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ISIS Related Fear Warrants Unemployment Benefits


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5/4/2015
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Kim Betts worked for Rockwell Collins in Saudi Arabia for 16 months prior to quitting due to fear of an ISIS attack and concern due to lack of safety precautions.  Betts was required to make long drives to the city of Hafuf, where he contends was a dangerous area, and without armed guards or any source of protection.  Betts applied for unemployment benefits after leaving the company, and was initially denied. The company argued that because it was a voluntary quit, Betts should not be granted benefits.  On appeal to an Iowa Workforce Development administrative law judge, Betts received a favorable ruling.  The judge ruled that Betts deserved unemployment benefits because he quit "due to intolerable or detrimental work conditions."  Based on Betts' testimony, the judge felt that the constant fear of attack in a dangerous area of the country was sufficient reason to leave a position of employment, particularly in light of Betts' 12 years of experience overseas in similar positions and his previous living situations that provided safer conditions.  Unsafe working conditions is one of the few scenarios where an employee who voluntarily quits will still be eligible for benefits.



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