10. Voluntary Leaving

Payne v Colony Bar – 10.12

Payne v Colony Bar
Digest no. 10.12

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Payne v Colony Bar, unpublished opinion of the St. Clair Circuit Court, issued September 27, 1984 (Docket No. B83 17556 93994W).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Mary L. Payne
Employer: Colony Bar
Docket no.: B83 17556 93994W
Date of decision: September 27, 1984

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Good cause for voluntary leaving exists where there has been a substantial change in the working conditions.

FACTS: Claimant voluntarily left her employment with the Colony Bar after approximately nineteen years. She left because of a substantial change in working conditions, i.e., the introduction of loud, rock-type music which changed the very nature of the establishment and its clientele.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: The Court adopted the standard set forth by McGinnis v Moreau, 149 So2d 188 (1963).

“Mere dissatisfaction with working conditions does not constitute “good cause” for quitting the employment unless the dissatisfaction is based upon discriminatory or unfair or arbitrary treatment, or is based upon a substantial change in working conditions from those in force at the time the claimant’s employment in his position commenced, so as to render the work unsuitable to the claimant, considering the worker’s physical fitness, qualifications, earning ability, and the like.

“‘Good cause’ compelling an employee to terminate his employment should be found where an employer’s actions would cause a reasonable, average and otherwise qualified worker to give up his or her employment. Schultz v Grede Foundries, Inc, No. 79-391, (Mich App. September 11, 1979).

“The separation from employment here was not considered in the light of the foregoing standard. An aging, long-time employee (who might also be reasonable, average and otherwise qualified per Schultz) was entitled to a careful assessment of the physical and emotional impact of the employer’s substantial change of musical format, clientele and the general ambience of the place of employment.”

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