10. Voluntary Leaving

Johnston v Smith – 10.69

Johnston v Smith
Digest no. 10.69

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Johnston v Smith, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued May 26, 1993 (Docket No. 139979).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Henry Smith
Employer: George L. Johnston
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals
Date of decision: May 26, 1993

View/download the full decision

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Claimant is not disqualified and quit work involuntarily when he resigned in response to the employer’s request for his resignation.

FACTS: Employer accused the claimant of theft after observing items used in the employer’s business in the claimant’s vehicle. Claimant denied the accusation and had a witness to corroborate his story. Employer did not believe the claimant, and asked him to resign. The claimant refused, and asked the employer to discharge him. The employer did not discharge the claimant because it lacked proof the claimant committed theft. Claimant failed to report for his next scheduled shift, and applied for benefits four days later. The Referee concluded the employer’s suggestion that he resign constituted good cause attributable to the employer.

DECISION: The Court of Appeals affirmed the holdings of the lower tribunals and found the claimant not disqualified for benefits under Section 29(1)(a).

RATIONALE: “Voluntary connotes a choice between alternatives which ordinary persons would find reasonable.” Clarke v. North Detroit Hospital, 179 Mich App 511, 515-516 (1989) (MiUI Digest 10.48) Claimant did not quit work voluntarily when employer asked claimant to resign. The employers actions, “in the absence of proof of misconduct, would have induced an average, reasonable, and otherwise qualified worker to leave [petitioner’s] employment.”

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