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07/17/89 Carol Rodgers, v. the Department of

July 17, 1989





542 N.E.2d 168, 186 Ill. App. 3d 194, 134 Ill. Dec. 168 1989.IL.1108

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. Bernard E. Drew, Jr., Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE LINDBERG delivered the opinion of the court. WOODWARD and DUNN, JJ., concur.


Plaintiff, Carol Rodgers (claimant), brought the instant action seeking administrative review of a final decision of the Illinois Department of Employment Security Board of Review (Department) that she was ineligible for unemployment benefits because she voluntarily left employment without good cause attributable to the employer. The Department appeals from the circuit court's order reversing its decision, contending that the circuit court's decision is clearly contrary to the statutory language set out in the disqualification provisions of section 601of the Unemployment Insurance Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 48, par. 431). The Department contends that its interpretation of the Act is entitled to considerable deference. The Department argues that the circuit court's decision is improperly based upon case law from other jurisdictions which is not binding in Illinois and on one Illinois decision which is not dispositive of the issue. We are not persuaded by the Department's contention and affirm.

The facts are not in dispute. Claimant held two jobs; she was employed as a full-time clerical worker for I.B. Diffusion from August 1985 through December 31, 1986, and she worked part time as a hostess and cashier for Walgreen Company (Walgreen's), from March 1, 1982, through January 11, 1987. Claimant's part-time job comprised approximately 10 hours per week at an hourly rate of $4. On December 31, 1986, she was laid off from her full-time job by I.B. Diffusion due to lack of work and filed an initial claim for unemployment benefits on January 6, 1987. The Department prepared a claimant information sheet, dated January 7, 1987, which informed claimant that her maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount was $142. On January 9, 1987, Walgreen's notified the Department of claimant's possible ineligibility for unemployment benefits due to the fact that, as of that date, she continued to work on a part-time basis. Walgreen's indicated, "We believe our account should not be charged since the hiring agreement has not been broken." The record does not contain any such notice protesting eligibility from plaintiff's full-time employer, I.B. Diffusion.

On or about January 11, 1987, claimant voluntarily left her part-time position with Walgreen's because she relocated to a suburb and had transportation problems getting to work. At this juncture, claimant was ruled ineligible for unemployment benefits by a Department claims adjudicator on the basis that her voluntary leaving of the part-time job was not attributable to the employer and was without good cause. Claimant appealed this adjudication, and a hearing was held before a Department hearing referee on May 8, 1987, at which claimant and Walgreen's appeared and presented testimony and argument. The referee made the following findings of fact:


The Claimant was employed as a full time Clerical Worker for I.B. Diffusion from August of 1985 through December 31, 1986, at which time she was laid off due to lack of work.

The Claimant filed her initial claim for benefits on January 6, 1987, making the effective date of her claim January 4, 1987.

The Claimant had also worked as a part time Hostess-Cashier for Walgreen Company from March of 1982 until January 11, 1987. The Claimant worked for Walgreen Company at 5470 South Archer Avenue, in Chicago, on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the rate of $4.00 per hour.

The Claimant relocated from Chicago, Illinois to Roundlake Beach, Illinois. She advised Walgreens that she was moving, and requested a transfer to another location close to her new residence. The Employer agreed to transfer the Claimant to their facility in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and informed her that she would be working Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 pm. to 3:00 a.m.

The Claimant was unable to work at the new location as scheduled due to transportation problems. She never reported for work, and never notified ...

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