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