Accepting Early Retirement Incentive Package Offer Because of Fear for Job Security
In Renda v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 837 A.2d 685 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003) claimants accepted an early retirement incentive package offer.
The Court noted,
In the context of corporate downsizing, the critical inquiry is whether the fact-finder determined the circumstances surrounding a claimant's voluntary quit indicated a likelihood that fears about the employee's employment would materialize, that serious impending threats to her job would be realized, and that her belief her job is imminently threatened is well-founded. Id. at 692.
The Court further summarized, "Speculation pertaining to an employer's financial condition and future layoffs, however disconcerting, does not establish the requisite necessitous and compelling cause ...." Id. (quoting Staub v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 673 A.2d 434, 437 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996)).
In Renda, the claimants testified they accepted an enhanced income security plan (EISP) offer because of fears for their job security due to increased reliance on technology, lack of new hires, reductions in overtime, reductions in number of employees, and transfer of work duties.
They further testified to rumors Employer planned to close some offices.
The Court determined these factors were not enough to meet the claimants' burden, particularly where Employer did not inform any of the claimants they would be laid off and where continuing work was available to the claimants.