10. Voluntary Leaving

Leonard v Dimitri’s Restaurant – 10.39

Leonard v Dimitri’s Restaurant
Digest no. 10.39

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Leonard v Dimitri’s Restaurant, unpublished opinion of the Macomb Circuit Court, issued October 25, 1984 (Docket No. 84-1550 AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Rosemary Leonard
Employer: Dimitri’s Restaurant
Docket no.: B81 16355 83802
Date of decision: October 25, 1984

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: The testimony reveals a believable pattern of sexual harassment and conduct unacceptable in the employer-employee relationship.

FACTS: Claimant quit after employers fondled her and made suggestive comments to her. The waitresses uniforms were changed to “very brief” uniforms. Claimant’s hours were cut while the claimant was attending her boyfriend who was terminally ill. The hours were not restored. Moreover, claimant was threatened with repercussions if she did not tell her girlfriend not to return to the restaurant. The incidents of sexual harassment were corroborated by other waitresses who had worked for the employers. The employers denied actively taking part in any of the incidents and related that the claimant harassed them.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: The totality of the circumstances … including the sexual improprieties, the threatening talk with regard to her friend’s conduct, the cutting of her hours … constituted good cause attributable to the employer. The employer’s testimony lacked credibility and/or credible corroboration.

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

12. Misconduct

MESC v Borucki – 12.17

MESC v Borucki
Digest no. 12.17

Section 29(1)(b)

Cite as: MESC v Borucki, unpublished opinion of the Wayne Circuit Court, issued June 30, 1982 (Docket No. 81-140409 AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Arthur R. Borucki
Employer: North Detroit General Hospital
Docket no.: B78 11915 65930
Date of decision: June 30, 1982

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where an individual is involved in an assault and battery and is not the aggressor, the separation is not disqualifying.

FACTS: “The claimant had been verbally harassed and abused by a fellow employee in a confrontation at the time-card rack as claimant was preparing to leave work and the fellow employee was reporting to work … During the course of the confrontation, the fellow employee called the claimant an obscene name. The unrebutted testimony of a witness was that the fellow employee was abusive to the claimant because of the report claimant had written. In addition, the fellow employee, at the moment he spoke the abusive words to claimant, put up his hands in an aggressive gesture. The unrebutted testimony of the witness was that the fellow employee was the aggressor.”

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for misconduct discharge.

RATIONALE: “Where as here, the putative basis for disqualification is the misconduct of the employee, the burden of proof lies with the employer or charging party, Fresta v Miller, 7 Mich App 58 (1967) … The only res gestae witness to the above described event appearing at the hearing was a fellow employee, Beck. Beck testified that Bradley verbally abused the claimant to provoke an incident and called the claimant a vile name … The witness stated that Bradley assumed an aggressive posture throughout and that there was nothing defensive about his conduct.”

“Mindful of the remedial purposes of the Act and further mindful of the burden of proof in such proceedings, see for example, Diepenhorst v General Electric, 29 Mich App 651, 653 (1971) the determination of the Board of Review ‘that claimant is not disqualified for assault and battery’ is affirmed.”

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