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Huckabee v. Mississippi Employment Security Commission

October 15, 1998

BARBARA HUCKABEE
v.
MISSISSIPPI EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION



Before Sullivan, P.j., McRAE And Smith, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Smith, Justice

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/04/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. KOSTA N. VLAHOS

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - STATE BOARDS AND AGENCIES

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 10/15/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. Barbara Huckabee was employed as a cashier at Lyman's Quick-Stop for a period of sixteen months. On September 29, 1995, Huckabee filed a claim for unemployment benefits after her last day of employment on September 28 at Lyman's. On October 12, 1995, the Claims Examiner found that Huckabee had voluntarily quit her employment and disqualified Huckabee for unemployment benefits. Huckabee appealed the decision to the Appeals Referee whom, after a hearing, made findings of fact that Huckabee had indeed voluntarily quit her employment without good cause and was not entitled to unemployment benefits. Huckabee then appealed to the Board of Review which affirmed the Appeals Referee's decision. Huckabee next appealed to the Harrison County Circuit Court which found that the Board's decision was not clearly erroneous nor arbitrary and capricious and affirmed the Board's decision. Aggrieved, Huckabee appeals to this Court and raises the following issues:

I. WHETHER THE FINDING OF THE BOARD OF REVIEW THAT HUCKABEE VOLUNTARILY LEFT WORK WITHOUT GOOD CAUSE IS SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.

II. WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE WHO ABANDONS THE WORKPLACE UNDER THE REASONABLE BELIEF THAT HE/SHE HAS BEEN DISCHARGED IS THEREBY ELIGIBLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

FACTS

¶2. Barbara Huckabee was employed as a cashier at Lyman's Quick-Stop (hereinafter Lyman's) for approximately sixteen months. On September 29, 1995, Huckabee's employment apparently came to an end, and she filed for unemployment benefits under Mississippi Employment Security Law. Then, on October 12, 1995, the Claims Examiner found that Huckabee had voluntarily quit her employment and disqualified her for unemployment benefits. Huckabee appealed the Claims Examiner's decision to the Appeals Referee whereby a hearing was conducted on November 1, 1995.

ΒΆ3. According to Huckabee, on September 28, 1995, approximately five minutes before her shift ended, Huckabee had a Discussion with the manager of Lyman's, Judy Saucier, about her employment conditions. Huckabee expressed concern to Saucier about being scheduled to work as a cook full-time which according to Huckabee was a two person job. Saucier inquired of Huckabee if she was looking for another job, and Huckabee responded that she would be looking for another job because of the burden that had been put on her but would do it as long as she possibly could. Saucier then stated that they would have to find someone else, and Huckabee assured Saucier that she would give two weeks notice if she did leave. Huckabee stated that Saucier then said something but was unsure exactly what was said. Huckabee then questioned Saucier if she was trying to get rid of her, and Saucier giggled, threw her hands up in the air, and stated, "I'm hiring somebody else." Huckabee interpreted Saucier's statements and ...


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