Devyak v Faygo Beverages – 10.85

Devyak v Faygo Beverages
Digest no. 10.85

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Devyak v Faygo Beverages, unpublished opinion of the Wayne Circuit Court, issued May 1, 1989 (Docket No. 88-815646-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Beverly J. Devyak
Employer: Faygo Beverages
Docket no.: B87-12781-106535W
Date of decision: May 1, 1989

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: An employer cannot unilaterally decide that an employee has voluntarily quit. There must be substantiation from the employee that the employee intended to sever the employment relationship.

FACTS: The claimant experienced medical problems which led to surgery. She returned to work, but experienced surgical complications. The claimant’s workload, working hours, fatigue, a sinus infection and headaches caused her great stress. The claimant was entitled to a two week vacation. When claimant inquired about scheduling a vacation her supervisor told her she could not take any vacation time. She went to higher management without success. Claimant told her supervisor “this is horseshit,” laid down her Blue Cross card and her pass. Claimant left, taking her purse and calendar, but did not clean out her desk. A few hours later she contacted the employer’s president who directed her to report her illness to her supervisor. She contacted her supervisor who told her she was considered a voluntary quit. She attempted to return to work and provide proof of her illness.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified for benefits under Section 29(1)(a).

RATIONALE: While the evidence shows the claimant “blew up” on June 4, 1987, there is nothing in the record to show she intended to quit her job. The claimant did not say she was resigning, she did not clean out her desk, she called the president of the company the same day to inform him of her illness, she notified her supervisor of her illness and produced proof of her illness in an attempt to return to work. The employer “cannot, on its own, decide that an employee has voluntarily quit a job without sufficient substantiation from the employee.” Wickey v ESC, 369 Mich 487 (1963). The doctrine of “constructive voluntary leaving” does not exist under Michigan unemployment compensation law.

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