12. Misconduct

Streeter v River Rouge Board of Education – 12.21

Streeter v River Rouge Board of Education
Digest no. 12.21

Section 29(1)(b)

Cite as: Streeter v River Rouge Board of Ed, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued October 12, 1981 (Docket No. 54997).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Johnnie Streeter
Employer: River Rouge Board of Education
Docket no.: B79 03208 67059
Date of decision: October 12, 1981

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: ” … [S]ection 29 does not make the commission of acts which might be the subject of criminal prosecution a reason for disqualification for benefits.”

FACTS: An elementary school teacher was discharged for carrying a concealed .38 caliber pistol to school. She testified that she had been unable to obtain protection from the employer after being threatened by a parent who had been convicted of felonious assault.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for misconduct discharge.

RATIONALE: “We first note, as did the referee, that it is irrelevant to our application of the term ‘misconduct’ in section 29 whether appellee’s conduct may have been sufficient cause for her dismissal by appellant.

“The record reveals that the first thing that appellee did when threatened by the angry parent was to report it to the acting principal. Only upon his failure to take what appellee believed to be definitive measures to divert the anticipated confrontation did she seek her own protection. Although her reaction to the situation constituted a grave error in judgment, there is competent evidence to support the referee’s conclusion that appellee’s actions did not constitute a ‘wilful or wanton disregard of [her] employer’s interests.’ Appellee’s actions were motivated by personal fear, and she attempted in good faith to perform her duty properly before the misconduct took place.”

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