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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Leaving employment without good cause will disqualify an applicant for unemployment insurance benefits


Leaving employment without good cause will disqualify an applicant for unemployment insurance benefits
Matter of Welsh (Commissioner of Labor), 2016 NY Slip Op 03042, Appellate Division, Third Department

One basis for disqualifying an applicant for unemployment insurance benefits is a determination that the individual left his or her employment without good cause.

Medina Welsh testified that in the course of her being considered for a promotion she submitted a falsified General Education Development certificate to the employer and then, “within minutes,” confessed the falsification to her supervisor. The supervisor warned Welsh that “she could be fired for such conduct.”Welsh then testified that she had submitted her resignation “because she did not want to have a termination on her record and hoped to be able to procure a job reference from the employer.”

The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board denied Welsh's claim for unemployment insurance benefits and Welsh appealed the Board's ruling. The Appellate Division, however, sustained the Board’s determination, explaining that “quitting [one’s employment] in anticipation of discharge does not constitute good cause for leaving employment.”

Other court rulings sustaining the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board’s denial of unemployment insurance benefits based on its finding that the claimant for such benefits did not leave his or her employment for good cause include:

Avoiding disciplinary action: Claimant’s election to accept the employer’s offer of an “early retirement package” instead of facing a scheduled disciplinary hearing for alleged misconduct, [Williams v NYC General Services, 256 AD2d 792].

Lack of valid license: The termination of a teacher from his or her position due to the lack of a valid teaching certificate did not constitute leaving one’s employment for good cause, [Matter of Duncanson (Commissioner of Labor), 115 AD3d 1106].

Harassment: Resignation from a position based on what the Appellate Division characterized as the employee's “perceived religious harassment” without first giving the employer an opportunity to investigate the matter, [Matter of Katz (Commissioner of Labor), 122 AD3d 993].

Job dissatisfaction: In Matter of Costello, 268 AD2d 845, the Appellate Division ruled that “dissatisfaction with one's employment, including assertions of being overworked, does not constitute good cause for leaving employment.”

Retirement incentive: Unemployment resulting from taking advantage of a severance package or an early retirement incentive does not constitute good cause for leaving one's employment
[Rubscha (Commissioner of Labor), 105 AD3d 1217].

Personal reasons: Claimant’s reasons for submitting his resignation  were found to be "personal and noncompelling," [Quintana v NYC Police Department, 297 A.D.2d 857].

Dissatisfaction with employer's business operations: “Dissatisfaction with an employer's method of doing business does not constitute good cause for leaving employment, particularly where the employee did not make a reasonable attempt to protect employment by notifying the employer about his or her concerns,” [Matter of French v Town of Lyndon, 79 AD3d 1515].

Resigning in anticipation of a layoff: Leaving one’s employment in anticipation of being laid-off is not leaving for good cause for the purposes of claiming, unemployment insurance benefits, [Matter of Thesing (Commission of Labor), 111AD3d 1015]. 

Provoked discharge:  A finding that the employee provoked his or her dismissal. In Matter of Rosseychuk (City of New York--Commissioner of Labor), 2016 NY Slip Op 01885, the Appellate Division said that a "Provoked discharge . . . is a narrowly drawn legal fiction designed to apply where an employee voluntarily engages in conduct which transgresses a legitimate known obligation and leaves the employer no choice but to discharge him [or her]."

Resignation to accept other employment:  Claimant had a valid offer of employment at the time he tendered his resignation but this offer of employment was subsequently rescinded by the prospective employer after it learned of Claimant’s arrest for “driving while ability impaired” and Claimant’s former employer would not allow him to withdraw or rescind his resignation, [Matter of Bennett (Commissioner of Labor), 106 AD3d 1359].

In contrast, leaving employment to relocate to another state in order to remain with one’s family typically will not disqualify an individual for unemployment insurance benefits,  [Rodriguez v Commissioner of Labor, 256 AD2d 768].

The Welsh decision is posted on the Internet at:

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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