10. Voluntary Leaving

Ilitch v City of Livonia – 10.36

Ilitch v City of Livonia
Digest no. 10.36

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Ilitch v City of Livonia, unpublished opinion of the Wayne Circuit Court, issued July 3, 1984 (Docket No. 84-407788 AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Joanne M. Ilitch
Employer: City of Livonia
Docket no.: B82 07871 RO1 84138
Date of decision: July 3, 1984

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where an employee concludes on the basis of subjective convictions that the employment is terminated and leaves, the separation is disqualifying.

FACTS: The claimant was employed as a home delivery meals coordinator under a contract of employment that was to expire September 30, 1981. On September 23, 1981, claimant was called into the office of Mr. Duggan and advised that her contract would not be renewed. Because of some past experience with Mr. Duggan, claimant interpreted this interview as an immediate discharge and left the job site. The claimant, in fact, alleged that she was discharged. The employer testified that claimant quit her employment and that claimant was never told that her employment was terminated on September 23, 1981.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: “It can only be construed to be a perfectly reasonable approach on the part of a supervisor to call in a contract employee at a time when the term of the contract will soon be expiring and discuss with her the status of the program. On the other hand, it is entirely unreasonable for a contract employee, who has but one week left in the term of the contract under which she is working, to enter such a meeting and, without receiving any objective indication of immediate termination of her employment, to conclude entirely on the basis of her subjective convictions, that her employment was then and there being terminated. If ever there was competent, material and substantial evidence of simply ‘walking off the job,’ i.e., voluntary quit, the entire record in this case establishes that type of employment termination.

“Claimant had the burden of proof to show that she was not disqualified from benefits and … she failed to meet that burden of proof.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (view original digest here)
Digest Updated: 6/91