Fear of Firing Not Reason to Quit
Published: February 2, 2012
Tags: Charlotesville Law Firm, Judge D. Arthur Kelsey, Unemployment Comp, Virginia Court of Appeals
Although a truck dispatcher said she did not receive sufficient training and she quit her job because she feared she would be fired, her apprehension was not good cause to leave her job, and the Court of Appeals affirms the denial of unemployment compensation.
The Virginia Employment Commission found claimant’s reason for quitting was not – as she argued – that her frustration over the alleged lack of training rendered the workplace so intolerable that she could no longer bear to stay. Even if the commission were to treat claimant’s frustration over a lack of additional training rather than the anticipation of discharge as the claimant’s reason for leaving, the VEC held, in the alternative, this frustration did not constitute good cause for quitting.
We need not address the alternative good-cause holding because we agree that with respect to claimant’s primary reason for quitting her job, the VEC’s determination rested squarely on her own testimony. Applying its longstanding precedent, the VEC held “good cause” under Va. Code § 60.2-618(l) cannot be established by an employee who quits her job merely because she believes she will eventually be fired. We agree. In such cases, the employee – not the employer causes the wage loss. Neither the VEC nor the courts should be asked to speculate when, if ever, the employee’s prediction might have come to pass or whether the hypothesized firing might have implicated a disqualification for misconduct under Code § 60.2-618(2)(b).
The circuit court correctly affirmed the VEC order disqualifying claimant from receiving unemployment benefits.
Smith v. Va. Employment Commission (Kelsey) No. 0860-11-2, Jan. 31, 2012; Richmond Cir.Ct. (Stout) Martin Wegbreit for appellant; Elizabeth Peay, AAG, for VEC. VLW 012-7-021, 4 pp.
Please contact us if you need legal advice.