19. Federal Court Decisions & TRA

UIA v Ishmael – 19.10

UIA v. Ishmael
Digest no. 19.10

19 USC § 2291

Cite as: UIA v Ishmael, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued January 16, 2007, (Docket No. 06-616961-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Alexandria Ishmael
Employer: Lear Corporation, TRA/SPU Unit
Docket no.: TRA-2005-00070-182435, (consolidated w/276869)
Date of decision: January 16, 2007

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HOLDING: The “8/16 Rule” found in 19 USC § 2291(a)(5)(A)(ii)(I)-(II) does not apply to training waivers which derive from § 2291(a)(5)(C).

FACTS: Claimant Alexandria Ishmael worked for Employer Lear Corporation. On June 1, 2004, claimant went on a medical leave of absence. Later that month Employer announced the closing of the claimant’s work facility. Following this announcement, the U.S. Department of Labor registered the loss of jobs as falling under the requisite for TRA benefits. During the summer of 2004 Claimant repeatedly attempted to apply for TRA benefits at a Michigan Works! office but was denied, and Claimant was informed by Michigan Works! agents that she would not be qualified to apply until she was released by her physician from her medical leave. Claimant was eventually laid off on October 31, 2004.

On April 5, 2005, claimant was cleared for work by her physician and subsequently filed for TRA training waiver with a Michigan Works! employee. On May 23, 2005, the Unemployment Insurance Agency issued a denial of TRA benefits to Claimant because of her failure to fall within the TRA’s “8/16 requirement.” This requirement imposes a time restriction on the latest date a person seeking to be eligible for TRA benefits must enroll in training, and UIA found that Claimant did not enroll in this time window of eligibility. Claimant protested the Agency’s determination, was denied again on redetermination, then subsequently sought a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. The ALJ found for Claimant, reversing the Agency’s earlier determinations. On appeal, the Agency sought to reverse ALJ’s decision and find that the 8/16 Rule applies to Claimant’s case.

DECISION: The Circuit Court affirms the decision of the Board of Review finding Claimant’s application for waiver to be timely and Claimant is eligible for TRA benefits.

RATIONALE: The Circuit Court held that the “8/16 Rule” does not apply to TRA training waivers. Because the Trade Act is a remedial statute subject to a liberal construction and interpretation, the 8/16 Rule, derived from a disjunctive statute, 19 USC § 2291(a)(5)(A), does not apply to training waivers derived from § 2291(a)(5)(C)See also UIA v. Dishman – Digest no. 19.08.

Digest Author: A. Kaled
Digest Editor: Jack Battaglia
Digest Updated: