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Campbell v. Employment Department

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-21-2011
Case #: A145533
Armstrong, J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; & Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A145533.pdf

Employment Law: A finding that an employee lacked good cause to voluntarily leave a job will not be sustained when the evidence indicates the claimant constantly refused to hide financial improprieties and could reasonably expect a charge of insubordination and termination.

Campbell sought review of a decision by the Employment Appeals Board (EAB) that she was not entitled to unemployment benefits because she voluntarily left work without good cause. She contends that EAB’s determination lacks substantial evidence and substantial reason. Campbell worked at an education service district (WESD) as a director of fiscal services, and began voicing concerns about financial improprieties and mismanagement to the superintendent and others, but felt that she was asked to keep these from the school districts and that she was being retaliated against. She resigned and was denied unemployment benefits. The EAB reasoned that Campbell did not show that her stress was so great that she could not have continued work; WESD never threatened to fire her and she should have just refused to do improper acts. The Court of Appeals found that the evidence did not support the EAB’s findings; it suggested Campbell had tried to refuse improper acts and reasonably could have decided she would be fired for insubordination. Reversed and remanded.