By Dawn Gibson
A company made an offer of an early retirement package to certain eligible employees. The claimant accepted the offer, but later applied for unemployment benefits.
The Employer’s Evidence: The employer testified that it offered a number of employees an early retirement package. This offer provided additional severance payments and insurance coverage. In an effort to ease budget restraints, the company gave the option to all eligible employees. The claimant wasn't told that his job would be in jeopardy or that he would be part of a reduction in force. The employer asserted that the program was necessary in order to avoid a future reduction in force. The claimant qualified for the program and signed an agreement indicating that he would retire. The employer asserted that continuing work was available to the claimant. They alleged that the acceptance of the program amounted to a voluntary resignation. The Claimant’s Evidence: The claimant testified that he decided to accept the early retirement package. He had enough points to qualify and additionally, he wished to take advantage of the added monetary incentives. He did not indicate that he had felt he was in danger of being laid off if he did not take the package. However, the claimant testified that he had no plans to resign and would not have, had the employer not offered the incentives.
The ALJ found that:
The employer appealed. The employer argued that:
After reviewing details of the case, the Board of Review (Board) agreed with the ALJ’s decision and affirmed. It stated that:
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Please remember: Unemployment laws vary from state to state. The results in this case might be different from a case in your state. Also, always consult with your own legal counsel and advisors concerning your specific situation.