Necessitous and Compelling Cause to Leave Job
In WFG National Title Insurance Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, NO. 1268 C.D. 2014, a recent unemployment compensation (“UC”) case, the Commonwealth Court held that an employee had a “necessitous and compelling” cause to voluntarily quit his job due to a substantial and unilateral change to his pay and performance goals.
In WFG National Title Insurance Co., the employee was reassigned to a new supervisor and soon after, filed a complaint with human resources about his former supervisor. Soon after an investigation that ended with no disciplinary for the former supervisor, Employee’s new supervisor changed the way his bonuses would be calculated and set “unachievable expectations.” These changes significantly decreased Employee’s annual pay. Employee then quit his job, and filed for unemployment compensation benefits due to what he believed was retaliatory actions. In upholding the decision, the Court explains that a necessary cause to quit one’s job can exist when the employer has made an unreasonable change and that a considerable reduction in pay occurs.
It is important to note, that the court discussed how fast these actions occurred after the complaint, which signals that time is an important factor in determining if an employee has a cause of action. In WFG National Title Insurance Co., all of these actions occurred within a four (4) week time span.