FROM THE ARKANSAS BOARD OF REVIEW [NO. 2017-BR-00605 ]
Crystal Tyler, pro se appellant.
Phyllis Edwards, Associate General Counsel, for appellee.
W. GRUBER, Chief Judge.
unbriefed employment-security case, Crystal Tyler appeals the
Board of Review's (Board) denial of her claim for
unemployment benefits. The Board based its decision on a
finding that Tyler voluntarily left last work without good
cause connected with the work. The Board affirmed the
decision of the Appeal Tribunal, which affirmed the
Department of Workforce Services' determination to deny
benefits. We reverse and remand for an award of benefits.
Code Annotated section 11-10-513(a)(1) (Repl. 2012) provides
that an individual shall be disqualified for benefits if he
or she voluntarily and without good cause connected with the
work left his or her last work. Where a claimant has
voluntarily quit work and is seeking unemployment-insurance
benefits, the burden is on the claimant to show that he or
she had good cause connected with the work for quitting.
Owens v. Dir., 55 Ark.App. 255, 256, 935 S.W.2d 285,
286 (1996). A cause that would reasonably impel the average
able-bodied, qualified worker to give up employment is good
cause, Teel v. Daniels, 270 Ark. 766, 769, 606
S.W.2d 151, 152 (Ark. App. 1980); it includes "whether
the employee took appropriate steps to prevent the
mistreatment from continuing." Id. at 769, 606
S.W.2d at 152.
appeals of unemployment-compensation cases, we review the
evidence and all reasonable inferences deducible therefrom in
the light most favorable to the Board's findings.
Coker v. Dir., 99 Ark.App. 455, 456, 262 S.W.3d 175,
176 (2007). The findings of fact made by the Board are
conclusive if supported by substantial evidence. Id.
Substantial evidence is such evidence as a reasonable mind
might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
Id. However, that is not to say that our function on
appeal is merely to ratify whatever decision is made by the
Board. Boothe v. Dir., 59 Ark.App. 169, 954 S.W.2d
946 (1997). We will reverse the Board's decision when it
is not supported by substantial evidence. Id.
employer did not appear in the telephone conference before
the Appeal Tribunal. Tyler was employed as a "casting
finishing cell operator" at Saint Jean Industries, Inc.,
from December 13, 2016, to March 13, 2017. Documents in the
record indicated that she complained to the company's
human-resources department on March 2 about her direct
supervisor's harassment; specifically, he had walked up
behind her and pulled her shirt up without permission. Tyler
testified at the hearing that two days after she had filed
the complaint, she was notified that the individual would no
longer be her supervisor and she would no longer have to work
near him. Tyler testified that the next week, the same man
was assigned to work on a line approximately ten feet from
her, which caused her extreme anxiety.
testified that she complained to her new supervisor about her
proximity to her previous supervisor, but her new supervisor
discouraged her from speaking with the human-resources
representative again. Tyler testified that she spoke to her
new supervisor several times about why the previous
supervisor was still working near her, but the new supervisor
would not talk to her. She testified that the new supervisor
seemed unaware that the previous supervisor was not supposed
to be working around her. Finally, she testified that when
she asked about going to human resources again, her new
supervisor told her that the human-resources representative
was in meetings all day due to an ongoing audit. Tyler
testified that she quit her job later that day.
Board affirmed the Tribunal's findings that Tyler did not
show that the average, able-bodied worker would have been
impelled to quit under similar circumstances and that she had
voluntarily left last work without good cause connected with
The claimant quit her job because she was upset that her
coworker was not reassigned within the time she felt he
should have been reassigned. . . . The primary
reason the claimant quit her job was that she
believed the coworker was not being appropriately punished by
being removed to a different area of the employer's
facility within the timeframe she wanted it to be done.
The Tribunal does not find that the average person would
quit her job for that reason.
disagree with the Board's findings that Tyler did not
have good cause connected with the work for quitting. The
Board's decision that the primary reason Tyler quit was
that she believed the previous supervisor was not being
appropriately punished within her specific timeframe is not
based on the evidence. The facts of this case show that Tyler
attempted to remedy a problem created by the employer. After
Tyler initially complained to the human-resources department
about her previous supervisor's harassment, she was
informed she would not have to work near him again. Instead,
the employer placed the previous supervisor at a work place
within ten feet of her. Tyler attempted to prevent the
mistreatment from continuing and to have the previous
supervisor moved. She was denied assistance from her new