10. Voluntary Leaving

Smith v Andrews on the Corner – 10.47

Smith v Andrews on the Corner
Digest no. 10.47

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Smith v Andrews on the Corner, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued July 22, 1987 (Docket No. 94071).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Ollie Smith
Employer: Andrews on the Corner
Docket no.: B85 02586 99533W
Date of decision: July 22, 1987

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Claimant quit work without good cause attributable to the employer where she quit without notice because of a co-worker’s profanity and anger and refused to continue work despite the employer’s offer to change the co-worker’s schedule.

FACTS: Claimant was employed as a part time cook for two years. Throughout that period she experienced frustration with the full time co-worker who was in charge of the kitchen. Claimant was upset by the co-worker’s frequent profanity and angry moods. The employer attempted to intervene on occasion, without success. Only the claimant had difficulty with the co-worker. Eventually the claimant quit without notice. She refused to return to work despite an offer from the employer to change the co-worker’s schedule.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: “In this case, we have no difficulty in concluding that claimant’s disqualification is amply supported by competent, material and substantial evidence on the record. Despite the Biblical injunction to ‘swear not at all,’ we are not unmindful that, as observed by Mark Twain, ‘In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.’ … In our estimation, claimant’s precipitous and unannounced termination from employment was not a reasonable reaction to her workplace discomfiture. Clearly, the employer was amenable to implementing scheduling changes in order to accommodate claimant’s wounded sensibilities. … [W]e believe reasonable efforts were made to eliminate the periodic conflicts between the employees. … The employer was yielding, while claimant was inflexible; we feel that under the circumstances in this case, this inflexibility was unreasonable.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (view original digest here)
Digest Updated: 11/90