Does Lack of Work Exception Apply to An Employee Who Opts for Voluntary Termination Under a Scheme Started by An Employer ?

In Ford Motor Co. v. Administrator, Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, et al. (1991), 59 Ohio St.3d 188, 571 N.E.2d 727, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the "lack of work" exception under R.C. 4141.29(D)(2)(a)(ii) applied to an employee who elects voluntary termination under a plan adopted by an employer even though the employee, because of seniority, would not otherwise have been laid off or reassigned. Ford Motor expected large-scale layoffs in its Sharonville, Ohio, plant and implemented a voluntary termination plan in order to reduce its workforce without resorting to involuntary layoffs. The employee opted to participate in the plan and then applied for, and was granted, unemployment compensation benefits following her voluntary termination. The Unemployment Compensation Review Board affirmed the allowance of benefits. The Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas reversed, which the First District Court of Appeals affirmed. In reversing the decisions of the appellate courts, the Supreme Court found that it was undisputed that Ford Motor implemented the plan due to a lack of work and that, although the employee would not be laid off, the "lack of work" exception applied to allow the employee to receive benefits due to the lack of work in the overall workforce. 59 Ohio St.3d at 190-91.