Saugatuck Village v Bosma – 12.22

Saugatuck Village v Bosma
Digest no. 12.22

Section 29(1)(b)

Cite as: Saugatuck Village v Bosma, Allegan Circuit Court, Docket No. 82-4417 AE (March 16, 1983).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Thomas Bosma
Employer: Saugatuck Village
Docket no.: B81 00101 78040
Date of decision: March 16, 1983

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where an employee is discharged for activities that occur while on medical leave, the separation is a non disqualifying discharge.

FACTS: The claimant was employed as a police officer. “While on medical leave, he was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and battery along with one count of driving under the influence of liquor.” Following his convictions of assault and battery and of careless driving, the claimant’s employment was terminated.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for misconduct.

RATIONALE: “[C]ourts have consistently interpreted … disqualifying misconduct as requiring that the misconduct be connected to the employee’s work duties. Thus, in Reed v Employment Security Commission, 364 Mich 395; 110 NW2d 907 (1961), the Court determined that an employee discharged for violating a company rule which required discharge if the company were served with a second writ of garnishment was not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. The Court reasoned that, to be disqualifying under the Act, the ‘rule and its violation must have some reasonable application in relation to the employee’s task’, 364 Mich 395, 397.

“[T]his Court agrees that the Claimant’s activities were below the standards which the employer had a right to expect from the employee, and that his discharge was justified. However . . . the activities occurred (sic) while Claimant was on a medical leave, not while he was on duty or even eligible for such duty. Under the facts presented, this Court is unable to conclude that the … decision that Claimant was not disqualified from receiving benefits for his ‘misconduct’ was contrary to law.”

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