Reed v. Employment Security Commission – 12.73

Reed v. Employment Security Commission
Digest No. 12.73

Section 421.29

Cite as: Reed v MESC, 364 Mich 395 (1961).

Court: Supreme Court of Michigan
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Willie Reed
Employer: Grant Brothers Foundry Company
Date of decision: September 23, 1961

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HOLDING: Claimant was not discharged for misconduct connected to his work as contemplated by the statute.

FACTS: Claimant was employed by Grant Brothers Foundry Company, which had a rule that an employee would be discharged from employment if a second writ of garnishment of his wages were served upon the company. Four garnishments of Claimant’s wages were served on Grant Brothers Foundry Company within a period of nine months. He was discharged. He appealed the judgment for disqualification for benefits on the grounds that he had been discharged for misconduct connected to his work.

DECISION: The statute expressly limits the disqualification to misconduct connected to his work. The rule sets forth a condition of employment. It covers the selection and retention of employees, not their conduct on the job or connected with their work. A breach of this behavior may entitle the employer to discharge his employee, but that discharge is not for misconduct connected with his work as contemplated by the statute.

RATIONALE: The purpose of the act is to benefit unemployed claimants in financial trouble, not to penalize them for being in that condition. The language of the statute does not permit the conduct here to be termed misconduct. Claimant’s going into debt was not connected to his work even though the consequences might have affected his employer. The concurring opinions cite to Cassar v Employment Security Commission, 343 Mich 380 (1955), Linski v Employment Security Commission, 359 Mich 239 (1959), Bell v Employment Security Commission, 359 Mich 649 (1960), and Jenkins v Employment Security Commission, 364 Mich 379 (1961) to point to legislative intent.

Digest author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest updated: January 2, 2018