Categories
10. Voluntary Leaving

DCA Food Industries, Inc v Karr – 10.58

DCA Food Industries, Inc v Karr
Digest no. 10.58

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: DCA Food Industries, Inc v Karr, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued January 24, 1986 (Docket No. 81665).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: John L. Karr
Employer: DCA Food Industries, Inc.
Docket no.: B81 03019 77378
Date of decision: January 24, 1986

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: “Because of the phrase attributable to the employer, ‘good cause’ cannot be found for purely personal reasons under Section 29(1)(a).”

FACTS: Claimant worked for the employer and also was a volunteer fire fighter. He reported for work exhausted after fighting a fire and asked his group leader if he could leave work early. Later, claimant and his union representative met with his supervisor and the personnel supervisor. The employer expressed concerns about the fire fighting duties interfering with claimant’s work and asked claimant if his job at the fire department was more important. Claimant became angry and expressed an intention to quit. Several times the employer asked him to reconsider. Claimant then signed a “voluntary quit” statement. Later, he requested his job back, but the employer refused to rehire him except as a new employee.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for voluntarily leaving his work without good cause attributable to the employer.

RATIONALE: The claimant made a choice between working and not working for the employer. He did not acquiesce in a result beyond his control and therefore his leaving was voluntary. Laya v Cebar Construction Co, 101 Mich App 26 (1980).

The claimant may have believed that the choice presented by the employer was between voluntary fire fighting, on which he placed great importance, and employment. While his leaving may have been for “good cause” for personal reasons, Section 29(1)(a) requires that the “good cause” be attributable to the employer. Dueweke v Morang Drive Greenhouses, 411 Mich 670 (1981) (adopting Judge Levin’s dissent in Keith v Chrysler Corp, 41 Mich App 708 (1972).

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
12/91

Categories
10. Voluntary Leaving

Larson v MESC – 10.50

Larson v MESC
Digest no. 10.50

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Larson v MESC, 2 Mich App 540 (1966).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Paul A. Larson
Employer: Campbell, Wyant & Cannon Foundry
Docket no.: UCX63 3742 31606
Date of decision: March 22, 1966

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: “Claimant was forced to cease working because of his work connected injury. His signature on the combined resignation and settlement represents the act of a necessitous man faced with only one tenable alternative. This is not the ‘voluntary’ termination of employment contemplated by the statute.

FACTS: Claimant suffered a work related back injury which caused him to stop working on April 3, 1963. His doctor authorized him to perform light work but the employer had no such work available. On May 17, 1963 claimant signed an agreement to resign and waive his seniority with the employer in exchange for the redemption of his Worker’s Compensation claim in the amount of $1142.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified.

RATIONALE: “We do not deny that the claimant undoubtedly knew what he was doing when he signed this instrument, but it is another thing to say that he had a tenable alternative. Signing a settlement agreement under the circumstances in which Paul A. Larson found himself does not equate with leaving work voluntarily.”

“One spectre looms throughout this entire transaction: economic straits. The Employment Security Act was intended to protect just such a person as claimant from the subtly coercive effects of economic pressure, and to prevent just such a consequence as we have here.”

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

Categories
10. Voluntary Leaving

Lyons v MESC – 10.51

Lyons v MESC
Digest no. 10.51

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Lyons v MESC, 363 Mich 201 (1961).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Charles Lyons
Employer: Chrysler Corporation
Docket no.: B57 5079 20232
Date of decision: April 26, 1961

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SUPREME COURT HOLDING: Section 29(1)(a) is applicable to separations from work outside of Michigan. The finding that claimant left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the employer was supported by the evidence.

FACTS: The claimant was laid off from one of the employer’s Michigan plants. After receiving a few weeks of unemployment benefits, he accepted work at the employer’s Indiana plant, 273 miles from home. The car he relied on broke down, the friend with whom he planned to commute quit, he did not receive expected overtime, and he learned his minor son had left home. He resigned the Indiana employment to return to Michigan. He was denied further benefits as his leaving was voluntary without good cause attributable to the employer.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: The application of Section 29(1)(a) to separations from work outside of Michigan is consistent with the language of that Section as well as those parts of the Act which provide for reciprocal agreements between states for one state to pay accrued benefits to an employee after he has moved to another state and become unemployed. A contrary interpretation would impose more stringent standards on employees working wholly in Michigan than those whose employment takes them outside the state.

The justices split on the question of the voluntariness of the leaving. Three justices stated the leaving was for wholly personal reasons and, as a matter of law, was voluntary and without good cause attributable to the employer. Two justices agreed with the disqualification but viewed the issue of voluntariness as one of fact which had been decided against the claimant on the basis of evidence which supported the finding. Three justices, in an opinion by Justice Edwards, concluded that, as a matter law, the leaving was involuntary. (See Laya v Cebar Construction Company, 101 Mich App 26 (1980), Digest No. 10.05. Therein, the court adopted Justice Edwards’ standard for determining the voluntariness of a separation.)

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