Wacaster v. Daniels

In Wacaster v. Daniels, 270 Ark. 190, 603 S.W.2d 907 (Ark. Ct. App. 1980), the claimant was employed as an assistant librarian until the end of 1979. She received a monthly salary of $ 560 up until December 31, 1979, when she was terminated through no fault on her part. Early in 1980, the claimant made application for unemployment insurance benefits. Shortly thereafter, she was offered a position as an assistant librarian by her former employer. The job offered was temporary and required her to work three-and-one-half hours per week more than she had previously worked, but her weekly salary was to remain the same. Id. at 910-11. The issue presented to the Wacaster Court was: Did the claimant refuse, without good cause, the position offered? Id. at 910. The Court answered that question in the affirmative and explained: The only condition that warrants a claimant from accepting offered employment is for good cause as expressed in the applicable statutory provision. While the term "good cause" may be difficult to define, it seems plain that the term means a justifiable reason for not accepting the particular job offered. In other words, to constitute good cause, the reason for refusal must not be arbitrary or capricious and the reasons must be connected with the work itself. While personal factors may be considered in determining whether there is good cause, they are not controlling or dispositive of the issue. See 81 C.J.S. Social Security 255, p. 508. In the final analysis, the question of what is good cause must be determined in the light of the facts in each case. While it is true that claimant, under the temporary position, would have been required to work an additional three and one-half hours per week or fourteen additional hours per month and would have received the same salary that she received previously, plus a 7% cost of index raise or $ 39.20 increasement per month, we hold that there is a relatively insignificant differential in the increasement in the number of hours and the salary that she would have received under the temporary employment when contrasted with the working conditions of her previous position. Under the temporary assignment, claimant would have been doing essentially the same type of work that she had done previously for the same employer; the position did not necessitate a change in residence or involve a greater distance to travel. Claimant is required, under the law, to be available for work whether temporary or full-time in order to receive benefits. She has the burden of proof to show that she has met the conditions of unrestricted availability for work. It is clear that a claimant may not restrict his availability to certain hours, types of work or other conditions not usual or customary in the particular trade. See 76 Am. Jur. 2d, Unemployment Compensation, 68, p. 970. (Id. at 910-11.)