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

Subject: Jose R. Velazquez (Hrg. No. 96003908MD) v. The State of Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission and Cellular One, Case No. 97-CV-0376 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Dane Co., July 14, 1997)

Digest Codes:  VL 1054  VL 1080.20

The employe filed a race-based discrimination complaint against the employer. The employe’s attorney and the employer negotiated for a settlement of the complaint, and during the negotiations both parties agreed that the employe would be placed on a paid leave of absence pending the outcome of the negotiations. The parties eventually completed a settlement agreement whereby the employe agreed to withdraw his discrimination complaint and resign his employment, and the employer agreed to pay him a lump sum of $18,000. Both parties agreed that if a settlement had not been reached, the employe would have come back to work for the employer.

The commission found that the employe quit and not within any of the exceptions.

Held: Affirmed. The employe freely chose to accept the $18,000 rather than return to work for the employer, which he could have done. The employe argued for the first time on appeal to court that the employer "insisted" that he quit, but the record contains no evidence to support that allegation. The agreement whereby the employe received a paid leave of absence did not affect his ability to choose whether or not he would go back to work for the employer. The complaints of discrimination allegedly attributable to the employer are not supported by the evidence, and therefore there was no good cause for quitting.

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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