Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance

Subject: Claude R. Josi (Hearing No. 94005331MD) v. LIRC and United Building Centers (Wis. Cir. Ct. Dane County Case No. 95-CV-2066 March 13, 1996) Richard J. Callaway Circuit Judge

Digest Codes: VL 1007.01  PC 715

The employe, who was 80 years old, worked for the employer for about 18 years. Shortly before the employe’s last day of work the employer received a complaint of verbal and physical harassment about the employe from a female co-worker. The plaintiff was called to a meeting in the office of the employer’s manager with the manager, assistant manager and district manager.

The evidence is in conflict as to what happened at that meeting. The employe testified that he was not allowed to explain what happened, that he became angry and left after saying that maybe he should not be there. The employer’s representatives testified that the employe was rambling and when asked to respond to the complaint angrily stated that he was resigning.

The employe reported to work on his next scheduled day and was told that he was no longer employed. The commission found that the employe quit his employment without good cause attributable to the employer.

Held: An employe does not have to say "I quit" to terminate employment. The finding that the employe told the managers he was quitting is supported by substantial evidence. The testimony of the employer’s witnesses is not inherently incredible. There is no evidence in the record that the employer fired the employe or forced him to resign. The evidence does not establish that the employe quit with good cause attributable to the employer.

Although it would have been better for the administrative law judge to sequester the employer’s witnesses, sequestering is discretionary, not mandatory. The witnesses were under oath. The employer’s witnesses had no motive to fabricate. The employe’s self serving statement to the contrary is the only suggestion that they did. Denial of benefits is affirmed.

Please note that this is a summary prepared by staff of the commission, not a verbatim reproduction of the court decision.

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