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

Subject: Mariano Gonzalez (Hrg. No. 96602836WK) v. LIRC and Westwood Aluminum Castings, Inc., Case 96-CV-007277 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Milwaukee Co., May 29, 1997) 

Digest Codes: SW 806  VL 1059.10

The employer offered the employe work as a cutoff saw operator to begin in two days from the date of the offer at $8.50 per hour. The employe accepted and reported to work, but on the second day of the job he refused to continue unless the employer transferred him to a different position paying $9.75 per hour. The employer indicated to the employe that the higher-paying position might become available to him in the future, but it was not currently available. The employe thereupon quit. The employe asserted that on the day he was hired, he was assured that the higher-paying position would be given to him in four or five weeks.

The commission found a quit.

Held: Affirmed. Credible evidence demonstrates that the employe was never assured he would receive the higher-paying job. The court held that the employe had already had six weeks to canvass for work in line with his previous wage of $9.45 per hour. Also, the offer for $8.50 per hour was not for a "significantly lower rate of pay" than the $9.45 per hour, because this was not a 20 percent drop in pay.

The commission acted properly in rejecting the non-prevailing wage argument, because the offer for $8.50 per hour was above the lower quartile for all saw operators in the employe’s labor market. Benefits denied.

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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