Categories
10. Voluntary Leaving

Holmquist v Swiss Colony Store – 10.25

Holmquist v Swiss Colony Store
Digest no. 10.25

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Holmquist v Swiss Colony Store, unpublished opinion of the Michigan Employment Security Board of Review, issued July 27, 1978 (Docket No. B76 9343 54085).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Garth H. Holmquist
Employer: Swiss Colony Store
Docket no.: B76 9343 54085
Date of decision: July 27, 1978

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BOARD OF REVIEW HOLDING: Where economic pressure motivates a claimant to leave stop-gap employment which does not pay a living wage, the separation is not disqualifying.

FACTS: “In this case, the claimant obtained stop-gap employment in a Madison, Wisconsin food shop while attempting to obtain employment commensurate with his educational and career objectives. The job provided about twenty hours of work per week, paid only $2.20 per hour, and was to end around January 1, 1976.” The claimant quit on December 19, 1975 to return to Michigan. He testified that he had been unable to find permanent work in Wisconsin and could not afford to remain there. His wife was unemployed as well.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: “Where an employee is unable to earn a living wage at his job, his leaving the job is involuntary and not disqualifying. Brainard v Employment Compensation Commission of Delaware, 76 A2d1 26 (1950), cited approvingly by Justice Edwards in Lyons v Employment Security Commission, 363 Mich 201 (1961).”

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

Categories
10. Voluntary Leaving

Setta v Chrysler Corp – 10.13

Setta v Chrysler Corp
Digest no. 10.13

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Setta v Chrysler Corp, unpublished opinion of the Wayne Circuit Court, issued September 3, 1959 (No. 301-977).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Richard Setta
Employer: Chrysler Corporation
Docket no.: B58 6122 22034
Date of decision: September 3, 1959

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: A claimant who makes a good faith attempt at earning a living but is unable to earn a living wage is not disqualified for benefits pursuant to Section 29(1)(a) when he quits.

FACTS: Claimant was laid off from Chrysler for lack of work. He later obtained work as a salesman for the Brown Company. Claimant began his sales job with a salary and commission. After 6 weeks he went to straight commission. After he shifted to commission, the claimant’s income dropped so low he could not earn a living wage. The drop of wages was not the result of any lack of effort on the claimant’s part.

DECISION: Claimant not disqualified pursuant to Section 29(1)(a).

RATIONALE: “The 2nd and 29th sections of the Michigan Statute when taken together, suggest that the test intended by the voluntary quit provision of Section 29 is this: Was the employee driven to leave by external pressures rather than subjective conveniences or desires. If the external pressure is great enough to make it perfectly reasonable to quit, then Section 29 of the statute does not seem to me to impose any disqualification. When one earns only $21.00 a month with nothing better in prospect, the alternatives are simple; either to starve or to quit. Under such circumstances, is there really any choice? And, when one is compelled to take the only available course, can he be said to have voluntarily done anything? Where, as in the Setta case, the pressure stems from lack of earnings sufficient to provide one’s family with the barest necessities, and with nothing better in prospect, it seems to me that there is external pressure great enough to make quitting a perfectly reasonable, indeed, an inescapable, act. Under these circumstance, either there is not a voluntary leaving of work or there is good cause for voluntarily quitting which is attributable to the employer.”

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