10. Voluntary Leaving

Lyons v MESC – 10.51

Lyons v MESC
Digest no. 10.51

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Lyons v MESC, 363 Mich 201 (1961).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Charles Lyons
Employer: Chrysler Corporation
Docket no.: B57 5079 20232
Date of decision: April 26, 1961

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SUPREME COURT HOLDING: Section 29(1)(a) is applicable to separations from work outside of Michigan. The finding that claimant left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the employer was supported by the evidence.

FACTS: The claimant was laid off from one of the employer’s Michigan plants. After receiving a few weeks of unemployment benefits, he accepted work at the employer’s Indiana plant, 273 miles from home. The car he relied on broke down, the friend with whom he planned to commute quit, he did not receive expected overtime, and he learned his minor son had left home. He resigned the Indiana employment to return to Michigan. He was denied further benefits as his leaving was voluntary without good cause attributable to the employer.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: The application of Section 29(1)(a) to separations from work outside of Michigan is consistent with the language of that Section as well as those parts of the Act which provide for reciprocal agreements between states for one state to pay accrued benefits to an employee after he has moved to another state and become unemployed. A contrary interpretation would impose more stringent standards on employees working wholly in Michigan than those whose employment takes them outside the state.

The justices split on the question of the voluntariness of the leaving. Three justices stated the leaving was for wholly personal reasons and, as a matter of law, was voluntary and without good cause attributable to the employer. Two justices agreed with the disqualification but viewed the issue of voluntariness as one of fact which had been decided against the claimant on the basis of evidence which supported the finding. Three justices, in an opinion by Justice Edwards, concluded that, as a matter law, the leaving was involuntary. (See Laya v Cebar Construction Company, 101 Mich App 26 (1980), Digest No. 10.05. Therein, the court adopted Justice Edwards’ standard for determining the voluntariness of a separation.)

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: