Voluntary Quit Because of Unsafe Work Environment In Pennsylvania
An unsafe work environment can give an employee a necessitous and compelling reason to resign.
In Fleeger v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 107 Pa. Commw. 84, 528 A.2d 264 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987), the claimant truck driver was found to have a necessitous reason to quit because he had been assigned driving hours that exceeded those allowed under federal safety regulations.
Likewise, in Rapid Pallet v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 707 A.2d 636 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998), the claimant, again a truck driver, was found to have a necessitous reason to quit because his truck's brakes were faulty and its tires bald, which the employer refused to fix.
In each of these cases, the claimant demonstrated by objective evidence that his working conditions were unsafe and placed the employee at risk.
On the other hand, safety "fears" alone do not constitute a compelling reason to resign. In Potts v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 46 Pa. Commw. 407, 406 A.2d 585, 586 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1979), the Court denied benefits to a claimant who was "simply fearful" but unable to prove the workplace was dangerous.