10. Voluntary Leaving

Coleman v MESC – 10.38

Coleman v MESC
Digest no. 10.38

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Coleman v MESC, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued March 21, 1990 (Docket No. 117120).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: William N. Coleman
Employer: General Motors
Docket no.: B87 02913 105830
Date of decision: March 21, 1990

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Where a claimant who is given a choice among reasonable alternatives decides to accept a “buy-out” he is subject to disqualification for voluntary leaving.

FACTS: Claimant began working for the employer in 1978 at a GM warehouse near his home. In 1986, GM announced it was closing this warehouse at the end of the year. GM tried to relocate the employees, and offered to pay relocation expenses for employees relocating more than 35 miles from home. Claimant was given three options (1) to accept a transfer to the GM Tech Center approximately 50 miles away; (2) a lay-off with benefits for one year; (3) a buy-out of approximately $50,000.00. Claimant chose the buy-out.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: “The board found that if plaintiff would have accepted the job at the Warren technical center his seniority and pay would not have been affected. While the location was further from plaintiff’s home, plaintiff’s reason for not accepting the job was the lack of job security. The board concluded that plaintiff has as much security as any other employee and, therefore, plaintiff was presented with a choice between accepting a job and signing the special incentive separation agreement. Hence, plaintiff had a choice of reasonable alternatives and chose to quit without good cause attributable to his employer. … We agree with the board’s decision that plaintiff’s options presented reasonable alternatives and, therefore, made plaintiff’s decision to quit a voluntary one.”

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