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

Subject: Roger P. Balogh  v. LIRC & Charter Manufacturing Company, Inc., Case 00-CV-079 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Fond du Lac Co., November 13, 2000)

Digest Codes: VL 1001.06  VL 1007.01

The employee planned a two-week moose hunting trip to Canada in September of 1999, and booked his reservations in June of 1999. He had invested $4,000 in the trip. However, he had used up his annual vacation and did not approach the employer to ask for a leave of absence for the trip until August of 1999. The employer denied his request because it needed him to work. The employee offered to find co-workers who would fill in for him while he was gone, but the employer rejected that idea because it would have meant paying overtime to the co-workers. On the day before leaving on the trip, the employee cleaned out his locker and went home. The employer’s human resources manager telephoned him at home and asked him if he had quit. They had a cordial conversation in which the employee stated he was going ahead with his trip. The manager advised him against it and told him he could save his job by reporting for his next scheduled shift, but the employee indicated he was going on the trip. The employee went to Canada and the employer sent termination papers to his home one week later.

The appeal tribunal and the commission found a quitting. The employee appealed and argued that he intended to return to work after his trip was over, so he did not voluntarily quit. He also argued that the employer discriminated against him because it had allowed leaves of absence in the past.

Held: The finding of a quit is affirmed. The employee’s actions were inconsistent with the continuation of the employment relationship. See Dentici v. Industrial Comm., 264 Wis. 181 (1953). There was no evidence of the employer having granted a leave to anyone under similar circumstances, so there was no discrimination against the employee.

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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