12. Misconduct

Latham v. Comcast Cablevision Corp. – 12.157

Latham v. Comcast Cablevision Corp.
Digest No. 12.157

Section 421.29(1)(b)

Cite as: Latham v Comcast Cablevision Corp, unpublished opinion of the Wayne County Circuit Court, issued August 28, 2013 (Docket No. 13-003859-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Carmen Latham
Employer: Comcast Cablevision Corporation
Date of decision: August 28, 2013

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HOLDING: The Michigan Appellate Compensation Commission’s decision that Latham’s discharge for misconduct was contrary to law. Absent the provision of Comcast’s written policy on credit checks, there was not enough evidence to show that Latham’s actions rose to the level of misconduct.

FACTS: From April 3, 2006 until May 11, 2012, when she was discharged for misconduct, Latham worked for Comcast as an inbound sales executive. In March 2012, Comcast audited Latham’s work because she had not run credit checks on several accounts. On May 11, 2012 Latham was discharged. She then filed a claim for unemployment, but was ruled disqualified under the misconduct provisions of the act. According to the testimony of the employer at the ALJ hearing, credit checks are mandatory and the company’s policy does not allow employees discretion on whether to perform them. Latham was also found to have set up an account without Comcast’s permission, but believed she was following an appropriate course of action.

DECISION: The circuit court reversed the decision of the Michigan Appellate Compensation Commission and ruled that the claimant was not disqualified for benefits because of misconduct under Section 29(1)(b) of the act.

RATIONALE: Latham argued that under MRE 1002, the best evidence rule, Comcast was required to provide the written policy on credit checks rather than using testimonies of employees to demonstrate its contents. The circuit court agreed and stated that without this policy, it only had the statements of Comcast representatives to rely on to decide how much discretion Comcast employees are allowed. Without the written policy clearly defining Latham’s responsibilities, the circuit court found that her conduct amounted only to poor performance and not misconduct.

Digest Author: Alisa Hand, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest Updated: 3/27/2016

12. Misconduct

Dunlap v MESC – 12.08

Dunlap v MESC
Digest no. 12.08

Section 29(1)(b)

Cite as: Dunlap v MESC, 99 Mich App 400 (1980); lv den 411 Mich 904 (1981).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: James W. Dunlap
Employer: Tenneco, Inc.
Docket no.: B76 12291 RO 55244
Date of decision: August 12, 1980

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: “Every minor misstatement on an employment application does not constitute statutory misconduct of a level to justify denial of payment of unemployment compensation benefits.”

FACTS: The claimant stated on his application and medical history questionnaire that he had not had back trouble. He was discharged when treatment for an alleged work-related back injury disclosed that the claimant had hurt his back in a swimming accident six years prior to his date of hire.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for misconduct.

RATIONALE: “In this case, the act upon which the conclusion of misconduct was based occurred prior to employment. Every minor misstatement on an employment application does not constitute statutory misconduct of a level to justify denial of payment of unemployment compensation benefits.

“We would believe that plaintiff’s failure to characterize his minor swimming accident of six years earlier as ‘back trouble’ or ‘back injury’ was more error of judgment than a deliberate and intentional falsification of his medical history. Under these circumstances, we decline to find that the trial judge was clearly erroneous in holding that, on the facts of this case, the so- called misrepresentation on the job application did not constitute such misconduct as to disqualify plaintiff from unemployment compensation benefits.”

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