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Piloski v. Division of Employment Security

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division

October 25, 2016

DAVID PILOSKI, Appellant,
v.
DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, Respondent.

         Appeal from the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission

          Before: Thomas H. Newton, Presiding Judge, Cynthia L. Martin, Judge and Edward R. Ardini, Jr., Judge

          Cynthia L. Martin, Judge

         David Piloski ("Piloski") appeals the decision of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission ("Commission") denying him unemployment benefits following his resignation from FTL Nimbus, LLC, d/b/a Automation Service ("Employer"). Piloski argues that the Commission erred in concluding that he voluntarily left work without good cause attributable to Employer. We affirm the Commission's decision.

         Factual and Procedural Background[1]

         Piloski was hired by Employer's predecessor in October 2007, after Piloski responded to an advertisement for a welder position that indicated "Will work in clean, A/C environment." After he was hired, Piloski and one other welder welded flow control systems, work that had to be done in a temperature controlled "clean room." Two other welders worked outside the clean room welding valve bodies and valve balls that did not have to be welded in a clean room. Piloski was occasionally required to weld outside the clean room to fill in for a welder working in that area. This occurred on average once or twice a month, and usually for thirty to sixty minutes at a time.

         Employer acquired the business that had hired Piloski in August 2013. After Employer acquired the business, Piloski was again periodically asked to perform welding work outside the clean room. Piloski refused, telling Employer he had not been hired to work outside the clean room. Piloski's supervisors consulted with the human resources department, and were told that Piloski needed to work where ordered to work. Nonetheless, for some period of time, Piloski's supervisors appear to have acquiesced in Piloski's objection to working outside of the clean room.

         Eventually, however, in early August 2015, Employer told Piloski and the other clean room welder that they would each be required to work outside the clean room for two hours per day. The valve bodies and valve balls welded outside the clean room could contain chemical residue which, when heated, could give off fumes. Employer provided a fume extractor to catch any chemical residue fumes. When Piloski was required to work outside the clean room, he was the only welder doing so, and had exclusive access to the fume extractor.

         On approximately August 15, 2015, Piloski was told by Employer that he and the other clean room welder would be required to work alternating weeks outside the clean room because a welder in that area had quit. Piloski believed Employer was moving to having him work outside the clean room more regularly on a permanent basis.

         On August 17, 2015, Piloski told Employer that he experienced chemical residue fumes working outside the clean room and got a headache. Piloski told Employer he would not work outside the clean room anymore.

         On August 18, 2015, Employer met with Piloski. Piloski told Employer he had been hired to be a welder in the clean room. Employer told Piloski he had been hired to be a welder. Piloski raised concerns about chemical fumes that could result from welding outside the clean room. Employer told Piloski that whenever he was assigned to work outside the clean room, he would be the only welder in the area, and would have exclusive use of the fume extractor.

         During this meeting, Employer told Piloski that if he refused to weld outside the clean room, he would be terminated for insubordination. Piloski asked if he could resign. Employer told Piloski that was his prerogative.

         The next day, Piloski reported for work as directed outside the clean room. However, he submitted a resignation notice on Employer's form indicating his resignation effective September 11, 2015. Although the form provided space for Piloski to explain why he was resigning, Piloski's offered no written explanation. From August 19, 2015, until September 11, 2015, Piloski worked as a welder where instructed, including outside the clean room.

         After the effective date of his resignation, Piloski applied for unemployment benefits. A deputy of the Division of Employment Security ("Deputy") concluded that Piloski was disqualified from receiving benefits because he voluntarily quit work without showing good cause attributable to Employer. The Deputy ...


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