Quinn, Gent, Buseck & Leemhuis, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review

A lifelong smoker quit her job after her employer adopted a total ban on smoking indoors at the worksite.  She applied for unemployment benefits, claiming that the no-smoking policy was such a severe burden that quitting her job was her only option.  The state Bureau of Employment Compensation Benefits and Allowances denied the smoker’s claim, but a referee reversed the denial.  The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review affirmed the decision.  However, the Pennsylvania Court of Appeals ruled on April 8, 1992 that the smoking employee had failed to sustain the burden of showing that “the cause of a necessitous and compelling nature results from circumstances which produce pressure, both real and substantial, to terminate one’s employment and which would compel a reasonable person under the circumstances to act in the same manner.”  The Court noted that she was the only employee to quit her job there because of the new smoking policy.

606 A.2d 1300, 7.3 TPLR 2.89, 431 C.D. 1990, (Pa. Commonwealth Ct., 1992).