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DLLR's Unemployment Insurance Appeals

 

Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 continued - Maryland Unemployment Decisions Digest

 

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.

(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.

 

b. Remuneration

 

(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.

(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.

(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.

 

(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.

 

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.

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.

(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.

(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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

 

Voluntary Quit - Section 8-1001 continued