10. Voluntary Leaving

Muns v Glassman Oldsmobile, Inc – 10.02

Muns v Glassman Oldsmobile, Inc
Digest no. 10.02

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Muns v Glassman Oldsmobile, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued December 12, 1986 (Docket No. B83 10704 91510).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Terry J. Muns
Employer: Glassman Oldsmobile, Inc.
Docket no.: B83 10704 91510
Date of decision: December 12, 1986

View/download the full decision

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Claimant had good cause attributable to the employer where he worked as a salesman and was regularly paid a “draw” against commissions and quit when the employer made statements which suggested continuation of this compensation arrangement was uncertain.

FACTS: Claimant worked as a new car salesperson. He worked 50 hours a week and was paid on a commission only basis. He did receive $175.00 a week as a draw against commissions and the employer did not attempt to recoup the draw if sufficient commissions were not earned. Claimant failed to “make his draw” only one week out of 26. In January, 1983 he experienced problems related to diabetes which affected his productivity and caused him to miss work. He was hospitalized for a month. Upon his return he was in a meeting with the vice president and sales manager. During that meeting claimant was told the employer “intended to talk to Terry every single week to determine whether or not he had accumulated enough commissions to warrant the draw and if he hadn’t, we were going to review whether a draw would be appropriate for that particular week.” Claimant then quit because he could not afford to work without a draw.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: “[U]nder the reasonable person test of Carswell, supra, we do think the employer’s statements gave the claimant good cause to leave his employment.

Both the hearing referee and the board of review found that the employer’s sales manager (or the vice president) did use language suggesting to Muns that he would not receive his draw should his sales fail to justify a draw in the future. Should Muns have been required to stay on and risk that the employer would choose not to pay him if he made insufficient sales in a 50 hour week? We think not. The employer’s statements, as testified to by Muns and the sales manager, constituted at least a substantial change in the method of determining Muns’ pay. Courts in other states have found a substantial pay reduction ‘good cause’ for leaving employment.”

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