12. Misconduct

General Motors Corp v Belcher – 12.27

General Motors Corp v Belcher
Digest no. 12.27

Section 29(1)(b)

Cite as: General Motors Corp v Belcher, unpublished opinion of the Wayne Circuit Court, issued October 3, 1979 (Docket No. 78-832-459 AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Frank Belcher
Employer: General Motors Corp.
Docket no.: B77 3823 55598
Date of decision: October 3, 1979

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: A discharge from employment because of false statements to the Commission is not for reasons constituting misconduct connected with work.

FACTS: The Commission imposed the fraud penalty in Section 62(b) of the Act after finding that the claimant had misrepresented his eligibility for benefits by understating his earnings. The employer then discharged the claimant, in keeping with its standard practice in such cases.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for misconduct discharge.

RATIONALE: “[W]e cannot expect the average factory worker, having notice of shop rules, such as shop rule (1) here involved, to understand that his unemployment payments are a result of contributions made by his employer, and that when he gives false information to the unemployment agent, he is ultimately causing detriment to his own employer.

“In sum, Mr. Belcher has already been penalized under Section 62(b) and has made full restitution, and General Motors has experienced minimal detriment. In line with the Douglas [Chrysler Corp v Douglas, Wayne Circuit Court, Case No 101-015, June 6, 1968] decision and those upon which it relied, Mr. Belcher’s discharge was clearly not due to ‘misconduct connected with his work.'”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 11/90