DIGEST OF ADJUDICATION PRECEDENTS VL
HELD: When an occupational license is within an individual's control to obtain, a work separation that occurs as a result of not
obtaining that license is a voluntary leaving (constructive quit), not a discharge. Here, it was within the claimant's control to obtain
his license. The claimant constructively quit by not making a reasonable effort to take the test in time to meet the licensing
requirement. He left work without good cause attributable to his employer and benefits were denied.
ISSUE/DIGEST CODE Voluntary Leaving/VL-135.15
DOCKET/DATE Horton v. IDES, 781 N.E.2d 545, 335 Ill.App.3d 537, 269 Ill.Dec. 748 (1st Dist., 11/26/02)
AUTHORITY Sections 601(A) and 602(A) of the Act
TITLE Discharge or Leaving
SUBTITLE Constructive Quit
CROSS-REFERENCE MC-135.15; Discharge or Leaving, Constructive Discharge
The claimant was employed as a service agent for a car rental agency. A requirement of the job was that the claimant maintain a
current, valid driver=s license. Any suspension of the license had to be immediately reported to the employer. Failure to do so
would result in the claimant=s immediate termination. Employees who do so inform the company are given a 30-day leave of
absence to secure a valid driver=s license. Notice of the suspension of the claimant=s license, effective July 25, 2000, was mailed to
the claimant=s last address known by the Illinois Secretary of State. On September 13, 2000, the claimant was discharged by the
employer for failing to notify the employer of the suspension. At the hearing, the claimant testified that he could not have
deliberately and wilfully failed to inform his employer of the suspension because he had never received notice of the suspension.
According to the claimant, he had moved from the address listed on his driver=s license prior to the date the suspension was
mailed. He had not informed the Secretary of State of his change of address but had obtained a State identification card with the
new address on September 16, 1999 and had filed a change of address form with the local U.S. Post Office in January, 2000.
HELD: The Appellate Court held that the claimant was disqualified from receiving benefits pursuant to Section 601(A) of the Act.
Relying on Hawkins v. IDES, 268 Ill.App.3d 927, 206 Ill.Dec. 423, 645 N.E.2d 428 (1994), the court found that the claimant=s
Afailure to maintain a valid driver=s license rendered him unable to meet a necessary condition of his employment. As plaintiff
voluntarily left his job without good cause attributable to the employer, he is ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits.@
ISSUE/DIGEST CODE Voluntary Leaving/VL 135.2
AUTHORITY Section 601A of the Act
TITLE Discharge or Leaving
SUBTITLE Interpretation of Remark or Action
CROSS-REFERENCE VL 160.05, Efforts To Retain Employment; MC 135.2
The claimant worked as a Jewelry Salesman, and enjoyed a familiar relationship with the store's owner, for whom he had worked
for 25 years. From May, 1983, through September 2, 1983, the claimant had been absent from work due to illness. On September
3, he returned to work, unannounced, and was preparing to open the store, when the owner told him that he had hired a new
employee. Upon hearing this, the claimant handed the owner his keys and left.
At a hearing, the employer testified that the new employee had not been hired as a replacement for the claimant. The claimant
testified that he had assumed that he had been replaced by the new employee.
HELD: There are some situations in which it is difficult to determine whether a separation is a discharge or a voluntary leaving, as
both the employer and worker have made some remark or have taken some action which has contributed to the initiation of a
separation. Generally, if an employer makes a remark or takes some action which initiates the separation, then a discharge has
occurred. However, if the employee is given a choice of remaining at work, it is a voluntary leaving. In either case, the
reasonableness of the parties' actions must be considered.
Even though an employer's remark might generally give rise to a discharge, in the instant case, the claimant's belief that he had
been discharged was not reasonable. Considering his many years of employment, and his familiar relationship with the owner, the
claimant should have taken steps to ascertain his status. His failure to do so by departing abruptly constituted a voluntary leaving
without good cause attributable to his employer.
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