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Minfield v. Bernardi

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 6, 1984.

THELMA MINFIELD, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

E. ALLEN BERNARDI, DIRECTOR, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES (MARSHALL FIELD AND COMPANY, DEFENDANT).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Arthur L. Dunne, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE GOLDBERG DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied March 20, 1984.

Thelma Minfield (plaintiff) has appealed from an order affirming denial by the Department of Labor (department) of plaintiff's claim for unemployment compensation (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 48, par. 300 et seq.). The briefs before us are unnecessarily enlarged and cite many unnecessary cases. As we view the record here, we find one dispositive issue: whether plaintiff is entitled to unemployment compensation based upon her last employment with Marshall Field and Company (Field's).

Prior to December 9, 1981, plaintiff worked full time for the city of Chicago and also worked part time for Field's. On December 9, 1981, plaintiff was discharged by the city of Chicago. Neither the circuit court nor this court is concerned with or has jurisdiction over the relationship and the rights of the parties as regards plaintiff's employment with the city of Chicago.

However, on January 3, 1982, plaintiff left her work at Field's after her request for full-time work had been denied. Plaintiff applied for compensation. The referee and the Board of Review denied plaintiff's claim. The circuit court affirmed the denial. Plaintiff appealed to this court.

The record before us shows the following facts. Plaintiff had worked to support her eight-year-old son, who has a speech problem and a learning disability. Her part-time wages from her employment at Field's were insufficient to pay her expenses, including the cost of a baby-sitter.

At the hearing plaintiff told the referee she left her employment at Field's because, "I needed more money. I couldn't afford to pay my baby-sitter. I needed more hours. They said they didn't have any available. They had a freeze on hiring." Plaintiff told the referee she was being paid the agreed rate by Field's. This employer did not cause her to leave or do anything to break the contract of hire.

In denying plaintiff's claim the Board of Review found:

"* * * the evidence established that the claimant left work because she was dissatisfied with the amount of money which she had received working only part time. This is not good cause attributable to the employer within the meaning of the statute."

Plaintiff has raised other issues before reaching the merits of her claim to compensation:

I

On March 28, 1983, the trial judge, upon consideration of the record and arguments of the parties, entered an order finding plaintiff was discharged by the city of Chicago for misconduct and plaintiff was therefore ineligible for benefits based on her city employment. The trial judge also found the decision that plaintiff voluntarily left work from Field's without good cause was "against the manifest weight of the evidence." The trial court therefore ordered that plaintiff was eligible for benefits based on her earnings from Field's "if she was otherwise able and available."

Within 30 days plaintiff filed a timely post-trial motion. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 110, par. 2-1203.) The motion stated that the trial court had no jurisdiction over plaintiff's claim for benefits based upon her employment with the city of Chicago. Plaintiff stated no appeal had been taken from the referee's decision concerning the city employment.

On May 11, 1983, the trial judge considered plaintiff's post-trial motion in open court and heard argument of counsel. At that time, which was more than 30 days after judgment, the department filed a written "response" to plaintiff's post-trial motion. The department prayed that the post-trial motion be denied and ...


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