Bongiorno v Orchard Ford/Lincoln – 10.66

Bongiorno v Orchard Ford/Lincoln
Digest no. 10.66

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Bongiorno v Orchard Ford/Lincoln, Berrien Circuit Court No. 88-214-AL-Z (April 25, 1989).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Randy Bongiorno
Employer: Orchard Ford/Lincoln
Docket no.: B87-03625-105495W
Date of decision: April 25, 1989

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Unethical, but not illegal or unconscionable, business practices do not constitute good cause for leaving if they would not cause an average, reasonable, qualified worker to give up his or her employment.

FACTS: The claimant was employed as a used-auto salesperson. He left his employment because he could no longer tolerate sales practices which he believed were misleading and deceptive. The employer acknowledged some of the tactics may have been misleading and deceptive but denied they were fraudulent or illegal. The practices had been in place since the claimant began his employment and he had not complained about them prior to his departure.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: The court acknowledged illegal business practices would support a finding of good cause. But, the court refused to apply an Oregon Court of Appeals case which held that requiring an employee to participate in unethical business practices constituted good cause if the acts were unconscionable and so morally offensive they would be intolerable to a reasonable person. Here, the sales techniques were not illegal nor anything other than standard industry practice.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 
7/99