Can You Quit Your Job If Your Employer Changes Your Health Plan Without Your Consent ?

In Chavez v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 738 A.2d 77, 82 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999), during the course of negotiations for a new contract the employer made unilateral changes to the employee health plan, including higher deductibles, the elimination of one of the choices for health insurance, and the complete elimination of coverage for routine examinations and immunizations. This Court found that the employer "unilaterally imposed a substantial change in the terms and conditions of the petitioners' employment," which constituted a necessitous and compelling reason to quit, and reversed the order of the Board which had denied benefits. Id. at 82. Focusing upon the impact that the modifications had on the employees, this Court held that since there was no talismanic percentage for determining when a change is substantial, the claimants did not have to offer specific testimony concerning the exact reduction in compensation. Id.