Mapes v Alreco Metals, Inc – 10.62

Mapes v Alreco Metals, Inc
Digest no. 10.62

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Mapes v Alreco Metals, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Berrien Circuit Court, issued August, 1989 (Docket No. 86-1287-AE-H).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: John W. Mapes
Employer: Alreco Metals, Inc.
Docket no.: B85-04697-99955
Date of decision: August, 1989

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: A rotating work shift arrangement may constitute good cause attributable to the employer

FACTS: When hired, claimant was told he could expect to work one “swing shift” every 13 weeks. Shortly afterwards his union entered into a new contract whereby the employer could establish a “grasshopper shift”. Claimant was placed on the “grasshopper shift.” As a consequence, he was required to rotate among the three shifts every two to three days. During a twenty-eight day cycle claimant experienced nine shift changes.

Claimant completed three twenty-eight day cycles. He had sought reassignment to other shifts on other lower paying positions. Those requests were denied. As a consequence, claimant decided to leave his employment. The claimant indicated the constant change in shifts had adversely affected both his physical and mental health. No medical documentation was submitted to support his contention.

DECISION: Claimant was not disqualified for voluntary leaving

RATIONALE: The court found the claimant’s leaving was with good cause attributable to the employer. It reasoned the constant shift change was more than distasteful and caused physical distress. The court stated, “a choice between working a job which one cannot perform without substantial physical difficulty and leaving that job is really no choice at all.” Notably, the court found the fact that the collective bargaining agreement allowed the employer to establish such a shift was not dispositive.

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