Unemployment Insurance: Seafood Processing Employee Fails to Show Good Cause for Quitting Case includes instructive guidance that could be used in other contexts, too


In an opinion recently filed, the Alaska Supreme Court held that a seafood processing employee failed to show good cause for voluntarily quitting, and was therefore statutorily ineligible for unemployment benefits for the first six weeks of her unemployment and had her maximum potential benefits reduced by three times the weekly benefit amount. The case is Calvert v. State of Alaska, Department of Labor and Workforce Development.


Carol Calvert worked in a seafood processing plant for Snug Harbor Seafoods in Kenai. She quit, citing two reasons.

First, she advised that she had conflicts with her supervisor. Calvert had taken over a job previously held by the supervisor’s girlfriend. Calvert noted that she began having problems with her supervisor after that happened. The most significant problem was that her working hours were cut. However, there were also other general workplace issues that arose, including an allegation that plant management was indifferent with respect to workplace safety issues.

Second, Calvert cited transportation problems. She lived ten miles away from the plant and commuted by bike. However, her bike broke down, and public transport was unreliable. Complicating matters, her supervisor did not post shifts until late the preceding day making it hard for Calvert to arrange for alternate transportation because she did not always know when she would be working.

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