07. Eligibility - Able & Available

Schontala v Engine Power Components – 7.31

Schontala v Engine Power Components
Digest no. 7.31

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Schontala v Engine Power Components, unpublished opinion of the Ottawa Circuit Court, issued October 27, 1987 (Docket No. 86-8221-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Timothy Schontala
Employer: Engine Power Components
Docket no.: B85-11974-101743W
Date of decision: October 27, 1987

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant asserted he was available for full time work but showed by his actions that, in fact, he was not, he did not meet the availability requirement for eligibility under Section 28(1)(c).

FACTS: After working full time for the employer for over a year, claimant requested reduction to part-time work so he could return to school. Claimant was granted part-time status but shortly thereafter was laid off due to lack of work for part-time employees. Claimant was attending school and placed numerous applications for part-time work. He applied for benefits while still in school when he could not find any part-time work. Claimant asserted that he would accept full-time employment but Referee did not find his testimony credible.

DECISION: Claimant is ineligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: Determination of genuine attachment to the labor market is made by means of a subjective test which looks at the actions of the individual. In this case, claimant quit his full time employment, requested part-time status, enrolled in school nearly full-time, and subsequently applied for part-time work. See test enunciated in Dwyer v UCC, 321 Mich 178, 189 (1948).

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 7/99

10. Voluntary Leaving

Toner v Physician’s Bookkeeper, Inc – 10.41

Toner v Physician’s Bookkeeper, Inc
Digest no. 10.41

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Toner v Physician’s Bookkeeper, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued January 15, 1985 (Docket No. 75551).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Debbie Toner
Employer: Physician’s Bookkeeper, Inc.
Docket no.: B81 11228 69170
Date of decision: January 15, 1985

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Substantial evidence supports the conclusion that plaintiff quit her job.

FACTS: Plaintiff, a full-time student, was asked to work eight hours of overtime, along with the other employees, because of a temporary backlog of work. Plaintiff tried several alternatives in attempting to work the overtime hours, but could not avoid a conflict with her school work. The plaintiff told the employer she believed she would have to quit work. The employer asked whether she wanted to give her notice at that time or wait until the second semester. Plaintiff elected to give notice at that time.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: “The Board’s decision turned on resolution of an evidentiary conflict, namely whether plaintiff quit her job or whether she was dismissed. The manager testified that plaintiff quit. Plaintiff admitted experiencing difficulty in reconciling her work hours with her college class schedule. The employer tried to accommodate the needs of the employee. This is not an instance in which the employer coerced the claimant to abandon employment by leaving her with no tenable alternative.”

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

07. Eligibility - Able & Available

Duell v St Joseph Hospital – 7.11

Duell v St. Joseph Hospital
Digest no. 7.11

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Duell v St Joseph Hosp, unpublished opinion of the Michigan Employment Security Board of Review, issued July 10, 1978 (Docket No. B76 14767 RO 54926).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Keith P. Duell
Employer: St. Joseph Hospital
Docket no.: B76 14767 RO 54926
Date of decision: July 10, 1978

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BOARD OF REVIEW HOLDING: A full-time college student’s credible testimony of willingness to change courses or quit school, to accept full-time employment, is competent proof of the claimant’s eligibility.

FACTS: The claimant resigned his position at a Grand Rapids hospital because he was living, and attending full-time college courses in East Lansing. He testified he would change his class schedule or drop out of school in order to accept permanent full-time work.

DECISION: The claimant is eligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: “The referee, in his reasons for decision, indicated that he tended to believe the claimant’s testimony with respect to dropping his classes if he had been offered full-time work. However, the referee stated that it must be established by competent proof that the individual has actually dropped out of school in order to obtain full-time work in the past. The referee indicated that the case In the Matter of the Claim of Robert B. Burandt, Appeal Docket No. B72-9541-RO-44541, stands for this proposition for the reason that otherwise the testimony of the individual that he would drop out of school in order to obtain full-time work is self-serving testimony, and not competent proof to establish the fact without some evidence that this has occurred in the past.”

“The majority of the Board of Review believes that the case entitled Michael S. Breshgold v Michigan Employment Security Commission, Civil Action No. 77-708893-AE (Circuit Court for the County of Wayne, 1978), is controlling. The holding in theBreshgold case states that because a claimant is a full-time student does not categorically mean that the student has necessarily placed limitations on his availability so as to remove him from the labor market. Under that case, the testimony of the claimant, to the effect that he would adjust his hours or quit school to accept full-time employment, would be sufficient, if credible.”

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

07. Eligibility - Able & Available

Breshgold v MESC – 7.25

Breshgold v MESC
Digest no. 7.25

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Breshgold v MESC, unpublished opinion of the Wayne Circuit Court, issued February 24, 1978 (Docket No. 77-708893-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Michael S. Breshgold
Employer: United States Navy
Docket no.: UCX75 14953 RO 49887
Date of decision: February 24, 1978

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, an individual must be unemployed and make reasonable efforts to find work. An individual need not be idle and is not required to look for work daily for 8 hours a day.

FACTS: Claimant was enrolled as a full time student, taking daytime college courses (17 credits). He asserted he was available for full time work and would rearrange his class schedule or quit school if he found full-time employment. He testified that he had worked full-time and attended school full-time in the past. The Referee found, and the Board of Review majority agreed, that claimant was primarily a student and was not genuinely attached to the labor market because he only searched for employment when this did not interfere with his schooling.

DECISION: Remand for hearing on claimant’s job seeking efforts.

RATIONALE: Where a claimant asserts he is actively seeking work, it is incumbent on the trier of fact to explore those job seeking efforts. Availability cannot be determined solely by the fact that a claimant is pursuing educational goals while unemployed. Attachment to the labor market is largely a function of the individual’s efforts to obtain employment.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 6/91