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Kercher v. Employment Dept.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-13-2012
Case #: A146341
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Armstrong, J; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A146341.pdf

Administrative Law: Substantial evidence exists when a reasonable person could make that finding based on the entire record and substantial reason ensures that the order explains the reasoning between the facts and the conclusion.

Kercher appealed the denial of unemployment benefits by the Employment Appeals Board. Kercher considered his workplace, ABC glass (ABC), unsafe and prompted OSHA to conduct an inspection. OSHA required ABC to remedy some situations, but was not concerned about the rutted roadways. ABC informed Kercher that it did not have the funds to repair the roadways so Kercher quit. The board issued a final order affirming the Employment Department’s denial of Kercher’s claim for unemployment benefits because it believed Kercher voluntarily left work without good cause. Kercher appealed, challenging the board’s decision because he believed the board incorrectly depended on OSHA’s findings to determine that the rutted roadways were not a safety hazard. The Court of Appeals is not permitted to substitute its judgment for that of the board, but rather to determine whether the findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. Substantial evidence exists when a reasonable person could make that finding based on the entire record and substantial reason ensures that the order explains the reasoning between the facts and the conclusion. The Court determined that because ABC complied with OSHA’s required changes and Kercher had reasonable alternatives to leaving work, there was substantial evidence rationally related to the board’s conclusion that Kercher quit voluntarily without good cause. Affirmed.