in the claimant’s schedule constituted a detrimental change directly attributable to the conditions of employment and that the claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Scott v. Connecticut General Life Insurance, 1914-BR-14.
(3) Reduction in Hours
The claimant had good cause for quitting after the employer changed her from a permanent employee to a part-time tax season employee and eliminated her health insurance and benefits package. Both of these actions were detrimental alterations of the claimant's original contract of hire, and the employer had no reasonable justification for doing this. Pawlik v. Brown, 891-BR-90.
The claimant voluntarily quit after the employer reduced his hours and wanted to put the claimant on a disciplinary program. These measures were reasonable because the claimant's performance had deteriorated and failed to improve. The claimant voluntarily quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Groves v. Itnyre Enterprises, Inc., 656-BR-91.
The claimant's customary hours of work were substantially reduced, resulting in a substantial decrease in his income. The claimant was in the state only for the purposes of employment, and could not afford to stay with the reduced amount of hours. Since the claimant was not promised any specific hours, he does not have good cause for leaving, but this change does amount to valid circumstances. Taylor v. Metrex Excavating, 1864-BR-92.
A reduction in hours due solely to the claimant's own conduct in losing his license is neither a good cause nor a valid circumstance. Foote v. TLB Associates, Inc., 1485-BH-92.
The fact that it is normal and customary for a seasonal job to come to an end, and the fact that an employee is aware of this, does not change the fact that unemployment benefits are normally payable when the job comes to an end due to a seasonal lack of work. Where a seasonal job had not come to an end, but had been reduced to the point where continuation on the claimant's part was not financially feasible, valid circumstances were found. Thomas v. Trimpers Rides, 371-BR-92.
The claimant's hours were reduced from 32 hours to 18 hours per week, due to lack of work. In addition, her weekly schedule was to be changed as needed, with as little as 24 hours' notice. The claimant had good cause for quitting her employment. Not only were her hours of employment substantially cut, but her weekly work schedule was now subject to change on 24 hours’ notice. A claimant can be expected to adjust her hours to accommodate her employer's schedule, where the adjustment is reasonable. The employer's policy in this case was unreasonable. Wiggins v. Barranca-Offutt, Inc., 593-BR-93.
The claimant was promised between 37.5 and 40 hours of work per week, averaging 39 hours per week. The claimant's unrefuted testimony was that she had averaged only 32 hours per week, causing her economic hardship. Where the claimant is paid far less than the promised amount, she has good cause for quitting. Buchanan v. Key Federal Savings Bank, 3259-BR-94.
Many employers can offer employees only varying hours of work. This does not change the fact that a reduction in hours to almost zero amounts to good cause. The fact that an employee was told that the hours would vary does not change this conclusion. Colbert v. Phillips Harborplace, Inc., 1554-BR-93.
The claimant was employed part time, “as needed” and was not guaranteed hours. He reported to work every day, however, most days, the employer did not send the claimant on a work assignment. The claimant requested a raise of $.25 per hour or more hours or he would have to look for another job. The employer did not grant more hours or a raise. After several more days of not getting a work assignment, the claimant quit. The Board found that the claimant quit for a substantial cause, i.e., the lack of regular work and held that he quit for valid circumstances. The Board did not find good cause because the employer did not guarantee the claimant a specific amount of hours. Villalta v. LSJV, Ltd., 1279-BR-11.
At the time the claimant began this employment, he worked at least 40 hours per week. This continued for nearly two years of employment. During the claimant’s final year, the employer’s business had slowed for reasons not attributable to the claimant or to the employer. As a result, the claimant was only working on average about 30 hours per week. The claimant was paid by the hour for his work so this reduction in available hours reduced his earnings by one quarter. The claimant found another job which assured him of at least 40 hours per week. The claimant’s reason for leaving was due to a detrimental change in the terms and conditions of his employment. The Board does not find this case to be analogous to the Court’s decision in the case of Total Audio-Visual Systems, Inc. v. DLLR. There, the worker left employment solely to accept new employment which offered a higher rate of pay. There had been no change in that worker’s previous terms and conditions of employment. In the instant case, the terms and conditions of the claimant’s job changed to his detriment. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Lowery v. Pep-Up-Inc., 6049-BR-12.
The claimant did not quit her job in order to accept better employment for purely economic reasons; therefore, the Board finds Total Audio-Visual v. DLLR and Plein v. DLLR inapplicable to the facts of this case. The claimant quit due to the detrimental changes in her working conditions: (1) the claimant’s hours were involuntarily reduced from full time to part time; (2) as a result, the claimant’s pay was reduced; (3) the employer’s treatment of the claimant due to accommodations needed for her Crohn’s disease worsened over time; and (4) the claimant was encouraged to find other work. The Board shall not punish the claimant for not immediately quitting and filing for unemployment benefits the moment her conditions of employment detrimentally changed. The claimant’s process for securing full-time employment while tolerating the deteriorating conditions of her part-time job will not be held against her or treated as the claimant’s condonation of the employer’s actions. The Board held that the claimant voluntarily quit with good cause. Hyman v. Richard M. Williams, DDS LLC, 160-BR-15.
d. Change in Job Location
The claimant had good cause to quit where the employer transferred the claimant to a distant location, requiring a commute of approximately six hours round trip each day. Auth v. General Glass Corporation, 898-BR-85.
The claimant quit because the employer wanted him to transfer from the Maryland-Virginia area to Jacksonville, Florida. In addition, the employer would not cover all the claimant's reasonable expenses that he would incur as a result of this move. The claimant voluntarily quit with good cause. Pennington v. Lott Constructors, Inc., 870-BR-89.
In June 2013, the employer directed the claimant to begin working in its Chantilly, Virginia location so that the claimant could provide guidance to its new branch manager. The commute to Chantilly, Virginia from the claimant’s home in Pasadena, Maryland was approximately two hours each way. The change in the claimant’s job location was intended to have been temporary. The claimant did not pursue extended discussions with his supervisor, the company president, about possible options because, in his position as operations manager, the claimant was already aware of the lack of options. The claimant stayed in the position as long as he could, but the change in working conditions, imposed by the employer, ultimately became too much for him to continue and he quit the job on September 27, 2013. The Board finds the claimant had good cause to quit. The employer changed the terms and conditions of the claimant’s employment. The long commute was too physically and mentally draining on the claimant for him to continue to function well. The claimant was advised by two medical practitioners to leave the employment if he would have to continue the long commute. The employer did not have an alternative placement for the claimant. Drgos v. Banner Glass, Inc., 300-BR-14.
e. Promotions and Demotions
An employer's lack of fair and objective standards in denying the claimant a promotion, despite an informal understanding between the parties that a promotion would be based on merit, constitutes a valid circumstance for the claimant's resignation. A certain amount of unfairness is part of everyday existence, and every instance of unfair treatment will not necessarily be found to be good cause or valid circumstances under Section 8-1001; the degree of unfairness involved and the particular circumstances must be considered in each case. El-Jallad v. J. Vinton Schafer and Sons, Inc., 791-BH-84.
The employer promoted the claimant to a position that both the employer and the claimant knew the claimant was not able to perform. The employer was to train the claimant but failed to do so. When the claimant was not able to perform in the manner the employer desired, the employer informed her that she would be demoted with a substantial cut in pay and the claimant quit. The claimant left for good cause. Haskell v. Rommell Electric Company, 345-BH-89.
The claimant had been a good employee for five years. Her supervisor, by his words and deeds, caused her to reasonably assume that she was to be promoted. Her supervisor did not have the authority to promise the claimant the promotion. The claimant's quit was for valid circumstances. Webb v. Alex Brown and Sons, 815-BR-89.
Where an employer has promised an employee that it will adhere to a promotional process, the failure to live up to that promise constitutes a good cause, connected with the conditions of employment, for leaving the job. An employee has the corresponding obligation to act according to the conditions of the employment contract. Neumayer v. Genesco, Inc., 2209-BR-92.
The employer's demotion policy was reasonable when the claimant failed two exams for certification as a registered nurse. The claimant should have been aware of the policy at the time of hiring, and the claimant did have the opportunity to prepare for the tests. The claimant's leaving was without good cause or valid circumstances. Joseph v. Community Hospital and Health, 176-BR-89.
The claimant's hours were reduced due to the claimant's inability to get to work on time. Subsequently, the claimant quit. Where a demotion leading to a cut in pay is caused by the claimant's own detrimental conduct, the cut in pay does not amount to good cause or valid circumstances for quitting. Kamara v. Abbott Enterprises, Inc., 736-BR-91.
The claimant was demoted because she was unsuccessful in generating business. The claimant subsequently quit. A demotion is not unreasonable where the employee has demonstrated inability to perform at the higher level and such a demotion is not good cause to quit. However, since the claimant's inability to perform was caused in part by a lack of training by the employer, valid circumstances are present. Burke v. BSI Temporaries, Inc., 960-BR-91.
The claimant quit after being demoted. The demotion was for an indefinite duration and involved a substantial decrease in pay and responsibilities. The demotion was done by the employer solely for economic reasons. The claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Evans v. Good News Salisbury, Inc., 713-BR-91.
Dissatisfaction with a demotion is not good cause or valid circumstances for quitting a job where the reason for the demotion is poor work performance. This also applies where the claimant simply fails in an attempt to be promoted. Stewart v. UPS, 192-BR-92.
The claimant quit rather than accept a demotion from store manager at a rate of $375.00 per week plus bonus to floating assistant store manager at $350.00 per week plus bonus. The claimant was demoted due to his inability to successfully perform. Since the demotion was potentially substantial and the claimant's poor performance was not deliberate, the claimant quit with valid circumstances. Wrenn v. Kimmel Automotive, Inc., 471-BR-90.
The claimant voluntarily quit with good cause after he was demoted with a reduction in pay. There was no evidence that the claimant's own detrimental conduct or inability caused the demotion. Owens v. Hill's Capitol Security, Inc., 1278-BR-91.
f. Change in Job Duties Only
The claimant has the burden of proof of showing that there was a change in job duties and that the new duties complained of should not be subsumed under the original job category. Nelson v. Annapolis Housing Authority, 965-BR-85.
Since the new position offered the same pay and hours as her former position, the claimant's refusal of a transfer to the new position constitutes a voluntary quit without good cause. However, since the claimant's responsibilities would have been reduced in the new position, and she would have continued to work occasional uncompensated overtime, valid circumstances were supported. Lomax v. Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, 946-BR-85.
The claimant voluntarily quit after her job duties were changed, but her hours and salary were not. As a result of the change, the claimant lost supervisory duties and had to do more routine tasks. She did not complain about this before quitting. The claimant quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Brill v. Anderson Pontiac-GMC Truck, Inc., 1453-BR-91.
The claimant remained willing and able to perform the type of services for which she was hired, but these duties were no longer available to her. The claimant's duties had changed to duties which the claimant was not medically able to perform. This is a substantial detrimental change in the conditions of employment, and it amounts to good cause for leaving the employment. The claimant does not need to assume those new duties against medical advice in order to prove that she has good cause. Brown v. James Jenkins, Jr., 1890-BR-92.
The claimant, after performing satisfactorily for a long period of time the duties for which she was hired, was required to perform sales duties, which were different duties than those for which she was hired. She was unsuited for sales and refused, though she offered to continue to perform the duties for which she was hired. Her refusal to accept this new position constitutes a voluntary quit, but for good cause. Myers v. Terrance M. McLarney, 423-BR-93.
The employer changed the claimant’s job assignment from accounts payable back to her original assignment in purchasing and data entry. There was no demotion, no change in the conditions of employment and no reduction in pay or benefits. The claimant then quit to accept other employment because she felt “disrespected” when the employer did not consult her about the change. The Board held that the claimant failed to establish good cause or valid circumstances for quitting. Glacken v. Advanced Vacuum Company, Inc., 1847-BR-11.
The claimant voluntarily quit his job as a cabinetmaker because he felt he was being asked to do work that substantially differed from the work he had been hired to do. The employer had asked the claimant to modify a door that the claimant had previously built as part of a project for the daughter of the company president. Asking a craftsman to make an alteration upon a piece he has created is certainly part of the craftsman’s job. The request was not arbitrary, but necessary due to the overall construction project parameters. The claimant’s refusal was unwarranted and unreasonable. Similarly, the claimant’s statement that he wanted to be doing the work for which he had been hired was illogical. The claimant was doing the work he had been hired to do; modifying the door, as requested, was the work he had been hired to do. The claimant’s abrupt resignation over this request was not for a compelling or necessitous reason. The Board does not believe that the claimant has established valid circumstances or good cause for his decision to leave this employment. Brindarov v. Helmut Guenschel, Inc., 305-BR-12.
2. Discipline and Disciplinary Methods
a. In General
A voluntary quit done in response to an employer's reprimand or in anticipation of being discharged is a voluntary quit without good cause or valid circumstances. In this case, the claimant was reprimanded but failed to meet his burden of showing that the reprimand was unreasonable or that the employer was acting in bad faith. Sutch v. Peter Alden, et al., 644-BR-90.
The claimant's job performance was inadequate, and the employer was going to supervise the claimant for a period of 90 days in an attempt to see if she could do the job with additional help. The employer's actions were not unreasonable, and the claimant's decision to leave while the employer was giving her another lengthy trial period was premature and unreasonable, amounting to neither good cause nor valid circumstances. Wang v. MDS Distributions Services, 311-BR-92.
The employer's disciplinary action was taken in bad faith. Just as an employee has a basic duty of loyalty toward her employer, an employer has a basic duty to treat an employee in good faith. Where this duty is violated in regard to disciplinary procedures, good cause is established. Woerner v. White Marsh Mall, Inc., 2159-BR-92.
The claimant heard that the human resource director had told a third employee to stay away from the claimant because she was “a mother-fu**er” and “bad news.” The claimant complained and the president held a meeting, but allowed the human resource director to be in charge. The claimant was subjected to harassment during the meeting when the human resource director demanded that she reveal who had told her his comments. The claimant decided to resign. The Board found that the conduct of the human resource director is attributable to the employer and was in bad faith. The claimant’s resignation was connected to and arose from her employment. The claimant took steps available to her to address her grievance. The employer did not give the claimant any reason to believe that the situation had been properly handled. The Board held that the claimant quit the job for good cause. Whitlow v. Healthcare Resolution Service, Inc., 4449-BR-12.
The claimant began working for the employer as a housekeeper on June 1, 2010. On May 6, 2014, the employer imposed a three-day suspension while an investigation was conducted regarding allegations that the claimant acted in an insubordinate, disruptive and disrespectful manner. The claimant was told to return to work on May 9, 2014 and that she would be informed of the results of the investigation at that time. The claimant resigned effective May 8, 2014 because she assumed she would be terminated. The claimant was never informed that her employment was being terminated. She elected to resign prior to being advised of the outcome of the employer’s investigation. The Board finds that the claimant’s explanation for quitting does not rise to the level of good cause or a valid circumstance. Boyd v. Brinton Woods of Frankford LLC, 532-BR-15.
b. Rude or Abusive Discipline
The employer's use of degrading and insulting language directed at the claimant in a loud tone of voice for over an hour, in circumstances where other employees were able to hear it, constitutes good cause for resignation. Sheckles v. Executive Commissary, Ltd., 790-BH-81.
Where the employer used some abusive language to the claimant on the day she quit, the claimant's resignation was for valid circumstances under Section 8-1001, but was not for good cause. Kling v. Shop Mart, 572-BR-84.
Every instance of the employer yelling does not give rise to good cause or valid circumstances, particularly when the employer was understandably frustrated by the claimant's blatant negligence which caused the employer's business to appear totally incompetent to a customer. The claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Simmons v. Flue Masters, Inc., 532-BR-92.
The claimant quit based on continued verbal abuse by her immediate supervisor. Prior to quitting, the claimant complained about this to her regional manager. He said he would look into the problem, but after three weeks, the employer had taken no steps to rectify the problem. The Board held that the claimant quit for good cause. Larussa v. Genlyte Thomas Group LLC, 1917-BR-11.
During the claimant’s short tenure, he was unreasonably verbally berated and shouted at by his supervisor. On one of these occasions, the supervisor told the claimant that he was, “fu**ing dumb.” There was no other higher management authority to whom the claimant could complain. As a result of the claimant’s treatment by his supervisor, with no prospect for change, the claimant voluntarily quit. The Board finds the claimant’s testimony credible and un-contradicted. When weighing evidence, the Board must view it in favor of coverage and strictly construe disqualification provisions. The Board finds sufficient evidence that the claimant’s workplace environment was intolerable. The reasonable person in the claimant’s position would have been compelled to voluntarily quit. The Board declines to grade the abuse on a scale of severity, especially in the absence of any mitigating testimony from the employer. The Board held the claimant quit for good cause. Akhtar v. Faber Coe & Gregg, Inc., 1066-BR-13.
The employer cursed at the claimant and yelled at him, where other employees could hear, and kept jabbing him in the chest for changing the employer’s password. The claimant was not the person who actually changed the password. The office manager did so at the claimant’s request so that he could sign up for training classes he needed to maintain his required certification. This was not the first time that the owner lost his temper and accosted the claimant. The employer did not apologize for his behavior. The claimant voluntarily quit the job. The Board held that the claimant quit for good cause. Nicholson v. Mare, Inc., 1331-BR-14.
The claimant was a long-term employee with no formal disciplinary actions against her. The employer’s granddaughter/employee accused the claimant of stealing tips left by two of her clients. The claimant denied taking the tips. The granddaughter complained to the employer while the claimant was working at the front desk. The employer approached her and accused her of taking the tips. The claimant again denied this. The employer sent the claimant home without pay. There was no proof that the granddaughter’s clients had left tips for her. The claimant was upset by the accusations of theft and resigned. The Board concludes that the resignation was reasonable and with good cause. The employer did not discuss the matter with the claimant in a private area, but instead at the front desk where the claimant worked and clients could hear. When the claimant denied taking the tips, the employer sent her home without pay. The Board finds the claimant’s belief that she was being accused of theft not only to be reasonable, but to be correct. Harduvel v. Sharon L. Rose LLC, 2598-BR-14.
c. Forced Apologies
The claimant resigned for good cause where she was forced by the employer to apologize to a customer for no wrongdoing on her part and during the apology, the customer yelled and cursed at the claimant for fifteen minutes, in the presence of employees and other customers, without intervention by the employer. Lankford v. Rite Aid Corporation, 2202-BH-83.
The claimant accompanied a coworker who slashed the tires of a car belonging to a third employee. The employer ordered the claimant and coworker to apologize to the other employee and make arrangements to pay for the ruined tires in lieu of reporting the crime to the police. The claimant did not do so, walked off the job, and did not return. The employer's request that the claimant and coworker meet with the injured employee and make restitution, in lieu of calling the police, was reasonable, and the claimant's resignation was without good cause or a valid circumstance. Hollenbaugh v. Whitcraft Transmission, 1101-BR-85.
3. Discrimination and Harassment
a. Derogatory Racial Remarks
The claimant has good cause to quit where the employer makes personal and derogatory comments to the claimant, of a racially offensive nature, about the claimant and his girlfriend. Manuel v. Osika - Cooper, Inc., 216-BR-83.
The claimant voluntarily quit his position because his manager created a hostile work environment for the claimant by the manager’s racial comments, homosexual jokes and jokes about the claimant. When the manager first came and started his slurs and jokes, the claimant told him that he thought they were unethical, unprofessional and that he was uncomfortable with them. The manager did not change his behavior. On the claimant’s last day, his manager made a derogatory comment. The claimant could not take any more of the manager’s derogatory comments, slurs or jokes and quit. The claimant had used the company’s chain of command to complain about his manager’s behavior. The company did not take any action to remedy the situation. The claimant finally quit when nothing was done. The Board held that the claimant quit for good cause. Antoine v. Orkin Exterminating Company, Inc., 2678-BR-12.
b. Sexual Harassment
Where the employer subjected the claimant to a relentless and unwanted barrage of requests for her sexual favors, despite her constant refusals, and made it clear that such requests would continue, the employer's conduct constitutes sexual harassment of the claimant and created intolerable working conditions. The claimant's resignation was for good cause. It is unreasonable to expect a claimant to make a formal complaint to her supervisor (in this case, the very individual making said advances) where such complaint would result in personal humiliation or where a complaint would be futile. In reaching its determination in this case, the Board considered the sexual harassment definition promulgated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). See, 29 C.F.R. Section 1604.11(a) (1980). McCaughey v. Charles E. Brooks Law Office, 405-BH-84.
The employer repeatedly placed his hands on the claimant's breasts or buttocks and put his hand up her skirt to touch her in a personally offensive manner, but the claimant waited four months before she quit. To state that the claimant condoned this treatment because she worked at the establishment for approximately four months is to penalize the claimant for attempting to make the best of a bad situation for as long as possible. The claimant quit for good cause. Netzer v. Lori Enterprises, Inc., 393-BR-86.
The claimant was a victim of sexual harassment by a coworker, but did not inform the employer of this and merely did not return to work. Since she did not take steps to correct the situation, she quit without good cause, but such an intolerable situation still amounted to a valid circumstance. Parsons v. Salisbury Nissan, Inc., 644-SE-88.
The claimant was physically and sexually assaulted by her supervisor on the work premises, during work hours. This constitutes good cause for leaving, especially where previous incidents of sexual harassment by the same supervisor had been brought to the attention of management. Torain v. Wackenhut Security, 62-BR-87.
Where the employer brushed off the claimant's complaints about sexual harassment by coworkers, but the claimant failed to file a formal grievance about this, the claimant quit without good cause, but with valid circumstances. Haynes v. Giant Food, Inc., 223-BR-90.
The claimant was sexually fondled, then sexually harassed, by one who was in a position to make her employment miserable if she didn't consent. When she didn't consent, the employer deliberately repeatedly accused her of having a bad attitude. The claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. Bartholow v. Reisterstown Twin Kiss, 1280-BR-91.
The claimant was subjected to unwanted sexual harassment by a coworker. The claimant complained to the employer. The employer held a meeting the following day, telling employees that they all need to stop this behavior. The offending employee continued to engage in unwanted behavior of an inappropriate sexual nature. He told the claimant that the meeting had been a “joke.” The employer maintained the allegation of sexual harassment was the result of sexual banter which had occurred among the claimant, the offending employee and another worker. The employer’s witness at the hearing did not offer any corroborating evidence about this. The employees with actual knowledge of these events were not present at the hearing. The Board cannot find that the employer has refuted the claimant’s credible testimony that she quit because of sexual harassment in the workplace. The Board does not find that the claimant was obligated to remain and see if things would change in the future, when nothing changed after the meeting. A worker is not required to engage in an act of apparent futility in order to establish good cause. Here, the claimant quit for reasons which were compelling and which were directly related to her employment. She has shown good cause. Connor v. J & G With AE, Inc., 2032-BR-12.
c. Comparative Treatment
The employer would not promote the claimant to the position of assistant manager or manager despite the fact that the claimant's evaluations had always been very satisfactory and that she had, in fact, performed the duties of assistant manager and manager in the past. The employer had a record of not having promoted any women to management or assistant management positions or even to the grocery manager position, from which they could be promoted to assistant manager or manager. The claimant was discriminated against because she is a female and she therefore had good cause attributable to the employer for voluntarily quitting her job. Hill v. Eastern Shore Markets, Inc., 18-SE-87.
The claimant was treated significantly differently than her peers by her management after she was allowed an accommodation for a medical condition. The employer’s actions created a hostile and isolative working environment which was a substantial change in the terms and conditions of the claimant’s employment. There were derogatory comments made to the claimant by her supervisor. The claimant was constantly monitored to make sure she was using her medication. The claimant experienced isolation as a result of the employer’s actions. The Board concludes that this was good cause for the claimant to elect to leave her position. Sinclair v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, 438-BR-13.
d. Verbal Harrassment
The female claimant quit because of alleged verbal sexual harassment by male coworkers. The Board found that the claimant’s evidence was insufficient to establish that she was sexually harassed in the work place, by either her supervisor or coworkers. The employer credibly refuted her allegation. The Board held that the claimant quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Davis v. Challenger Transportation, Inc., 1938-BH-11.
In early 2014, the claimant reported to her operations manager verbal harassment by the kitchen manager. The operations manager acknowledged the inappropriateness of the kitchen manager’s remarks to the claimant. After the kitchen manager resigned, the kitchen staff became more hostile to the claimant and a coworker. The hostility included verbal and physical abuse. The claimant reported the abuse to the new kitchen manager and operations manager. The claimant was taken off kitchen duties and assigned only delivery driver duties in order to minimize her exposure to the kitchen staff. During the next four months, the claimant made five formal complaints of harassment with no resolution. The claimant subsequently quit the job. A worker who asserts that she quit employment because of harassment must establish, by competent evidence, that the harassment was of such a degree that it would have compelled a reasonable person to quit employment. Disciplinary actions and unfriendly coworkers are not necessarily indicative of harassment. Harassment requires sufficient recurrence or seriousness as to render the situation intolerable. The claimant voluntarily quit her position when she was repeatedly harassed by the kitchen staff and the harassment continued after she made repeated formal complaints. The Board held that the claimant quit for good cause. Reedy v. Mission BBQ LLC, 125-BR-15.
4. Interference with Employee's Work
The claimant's resignation due to numerous disciplinary warnings and reprimands for low production does not constitute good cause. However, the claimant has valid circumstances where the low production and consequential reprimands were caused by the employer's constant shifting of the claimant from one machine to another. Harris v. Del Mar Manufacturing, Inc., 2245-BR-83.
The lack of necessary equipment and outside labor to perform the claimant's job duties in a satisfactory manner, where such equipment and labor was promised by the employer at the time of hire, constitutes a valid circumstance for resignation. DePasquale v. Maryland School for the Blind, 720-BH-81.
5. Encroachment into Employee's Personal Life
The employer had no right to require the claimant to withdraw his application for another job. The claimant had good cause for quitting. Whitaker v. Docu-Data Corporation, 1093-BR-89. The claimant left her part-time job in order to take advantage of free training offered by her full-time employer (for whom she was still working at the time she quit the part-time job). The training would increase her opportunities for full-time work, once the full-time job ended. The part-time job did not actually interfere with the claimant's full-time job itself. Therefore, the claimant did not have good cause for quitting. However, since it did interfere with a substantial benefit offered by her full-time employer, and one that would greatly increase her ability to obtain full-time work, the claimant left her part-time job for a substantial cause, connected with the conditions of employment. Therefore, valid circumstances are present. Wilson v. Citicorp Financial, Inc., 1397-BR-93.
6. Employer's Business Practices
The claimant's resignation due to his unwillingness to engage in the unlawful practice of charging customers for unnecessary work constitutes good cause. Harris v. Rapid Rooter, 1599-BH-82.
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 expectations that further complaints would lead to a better result. The claimant quit with good cause. Hughes v. All State Boilers, 256-BR-86.
The employer's attempt to issue a false W-2 statement to the claimant for the purpose of avoiding taxes is a significant violation of the employment agreement amounting to good cause. Meyer v. Vincent, 1859-BR-92.
The employer ordered the claimant to file a claim against her own insurance company based on a theft of the employer's car from the employer's premises in a situation where the car was in the control and possession of the employer but the claimant had been temporarily using it. The claimant's refusal to risk her own insurance rating and coverage was reasonable. She had good cause for quitting. Bass v. Foreign Motors Subaru, Inc., 1018-BR-93.
The claimant's resignation was for good cause where he resigned because of his pay rate and because the employer required that he participate in unlawful insurance practices. Kosinski v. Western Southern Life Insurance Company, 2270-BR-83.
7. Drug Screening
The claimant, who had previously undergone treatment for a drug problem, agreed to take a drug screening test after he exhibited behavior consistent with drug use. However, he never showed up for the test and never reported to work again. The employer's request was reasonable under the circumstances. This was a voluntary quit without good cause or valid circumstances. Benneman v. Murry's Steaks, Inc., 236-BH-87.
Urine testing is recognized by the US Department of Transportation as the only reliable method to determine the presence of cocaine. There is no scientific correlation between levels of cocaine found in the blood and found in urine. Benzoylecgonine is the major cocaine metabolite which appears in the human body as it breaks cocaine down into its component parts. Benzoylecgonine is specific to cocaine and not caused by other drugs, prescribed or over-the-counter, or by herbal supplements. Current testing methodologies are sufficiently sophisticated to isolate this metabolite to the exclusion of other substances. Benzoylecgonine does not appear on a drug screen in the absence of cocaine ingestion. Bayne v. Choptank Electric Coop Inc., 820-BH-14.