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  • CUB 26287

    IN THE MATTER of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1971

    - and -

    IN THE MATTER OF a claim for benefits by

    - and -

    IN THE MATTER OF an appeal to an Umpire by the
    Commission from a decision of the Board of Referees given
    at Vancouver, British Columbia, on October 1, 1993



    This matter came before me at Vancouver, British Columbia on Monday, October 24, 1994.

    The Commission appeals the unanimous decision of the Board of Referees upsetting the Commission's affirmation.

    By Exhibit 1 the Commission held that the claimant voluntarily left his job with the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre on July 9, 1993 without just cause and was therefore disqualified from receiving regular benefits from July 18, 1993 for the remainder of his claim.

    The facts indicate that the claimant had been employed by the employer for 14 years. On July 9, 1993 he ceased working and he applied for benefits on July 21, 1993 (See Exhibit 2). There is considerable evidence on the file that friction existed between the claimant and his employer for some time about such matters as his pay, his conduct on the job in front of the public, the stress on the job, et cetera; indeed the claimant adduced evidence that in early 1993 his employer had given him final notice about any future incidents. (See Exhibit 5.8).

    The circumstances of his quitting were that the claimant told the executive secretary, a fellow worker, that he quit during a dispute about his vacation pay. (See Exhibit 5.2). She "accepted" his resignation and despite his subsequent attempts to retract it, the executive director notified the claimant that he was being terminated. (See Exhibit 5-9).

    The Board of referees reversed the decision of the Commission and said in part:

    "The Board notes that the record of employment shows that Mr. Eppel "quit". (Exhibit 3.1) Both parties agree that the claimant said he quit to Joyce Whitaker, the executive secretary, but as Ms. Linda P. Thayer stated in her letter of July 26, 1993 (Exhibits 10.1 to 10.7):
    "Mr. Eppel's comments were made to the executive secretary, Mrs. Whitaker, who has no authority to hire, fire, or accept resignations. She is not his supervisor."
    Mr. Eppel advised the Board she is not his supervisor but a co-worker. The Board has no information from the employer that the claimant had the right to accept his verbal remark that 'he quits, or pass this comment to Mr. Zipursky, his supervisor.
    The Board determines that the claimant did not voluntarily leave his employment on July 9, 1993. The CUBs quoted by the Commission were actually individuals who had quit their jobs, this is not the situation here. Just cause does not need to be proved as the claimant did not quit his employment.
    Decision: The appeal is allowed."

    Justice Walsh in CUB 24069, Joseph Naaman states at page 3:

    "The claimant insists that he did not leave without just cause and that is the issue. While he also contends that he did not resign but was dismissed, I do not find that he can succeed on this latter argument in view of the first paragraph of his letter of May 28. It is not unusual for a claimant in anger to threaten a resignation and later to try to withdraw it, but sometimes, as in the present case, the employer is eager to have the relationship severed, and accepts the resignation. In such cases it is held that this is not a dismissal but a resignation."

    In this case in the peculiar circumstances which the Board has delineated in its judgment, technically the claimant did not quit his job but was dismissed and consequently he did not voluntarily leave his job without just cause.

    Therefore the Commission's appeal under Section 80(b), that the Board of Referees made an error in law is dismissed.

    Honourable A.H. Hollingworth


    Vancouver, B.C.
    Oct. 24, 1994