12. Misconduct

Carter v MESC – 12.01

Carter v MESC
Digest no. 12.01

Section 29(1)(b)

Cite as: Carter v MESC, 364 Mich 538 (1961).

Appeal Pending: No
Claimant: Arthur Carter
Employer: Detroit Lead Corporation
Docket no.: B59 2711 23422
Date of decision: November 30, 1961

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SUPREME COURT HOLDING: “[T]he employee’s refusal to carry out a foreman’s order, and his subsequent threat to punch the foreman in the nose” is misconduct.

FACTS: Claimant was employed by the Detroit Lead Corporation. He was assigned to operate a furnace. The claimant refused to obey an order of his foreman to shovel a pile of lead dust (dross) into the furnace and further, threatened to punch the foreman in the nose if the foreman shoveled the dross into the furnace.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for misconduct.

RATIONALE: The Court adopted the definition of misconduct set forth in Boynton Cab Company v Neubeck, 237 Wis 249 (1941): “[T]he term ‘misconduct’ … is limited to conduct evincing such wilful or wanton disregard of an employer’s interests 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 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. On the other hand mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity, inadvertencies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances, or good-faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed ‘misconduct’ within the meaning of the statute.”

“[A] refusal of an employee to carry out a reasonable order of his foreman, coupled with a threat to punch him in the nose when the foreman offered to do the work himself, is misconduct within the meaning of the statute. Such a response is both a wilful disregard of the employer’s interests and a deliberate violation of standards of behavior which an employer has a right to expect of his employee.”

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