13. Refusal of Work

Dueweke v Morang Drive Greenhouses – 13.02

Dueweke v Morang Drive Greenhouses
Digest No. 13.02
Section 421.29(1)(a), 421.29(1)(e), & 421.29(6)

Cite as: Dueweke v. Morang Drive Greenhouses, 411 Mich. 670, 311 N.W.2d 712 (1981)
Court: Supreme Court of Michigan
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Eric Dueweke
Employer: Morang Drive Greenhouses
Date of decision: November 2, 1981.

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HOLDING: The court held that an offer of work involving conditions that were illegal rendered the work unsuitable. The court held that once the employee was disqualified and then re-qualified, the employee was not automatically disqualified for refusing to return to the same work.

FACTS: The employee quit his job with the employer and then filed a claim for unemployment benefits. The Michigan Employment Security Commission (“MESC”) denied the claim and imposed a disqualification under § 421.29 of the Michigan Employment Security Act (“MESA”), finding that the employee left his job without good cause. The employee served a six-week requalification period and then refiled his claim for benefits. When the employee returned to the employer, the employee was offered a job, but the employee refused contending that the overtime payment procedure violated the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 207(a)(1).

Plaintiff employee appealed a decision from the Michigan appellate court reversing a decision awarding him unemployment benefits on the grounds that he was disqualified under § 29(1)(e) of the MESA. The employee’s action was initiated against defendant, MESC.

DECISION: The court reversed the decision denying the employee’s claim for unemployment benefits and remanded for further proceedings.

RATIONALE: The court found that MESC failed to consider whether the offered job was suitable under § 29(6) of the MESA.

Digest author: Toni Suh, Michigan Law, Class of 2020
Digest updated: January 29, 2021