07. Eligibility - Able & Available

Parker v. TNT Logistics North America, Inc. – 7.36

Parker v. TNT Logistics North America, Inc.
Digest No. 7.36

Section 421.28(1)(c)

Cite as: Parker v TNT Logistics North America, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Wayne County Circuit Court, issued December 27, 2007 (Docket No. 07-717651-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Karen F. Parker
Employer: TNT Logistics North America, Inc.
Date of decision: December 27, 2007

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HOLDING: A claimant is not ineligible for benefits under Section 421.28(1)(c) if she leaves her job due to physical impairment if she seeks job placement help to return to the work force.

FACTS: Claimant left her factory job due to arthritis and other physical impairment. The UIA deemed her ineligible for benefits under Section 421.28(1)(c), finding her unable to perform suitable full-time work. At an ALJ hearing, Claimant admitted her condition likely precluded her from returning to her previous kinds of employment. But, she testified she had sought job placement help with the Michigan Rehabilitative Services to return to the work force.

The ALJ and Board of Review both affirmed the UIA’s determination of ineligibility.

DECISION: The Circuit Court reversed Board of Review. Claimant is not ineligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: Following McKentry v MESC, 99 Mich App 277 (1980), the court noted that a “claimant is not ineligible for benefits under the ability provision when seeking a different type of employment than his or her last job.” And, under Bolles v MESC, 361 Mich 378 (1960), “registering for and seeking work were indicia that a claimant was able and available for work, and therefore remained attached to the labor market.”

Here, Claimant had previously performed clerical work and was seeking further job training to potentially return to such employment. Therefore, Claimant maintained a sufficient connection to the workforce to preserve benefits eligibility.

Digest author: Austin L. Webbert, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest updated: 10/31/2017