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Cruson v. Missoula Elec. Cooperative, Inc.

Cruson v. Missoula Elec. Cooperative, Inc., 2015 MT 309 (Oct. 27, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in affirming the Board of labor Appeals’ conclusion that Cruson was disqualified for unemployment benefits because his voluntary termination did not constitute good cause attributable to his employment.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: Missoula Electric Cooperative employed Cruson as a master electrician from October 2001 until May 2013. In 2009, shortly after Mark Hayden became general manager for MEC, Cruson complained that unqualified employees were doing work that only an electrician could perform, jeopardizing his license. In response, Hayden implemented a computer system that allowed employees like Cruson to review whether work orders were being assigned properly. MEC contacted the state electrical board in 2012 for guidance regarding the scope of practice of a lineman versus an electrician, and received an email from the board’s attorney confirming that certain electrical work exceeds the scope of a lineman’s practice.…