Categories
12. Misconduct

Goblembiewski v. Complete Auto Transit – 12.67

Goblembiewski v. Complete Auto Transit
Digest No. 12.67
Section 421.29(1)(b)

Cite as: Goblembiewski v. Complete Auto Transit, Unpublished Opinion of the Genesee County Circuit Court, Issued April 2, 1990 (Docket no. 89-1046 AE).

Court: Genesee County Circuit Court
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Arthur Golembiewski
Employer: Complete Auto Transit
Date of decision: April 2, 1990


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HOLDING: Mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as a result of inability or incapacity, inadvertence or ordinary negligence and isolated incidents of good faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed misconduct. The dollar amount of damage suffered by the employer does not affect whether an employee has engaged in misconduct.

FACTS: The claimant worked for the employer as an over-the-road driver, delivering automobiles to dealerships, from 1975 through April 19, 1988. When the claimant was making a delivery run to Holly, Michigan, he was involved in an accident when his truck struck an overpass resulting in damage in excess of sixteen thousand dollars. The claimant alleged that he negligently and not deliberately made a mistake of not lowering the ramps on his truck because he was distracted by a malfunctioning jump pin, which he spent approximately 30 minutes trying to repair. The claimant filed for unemployment benefits for the period from April 19, 1988, through May 14, 1988. The Referee held the claimant not disqualified for benefits pursuant to the provisions of MCL 421.29(1)(a) of the Michigan Employment Security Act. The employer appealed and the Employment Security Board of Review reversed the Referee’s decision.


DECISION: The Genesee County Circuit Court reversed the decision of the Employment Security Board of Review and held that the claimant was not disqualified for benefits.


RATIONALE: The Court reasoned that under Karr* case, the Supreme Court held that “conduct evincing such willful or wanton disregard of an employer’s interest as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee, or in carelessness or negligence of such a degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations to his employer.” The case also said that “[o]n the other hand, mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as a result of inability or incapacity, inadvertence or ordinary negligence and isolated incidents of good faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed misconduct within the meaning of the statute.” In this case, the claimant clearly did not intentionally lower the ramps on his truck and get distracted. In addition, he was distracted trying to fix his employer’s equipment—the jump pin. The significant amount of the damage the employer suffered from the accident should not affect the legal standard required for misconduct.

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

*This case was not quoted in this opinion and the citation could not be found. It appears to be a quote from Carter v. Employment Security Comm., 364 Mich. 538 (1961).

Categories
12. Misconduct

Tuck v. ESC – 12.52

Tuck v. ESC
Digest No. 12.52

Section 421.29

Cite as: Tuck v ESC, 152 Mich App 579 (1986).

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Dave W. Tuck
Employer: Ashcraft’s Market, Inc.
Date of decision: April 24, 1986

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HOLDING: Breach of rules, negligence, or good faith error in judgment with respect to a single incident does not necessarily rise to the level of misconduct under the Carter definition. Claimant is not disqualified for misconduct because of the unauthorized removal of property, which has de minimis value, of an employer.

FACTS: Claimant, a meat-cutter, removed two cartons of fish from employer’s premises without authorization. Claimant observed the fish were thawed and could not be sold and took it upon himself to see to their disposal since the regular manager was unavailable. He removed the fish through the back door of the supermarket, which was strictly against his employer’s rule, and took it home to use as bear bait.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits under section 29.

RATIONALE: Pursuant to Carter, not every breach of company rules rises to the level of misconduct for purposes of section 29. The court reasoned, “[i]t is clear that, while misconduct may justify an employee’s discharge for breach of company rules, not every such breach rises to the level of misconduct sufficient to disqualify the employee for unemployment benefits.”

The court notes that the employer had full authority to fire Claimant, but that did not mean he was disqualified from receiving benefits, necessarily.

Digest author: Travis R. Miller, Michigan Law, Class of 2018 (Board of Review original Digest)
Digest updated: December 23, 2017