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Jones v. Department of Labor

OPINION FILED JANUARY 9, 1986.

DORIS JONES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, BUREAU OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, DIVISION OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, DIRECTOR E. ALLEN BERNARDI; BOARD OF REVIEW, CHAIRMAN, BRUCE W. BARNES, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE (K MART CORPORATION, DEFENDANT).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Rock Island County; the Hon. John M. Telleen, Judge, presiding.

PRESIDING JUSTICE HEIPLE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal from an order of the Board of Review of the Illinois Department of Labor. The Board affirmed a referee's decision that plaintiff, Doris Jones, was ineligible for benefits in 1983 and had been ineligible for benefits received in 1982. Upon administrative review, the circuit court affirmed the decision of the Board.

Until October 16, 1981, plaintiff was employed at International Harvester (IH). She earned $320/week, or $8/hour as an expeditor. The record does not reveal what tasks or skill levels this position entailed. She began receiving $198/week in unemployment benefits.

On March 9, 1982, plaintiff took a part-time cashier's job at K mart. The job paid $3.40/hour for approximately 18 hours of work per week.

At her hearing, plaintiff testified that she lost her regular, inexpensive babysitter in April. She also testified to expending $20/week in transportation from Rock Island to Moline. Plaintiff began experiencing scheduling difficulties due to her inability to secure affordable child care. Her last shift was in late April. Her stated reason for leaving was low pay.

Section 601A of the Unemployment Insurance Act provides:

"An individual shall be ineligible for benefits for the week in which he has left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the employing unit * * *." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 48, par. 431(A).)

The Board of Review found that plaintiff left her job due to domestic and transportation concerns. Thus, her leaving was not for any cause attributable to K mart. This finding is certainly supported by the manifest weight of the evidence.

Plaintiff does not seriously dispute this finding. She argues, however, that the Board erred in not applying the exception to ineligibility found in section 601(B)(5). That provision reads as follows:

"(B) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to an individual who has left work voluntarily: * * *

(5) Which he had accepted after separation from other work, and the work which he left voluntarily would be deemed unsuitable under the provisions of Section 603." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 48, par. 431(B)(5).)

Plaintiff contends that the extreme disparity between her wages at IH and K mart rendered the latter unsuitable within the meaning of section 603.

Section 603 provides:

"In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, consideration shall be given to the degree of risk involved to his health, safety, and morals, his physical fitness and prior training, his experience and prior earnings, his length of employment and prospects for securing local work in his customary occupation, and the ...


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