Does Lack of Work Exception Apply to Employees Who Opt for Early Buy-Out Retirement Program Intended to Lower Labour Costs ?

In Bindas v. Administrator, Ohio Bur. of Emp. Services (1990), 8th Dist. No. 57425, 1990 Ohio App, the Commission determined that the "lack of work" exception under R.C. 4141.29(D)(2)(a)(ii) did not apply to employees who opted for an early buy-out retirement program that would allow an employer to hire new workers at a lower rate of pay. The buy-out program was part of the employees' labor agreement and was voluntary. Employees who participated in the program later sought unemployment compensation benefits. The Administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services allowed the receipt of benefits, determining that the program constituted a voluntary layoff. The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review reversed, which the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas affirmed. In affirming the Board of Review and the trial court, the Eight District noted that it was undisputed that the program was not implemented due to a lack of work or to effectuate a layoff, and that the employees did not introduce evidence to the contrary. Instead, the Eighth District found that the program was voluntary and intended to cut labor costs without instituting wage concessions. Id.