Degi v Varano Glass Co – 10.19

Degi v Varano Glass Co
Digest no. 10.19

Section 29(1)(a) and 29(8)

Cite as: Degi v Varano Glass Co., 158 Mich App 695 (1987).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Paul G. Degi
Employer: Varano Glass Company
Docket no.: B84 09066 97679W
Date of decision: January 27, 1987

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Where an employer has promised additional compensation to a claimant for taking on new duties, the employer’s failure to provide that additional compensation constitutes good cause attributable to the employer. A worker, who is not acting in concert with other employees and is discharged after protesting wages, hours, or working conditions is not engaged in a labor dispute.

FACTS: Claimant worked in the employer’s flat glass department. On his own claimant had acquired skills in making beveled and stained glass. The employer decided to start an art glass department. Claimant agreed to work there. An increase in claimant’s wages was discussed. Claimant had a proposed employment contract prepared and presented it to the employer. Claimant spent 2 months performing tasks related to art glass work but did not receive a wage increase. Claimant advised the employer he would not continue in the art glass department without a contract. The employer advised him to continue working in the art glass department or punch out. Claimant punched out and did not return.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified for voluntarily leaving his employment since he had good cause attributable to the employer for leaving.

RATIONALE: “On the facts of this case, a reasonably prudent person would be justified in giving up employment. The employer’s activity would motivate the average able-bodied and qualified worker to give up his or her employment in such a situation.”

“We conclude that a worker who is not acting in concert with other employees, but rather who is individually protesting wages, hours and working conditions to his employer and who is summarily discharged, is not engaged in a “labor dispute” as that phrase is used in Section 29()[sic]. To hold otherwise would be to unduly broaden the commonly understood meaning of the phrase ‘labor dispute'”.

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