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Washington Unemployment Case Law
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They refused to cross a picket line. Therefore, they do not collect.
Abbott et al
When unions struck some sites, the employer closed all sites. Workers at the sites which did not strike may collect.
Maternity leave is not a voluntary quit without cause.
Abuholsn et al
Full time teachers demoted to part-time substitutes may collect
Acheson et al
Members of one union refused to work when members of another union went on strike. They do not collect.
Ackerlund et al
These longshoremen cannot collect while on strike.
Affordable Cabs
A taxi driver is an employee and therefore his wages are subject to unemployment taxes.
Alexander et al
Teachers at schools for blind and deaf do not collect unemployment during summer vacation.
He was disqualified ten weeks because he was fired for poor attendance. He was disqualified another 26 weeks because he claimed it was a layoff. The question is: Do these disqualifications come one after the other, or do they overlap? They overlap.
A county worker was a partner in the business to which he sold county property. He was fired for conflict of interest.
Arima et al
School secretaries cannot collect unemployment during summer vacation.
He could not find a permanent job. His wife had to move 250 miles away to find a permanent job. He, of course, quit to move with her. That is good cause.
His story keeps changing; but, basically, he quit to go fishing.
He worked for the port. The port belonged to the State. The State exempts itself from unemployment taxes. Therefore, he cannot collect.
A woman may quit her job to move with her husband and collect unemployment.
He was thrown in jail. The jail phone would only make collect calls. His job would not accept collect calls. So he had no way to call off work.
A new law limited good cause for voluntary quit to ten specific circumstances. Her circumstance is not one of these ten. But that law does not meet state contitutional criteria.
If you have to have a license to perform your job, and you lose that license through your own fault, so that you lose your job, the state has always regarded this as a "constructive quit" which disqualifies you from collecting unemployment. Suddenly and inexplicably, this court decides that losing your license should NOT disqualify you from unemployment.
Bauer -- dissent
This judge disagrees. He thinks that the same rules which have applied through the years should apply still.
He lives on a little farm, and milks 15 cows, to supplement his income. That doesn't make him self employed.
His lawyer sent an email to the wrong address, resulting in a late appeal.
She was fired for being rude and inefficient. She collects because inefficiency is not disqualifying.
Bergenheier et al
Non-certified employees of a school who are not assured of a job come Fall may collect unemployment during summer vacation.
Somehow, a substitute teacher managed to collect a mite of unemployment during summer vacation. Now, he has to pay it back.
The company demoted him and reduced his pay. He quit. He does not collect.
While collecting unemployment, a forestry worker went to visit her family in another state for a month. So the department wants to disqualify her while she was out of state, saying she was unavailable for work. But, during that month, she continued to send out resumes to all sorts of states looking for employment. So she collects.
Buffelen Lumber
The plant closed down and everyone was on vacation, as agreed in the union contract. They cannot collect unemployment.
Castle Creek
A family company attempts to escape the unemployment tax by saying that all family members are owners and officers. They must pay.
First, he missed a couple of days when he was arrested. They warned him. Then, he missed a day to have a cancer removed. Another time, he had to leave when his son got in a wreck. Finally, he had to hop home when his wife's father went missing. They fired him. But none of these instances were misconduct. So he collects.
This lawyer collected 30 weeks of unemployment while averaging over 25 billable hours a week in his own law office and meanwhile turned down several jobs. What could he be thinking? The state wants him to pay back what he collected.
His lawyer did not file his appeal in time.
A man threatened to punch her, so she quit.
He squabbled with a colleague. The company to move him to a different department. He quit instead. He thinks he should collect unemployment.
A corporation cannot appeal an unemployment case to court unless it is represented by an attorney.
Did not come to work, would not respond.
Cowles Publishing
She quit her job because she was underpaid.
Drug use made him goof up on the job.
A shipment was supposed to go C.O.D. She crossed out the note on the freight bill that said so.
Daily Herald
A newspaper claims that its "bundle droppers" are independent contractors on whom they should not have to pay unemployment taxes. This tactic has been attempted many times in many states by many newspapers. It always fails.
Dairy Valley
The dairy's milkers are farm workers, exempt from unemployment taxes. But their drivers are not farm workers, and so they have to pay the tax on them.
Failed to arrive on time or in uniform.
Personal problems made a clerk goof up on the register. She collects.
When recalled to work, he did not show. Denied benefits, had a hearing, did not show. Hired a lawyer who sent an appeal letter which was returned undeliverable.
She quit to move in with her boyfriend who lived far away. She does not collect.
He collected unemployment while fighting in court for disability. Having won his disability, he has to pay back the unemployment he collected. This court thinks the department ought to at least consider excusing some of the guy's legal fees.
Delagrave (dissent)
This judge disagrees with the above.
She maintains that there is no misconduct because the employer could not show there was any harm in what she did. The court says that harm doesn't have to be tangible nor economic.
She asked the union what to do. By the time they replied, her appeal was a day late. Her appeal was late -- so why does the court say she gets a hearing?
He cannot collect unemployment while collecting vacation pay.
Durham et al
They insisted on quitting work in time to wash up.
He collected unemployment and union pension at the same time.
He did not look for work.
This teacher cannot collect during summer vacation
The IRS told him he could no longer claim his boat as a business expense unless he showed a profit. So he quit his regular job to be a fisherman.
Fors Farms
They have a hatchery. They send out the chicks for others to raise. They have a processing plant and inspectors. Which of all these are independent contractors, which are farm workers, and which do they owe taxes on?
Forsman et al
The company reduced their hours in half, chopped 25% off their hourly rate, whacked all benefits, and eliminated holidays. But the state doesn't want to pay unemployment, because....... this is exactly the contract the union agreed to!
A billing clerk couldn't get the bills out on time. So she cranked the date back on the postage meter!
This isn't about unemployment; it's about the unemployment department. A gal there falsified job placement orders.
G & G Electric
They didn't pay her bonus. They wouldn't give her sick leave. They stressed her out. She collects.
While enrolled in approved training, a claimant is not required to seek or accept work, nor to be available for work.
The entire year, she had never worked a whole pay period without taking off sick. But it wasn't the fact that she was out sick all the time without even calling in, it's the fact she used vacation time when she ran out of sick time. That's what disqualifies her from collecting.
Gibson et al
They saw pickets. It wasn't their union. They couldn't figure out what was up. They wouldn't cross the line. They were fired. They collect, because they didn't know what was up.
Gluck, et al
All about changing requirements for requalification.
This isn't about unemployment; it's about the unemployment department. This case worker granted a claimant benefits. The employer pulled strings. Some other state office intervened. She got irate. They fired her.
They told her they were going to change her full time job into a part time job, so she quit. But she does not collect because she quit before the change took place.
Troubles with customers.
The grocery store fired her because she bought some of their outdated meat at a discount price. She collects.
They sent her a letter of reprimand. She sent back a nasty reply. They fired her. She does not collect.
The employer delayed NINE MONTHS before they forwarded the appeal notice to their claims company, which then delayed another six weeks before appealing! This court says that's way too late.
A kitchen helper refused to fold tablecloths.
Because she appealed too late, the court will not consider her arguments.
He would not go to AA.
His union was trying to get him back in his old job, so he didn't look for another. Therefore, his benefits stop because he is not looking.
Temporary Extended Unemployment Benefits were granted to certain types of employment affected by 9-11. His work is not one of them.
Did not ask for the day off in time. Took the day off anyway to register his son for high school. Took the next day off as well.
A logger did not want to drive out where the trees are, so he quit. Now he claims his back hurts.
Sounds like she worked with a bunch of Neanderthals. They mooned the girls, grabbed their boobs, and called them "bitch". The only question is: Why does she have to fight this one in court to collect?
Any other claimant must demonstrate they are looking for work. But a union member does not.
Rosie the Riveter was laid off at the end of the War. The job office sent her to several jobs paying half as much where the work conditions were far worse; so she didn't accept the jobs. On this basis, they deny her unemployment.
Jennings et al
Substitute teachers may not collect unempliyment during the summer vacation.
Jerome provides the hairnetted ladies who stand in a store with a hotplate, passing out food samples. She claims they are independent contractors, on whom she should not have to pay unemployment taxes. The court says pay.
A prison shrink does not like the new director of prisons, who would rather crack down on inmates than shrink them. He gets transferred elsewhere, and doesn't like that either. So he quits. He does not collect.
Completely inadvertently and unknowingly, a bus driver toted a pistol onto her bus, and left it there. She got fired for that and does not collect unemployment.
When he took early retirement, he rolled over his lump sum pension into an IRA. Therefore, he can collect unemployment.
She had trouble getting along with anybody. They transferred her from here to there. Colleagues wrote letters of complaint. Finally, she threw a shoulder into another clerk, so they fired her. She does not collect.
When he got laid off, he tried everything he could to make a living. This included steps to start a business of his own, as well as applying for jobs with employers. But the department wants him to pay back his unemployment because they say that attempting to set up a business makes him self-employed. The court says that egg isn't hatched.
A caregiver quit when the patient's dementia made working conditions unsafe for her. But she did not give the employer an opportunity to correct those conditions.
This is the only case we have ever seen where a union fought to deny unemployment benefits. A secretary at the union office worked four years without a contract. The union decided they wanted her to have a contract, but negotiations got nowhere. Then the union handed her a contract and said sign or begone. She bewent. Now this court says she does not collect unemployment because she would not sign the contract under duress. Go figure.
LaBrec et al
The hearings examiner divulged their confidential information.
She kept the books for a mushroom farm. Farm workers are exempt from unemployment taxes and benefits. However, she did not do farm work.
The school janitor had good reviews for years. Nevertheless, they reduced his hours and pay in half. Then, a new principal came in and made his life misery. She even went into his office and swiped his WWII memorabilia. When he lost his temper, they fired him, not her. And because she made him lose his temper, he cannot collect.
He went AWOL over a hundred times. But he says that isn't misconduct because he is a drunk and the alcohol made him do it. In Washington, this "disability" is no excuse. He does not collect.
He had to leave the hearing early for a job interview. After he left, the employer misled the hearing officer. Now, he should be allowed to present new evidence.
He would not work Sundays nor Easter, because, he said, of religious beliefs. But he did not belong to any church, nor did he worship.
M & M
A couple of motorists complained about the way their truck driver drove, so they fired him.
When he applied, he said he had never been convicted of a crime. After he had worked there for six years, they found out he had.
The union went on strike. But they say they should collect because there was no work for them even if they had crossed the picket line.
When his full time ski instructor job came to an end, but he still worked part time on the mountain, he collected partial benfits. But when he quit his part time job to come down the mountain and look for full time work, they cut off all his benefits. The court says that's right.
She was fired for poor performance; but inept work alone is not misconduct.
The port leased trucks from a trucking company. Each truck came with a driver, working under an "independent contractor" agreement. Nevertheless, the driver is eligible to collect unemployment and the port is responsible for the charges.
A van driver paid by the mile did not earn minimum wage, so he quit. He collects.
A junior college teacher cannot collect unemployment bewteen school terms.
McIntyre et al
These freezer salesmen are not independent contractors, but employees entitled to unemployment compensation.
A school teacher had a strange arrangement: She would work for 90 days at $256 a day as a teacher, but after the 90 days was up, she would only get $75 a day as a substitute. Naturally, she worked 90 days and a week, then quit. At first, they paid her unemployment. Later, the school district appealed. By this time, she was teaching in Canada, so the appeal letter never reached her, and so she lost the appeal because she never showed up. Now they want her to pay back what she collected from unemployment.
He says he was whistleblowing. They say he just couldn't get along with an associate.
Miller got the rights to log 230 acres. He contracted with two other guys at piecework to fell and buck the timber. In every way, these two guys were sub-contractors, providing their own equipment and directing their own work. But the court says that the 230 acres belonging to someone else on which he contracted for timber are his "place of business", so he has to pay unemployment taxes on the two guys.
Given an ultimatum: quit or be fired.
He did not appeal in time.
He was fifty years old and had worked for the steel mill for 17 years as a brick mason. The mill terminated his position and offerred him a job on a catwalk hovering over 1000+ degree vats poking molten steel with a crowbar. At less pay. He refused. He collects.
When asked why she missed so many days, she flew off the handle and asked to be fired.
Her husband retired and built a house 75 miles away from her work. She quit because she didn't want to drive that far. She collects.
Nielson et al
They took severance, relocation, and re-education money to quit voluntarily when the plant cut back nearly five thousand jobs. They can collect.
A cashier was fired when she told her employer she had pled guilty to shoplifting. She collects.
New Model Laundry
A laundry leased its business to another company for seven months, then resumed it. Here, they fight to resume their former unemployment rating.
Missed a month of work when her mother died. Many difficulties communicating with employer.
Northwest Tools
Salesmen paid entirely by commission and working outside the company's place of business are exempt from unemployment tax on their commissions. But if the employer provides these salesmen with trucks, are these trucks their mobile places of business?
Self-employment earnings do not qualify you for unemployment benefits. You have to work for someone else.
Okamoto (concurrence)
Here, one judge on the court agrees with the rest, but points out that the Department misinformed the claimant.
Othello Hospital
She stole from the hospital. She pled guilty to criminal charges. They fired her. Now, the hospital is being charged for her unemployment benefits.
He forged doctor's notes.
Pac Tel employees
There were four unions. One struck. The others would not cross the picket line. They do not collect.
Accused a colleague of stealing her money.
She had an 8 hour a day job as a pharmacist. She asked for a 12 hour a day job as a manager. She couldn't take the stress of 12 hour days, refused to go back to her old job, and quit. She does not collect.
A teacher was terminated. She began collecting unemployment. Now and then, she would substitute, and they would subtract those wages from her benefits. Now comes the Christmas holiday. They don't want to pay her at all for that period.
Pennsylvania Life
If a claimant goes to court and wins, he can get his attorney fees paid. If an employer goes to court and wins, he gets nothing.
In a 5-week period, this brand new mailman received a warning letter, a 1-week suspension, and a 2-week suspension. But he claims someone has a vendetta.
She lost her job. She got unemployment. She got a new job. She still collected unemployment. Now the state wants her to pay the money back.
Property Holding
The law exempts real estate salesmen from unemployment taxes. But the department wants to tax commissions of agents selling limited partnerships in real estate. The court says it's the same thing.
Rasmussen and Bauer
These two appealed too late. Too late is too late.
Too late still means too late.
Read et al
They took early retirement. They do not collect.
They cut her hours in half and her pay by a quarter, and demoted her, all because they were renovating the cafeteria. Why isn't this good cause to quit?
Saint Joe
A non-profit hospital was paying $57,000 a year in taxes; so they elected to go reimbursable. The next year, they reimbursed only $27 grand. But they think the taxes they paid the year before should go to defray the charges they reimburse this year. No way, says the court.
A school "liason worker" may not collect unemployment during summer vacation.
She maintains that the constitution forbids granting Unemployment tax exemption to the Salvation Army. The court disagrees.
He maintains that clam digging is farm work, so that he shouldn't have to pay unemployment taxes.
The Department sent him a denial and a benefit check at the same time. He did not appeal the denial in time because he thought the check indicated approval.
He was late 14 times in 15 months. The last time was because of a power outtage. Not so bad, says the court; he collects.
Shelton Hotel
The hotel claims it is not an employer because it does not employ 8 people.
Shoreline College
Based on a formula in a collective bargaining agreement, the college reported that the teacher worked fewer than the minimum number of hours required to be eligible for unemployment compensation.
Here is a new wrinkle: A strike impended. He knew he could not collect unemployment once the strike began. So he got himself fired so that he could collect.
He secretly recorded people around him.
Her reason for quitting is not one of the specific reasons allowed. Compare this to Batey, above.
His daughter in Alaska was arrested, so he left his job to go there and take care of the grandchildren.
When the nursing home resident acted up, she put her in time out.
She kept showing up to work drunk.
She never filed a grievance for sexual harassment; but her other complaints were not resolved either.
She came in late, left her station often, wouldn't follow directions, bothered other workers, ignored warnings, and yelled at people. But the court says no misconduct.
More of the same.
The chief mate did not use the available navigation equipment. Therefore, the passenger ferry aground.
Tops Shop
In the event of bankruptcy, everyone gets stiffed except for government, because personal liability for unpaid tax survive bankruptcy.
A miner settled in a small town where there were no mines. Therefore, he has not made himself available for work.
After 17 years, she fell ill, and had to miss work six weeks. When she came back, there was no job for her. They don't want to pay her unemployment because she doesn't want to apply for different types of work.

Beware that this court proceeding was based on an incomplete record.

More of the same. This time, with a more complete record.
She applied for leave to accompany her disabled husband to visit his mother. They hired a temp to take her place during her leave, so she assumed it was granted. But at the very last minute, they told her she could not go. She went. She collects
A hearing may accept hearsay evidence; but may not decide solely on the basis of hearsay unless they explain why.
A store clerk worked six days part-time, then quit, because she wasn't making enough.
Late for work 30 days out of 33. Says they condoned it.
A student attending classes at a school is not entitled to unemployment. But he was a doctoral student teaching, not attending, classes at university.
When reserves build up, the state is supposed to issue credits to employers. Reserves are up; but the state does not carry through. An employers association tries to get the court to make the state live up to its responsibility. They won't.
When you take the state to court and win, you still have to eat the court costs.
The dog ate his homework, so his appeal was late. But he was only one day late, so they will let him appeal anyway.
Willard et al
The maids used to clean 15 rooms apiece. The boss told them they had to clean 16 rooms apiece. They refused. They don't collect.
Everywhere they assigned him, he complained of physical problems. Finally, he quit. But they deny him unemployment, saying that he did not exhaust every remedy.
When she got married, she naturally quit to move elsewhere so she could live with her husband. She collects.
A social worker worked for one agency checking up on foster care children, and for another agency providing foster care. The first agency told her to give up her foster child. She wouldn't. They fired her. Now they want to say that she quit, because she didn't obey their ultimatum.
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