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DLLR's Unemployment Insurance Appeals

 

Decision Number 1101-BR-85 - Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 - Maryland Unemployment Decisions Digest

 

BOARD OF APPEALS

DECISION

DECISION NO: 1101-BR-85
DATE: December 13, 1985
 
CLAIMANT: Stewart Hollenbaugh APPEAL NO.: 07419
 
EMPLOYER: Whitcraft Transmission L.O. NO: 15
 
APPELLANT: Claimant

Issue: Whether the claimant was discharged for misconduct, connected with his work, within the meaning of 6(c) of the law; or whether the unemployment of the claimant was due to leaving work voluntarily, without good cause, within the meaning of §6(a) 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 MAYBE TAKEN IN PERSON OR THROUGH AN ATTORNEY IN THE CIRCUIT 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 ON January 12, 1986.

APPEARANCES

For the Claimant: For the Employer:

REVIEW ON THE RECORD

Upon a review of the record in this case, the Board of Appeals reverses the decision of the Hearing Examiner.

The Board finds as a fact that the claimant accompanied a co-employee as that co-employee systematically slashed the tires of another co-employee with a knife. The testimony of the employer's two witnesses establishes that the claimant was not merely accidentally present when this act of vandalism occurred but actually accompanied the co-employee to each corner of the car as the tires were slashed. The claimant did not report this incident either to the police or to the employer.

The employer ordered the claimant and the co-employee to meet with the employee whose tires had been slashed, apologize, and then make arrangements to pay back the other employee for the tires ruined. The claimant did not do this. When the employer learned that the claimant had not met with the other employee, he angrily told him to do so. The claimant left and did not return.

The Board concludes that the claimant voluntarily quit his job when he walked out rather than apologize and make amends to the other employee. This does not constitute good cause for quitting, because the employer's order was reasonable. The claimant participated in the slashing of the tires, crouching down at each corner of the car with the person who actually held the knife. His actions both during and after the slashing were not the actions of a person who was trying to prevent this criminal act from occurring; rather, they were the acts of a person participating in the slashing.

The employer, instead of reporting this crime to the police, required the claimant to meet with the injured employee, apologize and, together with the other employee who actually held the knife, work out a method of repaying the injured employee for the damage done. This requirement was eminently liberal and reasonable and constitutes neither "good cause" or "valid circumstances" for quitting, as those terms are used in §6(a) of the law.

The Board notes that, even if this were a case where the employer fired the claimant for refusing to meet the injured employee and make restitution for the damage done, this would amount to a discharge for gross misconduct under §6(b) of the law. Participating in deliberate destruction of a co-employee's property is certainly gross misconduct, especially when the perpetrator is given a chance to make amends for the damage but refuses to do so.

DECISION

The unemployment of the claimant was due to leaving work voluntarily, without good cause, within the meaning of §6(a) of the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law. He is disqualified from receiving benefits from the week beginning June 2, 1985 and until he becomes reemployed, earns ten times his weekly benefit amount ($1,450) and thereafter becomes unemployed through no fault of his own.

The decision of the Hearing Examiner is reversed.

Thomas W. Keech, Chairman
Hazel A. Warnick, Associate Member

K:W

DISSENT

I would grant a hearing before the Board of Appeals.

Maurice E. Dill, Associate Member

kbm
COPIES MAILED TO:

CLAIMANT
EMPLOYER
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - WESTMINSTER

 

 

LOWER APPEALS DECISION

DECISION

DECISION DATE: August 2, 1985  
 
CLAIMANT:Stewart Hollenbaugh APPEAL NO.: 07419
 
EMPLOYER: Whitcraft Transmissions L. O. NO.: 40
 
APPELLANT: Employer

Issue: Whether the claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with his work within the meaning of Section 6(c) of the Law.

- NOTICE OF RIGHT OF FURTHER APPEAL -

ANY INTERESTED PARTY TO THIS DECISION MAY REQUEST A FURTHER APPEAL AND SUCH APPEAL MAY BE FILED IN ANY EMPLOYMENT SECURITY OFFICE, OR WITH THE APPEALS DIVISION, ROOM 515, 1100 NORTH EUTAW STREET, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND 21201, EITHER IN PERSON OR BY MAIL.

THE PERIOD FOR FILING A PETITION FOR REVIEW EXPIRES AT MIDNIGHT ON August 19, 1985.

APPEARANCES

For the Claimant:
Present
For the Employer:
Present Craig Whitcraft, President
Roger Litchfield, Transmission Rebuilder

EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE

Whitcraft Transmissions alleged that the claimant had been observed on June 5, 1985, walking around a co-worker's car at lunch time. At approximately, 3 p.m., it was discovered that three tires from an employee's car had been slashed. On June 6, 1985, the claimant had been questioned about the three tires being slashed and was asked to pay for the cost to purchase new tires. The employer alleged that the claimant was not discharged from employment, but left the job after being requested to pay for the tires.

The claimant alleged that on June 5, 1985, at approximately 12:45 p.m., that another co-worker had slashed the tires of an employee's car. The claimant alleged that three tires had been slashed. The claimant alleged that he did not inform his employer that a co-worker had slashed three tires of an employee's car from Whitcraft Transmission. The claimant alleged that on June 6, 1985, that he was not going to pay for tires that had been slashed by another individual. The claimant alleged that he did not conspire with a co-worker to slash tires of an employee from Whitecraft Transmissions. The claimant alleged that he was discharged from employment at Whitcraft Transmissions after he was requested to pay for three tires that had been slashed. The claimant had no intent to resign his employment at Whitcraft Transmissions.

FINDINGS OF FACT

The claimant had been employed by Whitcraft Transmissions from September, 1982 to June 6, 1985. The claimant had been employed as a transmission installer.

The claimant was separated from employment at Whitcraft Transmissions because on June 5, 1985, a co-worker had slashed three tires of an employee's car, which the claimant had been aware of. The claimant failed to notify Whitecraft Transmissions that a co-worker had slashed tires of an employee's car from Whitecraft Transmissions. The claimant had been questioned by the employer about the incident on June 5, 1985 because the claimant had been observed walking around the car that had three of its tires slashed during lunch time. The claimant was requested to pay for the three tires; the claimant was unwilling to pay for the tires that had been slashed because he did not slash the tires.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

The term "misconduct," as used in the Statute, means a transgression of some established rule or policy of the employer, the commission of a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, or a course of wrongful conduct committed by an employee within the scope of his employment relationship, or on the employer's premises.

The claimant's conduct by failing to inform the employer that a co-worker, on June 5, 1985, had slashed three tires of another employee's car from Whitcraft Transmissions during lunch time, evidences a dereliction of duty which constitutes misconduct connected with the work within the meaning of Section 6(c) of the Law. Therefore, the determination of the Claims Examiner under Section 6(c) of the Law must be reversed.

DECISION

The claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with the work within the meaning of Section 6(c) of the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law. Benefits are denied for the week beginning June 2, 1985 and the nine weeks immediately following.

The determination of the Claims Examiner is reversed.

This denial of unemployment insurance benefits for a specified number of weeks will also result in ineligibility for Extended Benefits and Federal Supplemental Compensation (FSC), unless the claimant has been employed after the date of the disqualification.

Marvin J. Pazornick Hearings Examiner

Date of hearing: July 24, 1985
cdg/0926
(Henderson)
Cassette #4973
Copies mailed on August 2, 1985 to:

Claimant
Employer
Unemployment Insurance - Westminster