731 F.2d 1415 (9th Cir. 1984), 83-7066, Martin v. Donovan

Docket Nº:83-7066.
Citation:731 F.2d 1415
Party Name:Peter A. MARTIN, Petitioner, v. Honorable Raymond J. DONOVAN, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Respondent.
Case Date:April 30, 1984
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 1415

731 F.2d 1415 (9th Cir. 1984)

Peter A. MARTIN, Petitioner,


Honorable Raymond J. DONOVAN, Secretary of Labor, United

States Department of Labor, Respondent.

No. 83-7066.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

April 30, 1984

Argued and Submitted Sept. 14, 1983.

Timothy P. Cissna, Stokes, Steeves, Warren, Jensen & Cissna, David S. Krueger, Arcata, Cal., for petitioner.

Margrit W. Vanderryn, Barbara J. Johnson, Washington, D.C., for respondent.

On Petition for Review of a Final Determination of the Secretary of Labor.

Before KENNEDY and REINHARDT, Circuit Judges, and HOFFMAN, [*] District Judge.

Page 1416

KENNEDY, Circuit Judge:

Peter Martin was discharged for intoxication on the job by Arcata Redwood Company, an "affected employer" under Title II of the Redwood National Park Expansion Act of 1978, Pub.L. No. 95-250, Secs. 201-213, 92 Stat. 163, 172-82; 1 see id. Sec. 201(6). He now seeks benefits under the Redwood Act.

A discharge, even for cause, may qualify an employee for benefits under Sec. 201(12) of the Redwood Act, which defines "total layoff" as "a calendar week during which affected employers have made no work available to a covered employee." Martin argues that an employer "makes no work available" to an employee when the latter does not simply quit but is affirmatively discharged.

The Secretary, however, denies that a discharge for cause is a layoff. Our analysis does not turn on whose reading of the statute we find more reasonable. Instead, Sec. 213(f) of the Redwood Act commands us to accept the interpretation offered which most favors the class of employees as a whole, as long as that interpretation is reasonable. Barker v. Donovan, 721 F.2d 271, 273 n. 1 (9th Cir.1983); Bradford v. Donovan, 695 F.2d 409, 410 (9th Cir.1982); Drapich v. Donovan, 693 F.2d 1296, 1298 n. 3 (9th Cir.1982).

Here, Martin's interpretation that "layoff" encompasses the employer's affirmative act of discharging him is reasonable. This interpretation does not, however, make the Redwood Act a windfall for every employee discharged for cause, since other sections of the statute also restrict eligibility for benefits.

Redwood Act Sec. 203 provides that a layoff of an affected employee between May 31, 1977 and September 30, 1980 is conclusively presumed to be due to park expansion. The presumption, however, arises...

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