05. Denial Periods

Bonnette v West Ottawa Schools – 5.10

Bonnette v West Ottawa Schools
Digest no. 5.10

Section 27(i)

Cite as: Bonnette v West Ottawa Schools, 165 Mich App 460 (1987); lv den 430 Mich 870 (1988).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Julie Bonnette, et al.
Employer: West Ottawa Public School
Docket no.: B84 01754 96313
Date of decision: August 27, 1987

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: “Down time” in a school system’s migrant education program does not qualify as a denial period for purposes of Section 27(i) of the Act where the beginning and end of the down time were not fixed in advance, but rather depended on the growing season for crops .

FACTS: Claimants were employed in a special migrant teaching program operated by employer. The program operated during two segments of the employers academic year. The first part ran from September through October, and the second from March through June.

DECISION: Claimants are not subject to the denial period provisions of Section 27(i) of the Act.

RATIONALE: “In the instant case, the period in question, i.e. the period between the fall and spring segments of the migrant program, while a predictable layoff period because of the history of the program, was not a recess period similar to the recess periods taken for summer vacation for recognized holidays. Rather, the period of unemployment was due to the lack of work resulting from a decrease in the student population. If the migrant population had unexpectedly stayed, West Ottawa would no doubt have continued the employment of Bonnette, Quintalla, and Romos in the program. Thus, we find that even though the period of layoff could be anticipated (since the decrease in the student population could be anticipated) it was not a period established as a customary ‘vacation period’ or holiday recess”.

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