12. Misconduct

Standard Automotive Parts Company v Employment Security Commission – 12.71

Standard Automotive Parts Company v Employment Security Commission
Digest No. 12.71

Section 421.29

Cite as: Std Auto Parts Co v Employment Security Comm, 3 Mich App 561; 143 NW2d 135 (1966).

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Ronnie Romans
Employer: Standard Auto Parts Company
Date of decision: June 28, 1966

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: A claimant who was summarily discharged because he refused to sign a “loyalty oath” until after consulting with the union about his status is not disqualified for misconduct.

FACTS: Claimant worked as a supervisor at the employer. The employer found out that Claimant would be among several employees trying to organize into a union and tried to stop him from doing so. Employer demanded that Claimant sign a document promising to remain neutral and not to engage in any union organizing activities. Claimant refused to sign and was fired.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified.

RATIONALE: Claimant was not fired because of the fact that he was a supervisor who was engaged in aiding and abetting union organizing activities or doing anything else inimical to his role. He was fired solely for his refusal to sign an oath of loyalty to employer. Claimant was given a peremptory order to sign a document disavowing any union organizing activity. The employer took the position such activity by Claimant would subject the employer to charges of unfair labor practices under the provisions of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended. Employer further took the position that as a supervisor, Claimant could be expected to sign the document and his refusal was an act of misconduct. Claimant’s status as supervisor is not the issue. The issue is the nature of what Claimant was asked to do and the circumstances under which he was asked to do it.

Digest author: Board of Review (original digest here); edited by Benjamin Tigay, Michigan Law, Class of 2018
Digest updated: January 2, 2018