07. Eligibility - Able & Available

Doe v Robert Carter Corp – 7.16

Doe v Robert Carter Corp
Digest no. 7.16

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Doe v Robert Carter Corp, unpublished opinion of the Michigan Employment Security Board of Review, issued June 6, 1980 (Docket No. B78 02345 61033).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Arvin N. Doe
Employer: Robert Carter Corporation
Docket no.: B78 02345 61033
Date of decision: June 6, 1980

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BOARD OF REVIEW HOLDING: (1) A plumber’s use of union hiring halls satisfies the availability and seeking work provisions of the Act. (2) Travel to a Florida home on a Sunday and Monday, and return travel to a Michigan home on a Friday and Saturday, does not affect the eligibility of a union plumber who contacts hiring halls in both states.

FACTS: Under penalty of a $500.00 union fine, a plumber limited himself to union work, obtained through union hiring halls. He traveled to his Florida home on a Sunday and Monday, contacted three union locals, and later returned to his Michigan home on a Friday and Saturday.

DECISION: The claimant is eligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: “[I]n Lange v Knight Newspapers, Inc, No. 63387 (Wayne Circuit Court, 1967), the court affirmed a unanimous appeal board decision that a claimant had satisfied the eligibility requirements of the MES Act by awaiting a telephone call from his local union for a work assignment where this was the customary way he had obtained employment in the past.”

“Obviously, while Mr. Doe was driving between his two homes he was not instantaneously available for and seeking work. But this is not the end of the analysis. If it were, serious eligibility questions would be posed by sleep, dining out, or going to the movies.”

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

07. Eligibility - Able & Available

McCauley (Service Systems Corporation) – 7.21

McCauley (Service Systems Corporation)
Digest no. 7.21

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: McCauley (Service Systems Corporation), 1978 BR 55189 (B77 3812).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Mary McCauley
Employer: Service Systems Corporation
Docket no.: B77 3812 55189
Date of decision: August 21, 1978

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BOARD OF REVIEW HOLDING: A claimant who is placed on a fixed-term layoff of short duration is not required to remain in the employer’s locale.

FACTS: “The claimant was placed on a fixed-term layoff due to the Christmas holiday period on December 22, 1976 and personally instructed to return on January 3, 1977. During the layoff period, the claimant visited her ill mother in Louisiana.” She reported at a branch office in Louisiana, and returned to work on schedule.

DECISION: The claimant meets the availability requirements of Section 28(1)(c) of the Act.

RATIONALE: This is a 3-2 decision. The majority states: “The purpose of the eligibility requirements of Section 28 of the Act is to insure that the recipient of unemployment benefits is genuinely attached to the labor market. See Dwyer v Michigan Employment Security Commission, 321 Mich 178 (1948). In determining labor market attachment, the law does not require the performance of a useless act. Here, nothing in the record suggests that any work would be (or was) offered by the employer to the claimant at any other site during her fixed-term layoff. As a result, it would have served no purpose for her to have remained in the locality of her employer during this period.”

“As a result of unavailable suitable work in the claimant’s locality during the period in issue, a waiver by the Commission of seeking work was in effect.”

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

07. Eligibility - Able & Available

Woodall Industries Inc. v. Tracy – 7.38

Woodall Industries Inc. v. Tracy
Digest No. 7.38

Section 421.28

Cite as: Woodall Industries Inc. v. Tracy, unpublished opinion of the Oakland County Circuit Court, issued Sept. 17, 1941 (Docket No. 26150).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Marie Tracy
Employer: Woodall Industries, Inc.
Date of decision: September 17, 1941

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HOLDING: The requirement that a claimant be “able to work and available for work” includes the ability to procure transportation to the workplace.

FACTS: Claimant lived twenty-two miles from her place of employment.  Claimant quit voluntarily because she lost access to transportation to the place of employment.  The Claimant re-acquired transportation approximately four months later.  Claimant was denied benefits for the period of time when she was without transportation.

DECISION: As a matter of fact and law, claimant was not “able to work and available to work” during the period when she had no means of transportation.  Claimant was eligible for benefits from the time when she re-acquired transportation that allowed her to travel to her place of employment.

RATIONALE: Eligibility for benefits depends on the ability to travel to the place of employment.*

Digest Author: James Mestichelli, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest Updated: 3/27/2016

*The court used 421.28(c), but that language seems to have been amended. That is why the statutory section cited above is just 421.28.