12. Misconduct

Stephens v Howmet Turbine Components – 12.24

Stephens v Howmet Turbine Components
Digest no. 12.24

Section 29(1)(b)

Cite as: Stephens v Howmet Turbine Components, unpublished opinion of the Muskegon Circuit Court, issued April 7, 1983 (Docket No. 82-17057 AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Annie J. Stephens
Employer: Howmet Turbine Components
Docket no.: B82 03101 82966
Date of decision: April 7, 1983

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Claimant wilfully disregarded the interests of her employer by failing to appear at work for three consecutive work days, and by failing to properly notify her employer.

FACTS: Claimant was terminated for being absent three consecutive days. During these three days claimant failed to provide proper notification to her employer. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement, which establishes company policy, explicitly directs employees to contact the personnel department by telephone or in person and give notice of intended absence.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified under Section 29(1)(b) of the Act.

RATIONALE: The Court adopted the definition of misconduct articulated in Carter v Employment Security Commission, 364 Mich 538, 541 (1961).

A harsh ruling on the meaning of misconduct was handed down in Wickey v Employment Security Commission, 369 Mich 487 (1963). There, a seaman aboard a ship went ashore to attend a movie and failed to return to his ship before departure. This was his first offense but the Court stated that “an employer has a right to expect his employees to return on time.” Thus, the Court found misconduct for one day may be sufficient to deny an employee benefits. The underlying principles of the Carter and Wickey kind of cases place a duty on an employee to present himself on a daily basis, or to inform his employer when he cannot do so. Violations of that duty demonstrate disregard both of employer’s interests and of the employee’s duties.

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