Toris L. HENLEY, Petitioner,
EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT and Sonic Drive In, Respondents.
Appeals Board 2014EAB1215.
Submitted December 3, 2015
Michael W. Franell fled the brief for petitioner.
G. Fjordbeck waived appearance for respondent Employment
appearance for respondent Sonic Drive In.
Duncan, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and Flynn, Judge,
Summary: Claimant seeks judicial review of a final order of
the Employment Appeals Board (board) which concluded that he
was not entitled to unemployment benefits under ORS
657.176(2)(c) because he "voluntarily left work without
good cause." The board found that claimant did not
genuinely fear for his personal safety at work and
alternatively, that claimant had reasonable alternatives to
leaving work. Claimant argues that the board's finding is
not supported by substantial evidence. Held: The
board's determination that claimant had reasonable
alternatives to leaving work was supported by substantial
J., pro tempore
seeks judicial review of a final order of the Employment
Appeals Board (board), which concluded that he was not
entitled to unemployment benefits because he voluntarily left
work without good cause. See ORS 657.176(2)(c). We
conclude that the board's decision is supported by
substantial evidence and, therefore, affirm.
the facts from the board's findings and from the
undisputed evidence in the record that is not inconsistent
with those findings. See Warkentin v. Employment
Dept., 245 Or.App. 128, 130, 261 P.3d 72 (2011).
Claimant had worked for employer for about three years when
he hired a lawyer to assert a claim for racial discrimination
based on racially disparaging comments and actions of a
general manager who was claimant's supervisor. In
response, employer fired that general manager.
thereafter, employer hired a new general manager who was a
friend of the prior manager and who immediately started
making racially discriminatory and disparaging comments
towards claimant. Claimant reported this conduct to
employer's franchise manager, who had been responsible
for firing the previous general manager. The franchise
manager came to claimant's workplace, apologized to
claimant for the behavior of the new general manager, and
reprimanded-but did not fire-that general manager.
a month of that reprimand, the new general manager approached
claimant at work, said that he wanted to kill himself and
asked claimant to get him a gun because, "if he had the
gun, he would put a bullet in his own brain." Another
manager overheard this request. Claimant never returned to
work after that day. Two days later, claimant called the
police and told them "that [his] boss asked [him] for a
gun and was talking about he wanted to kill hi[m] self."
As evidence at the hearing, claimant submitted the police
report that was generated as a result of the call. The report
describes the type as "suicidal subject." However,
claimant did not report the incident to the franchise manager
or to any other representative of employer. Claimant applied
for and was denied unemployment benefits.
hearing, at which claimant provided the only testimony, an
administrative law judge (ALJ) affirmed the Employment
Department's denial of benefits on the basis that
claimant "voluntarily left work without good
cause." Claimant appealed to the board. The board also