Johnston v Smith – 10.69

Johnston v Smith
Digest no. 10.69

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Johnston v Smith, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued May 26, 1993 (Docket No. 139979).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Henry Smith
Employer: George L. Johnston
Docket no.: B89-10825-113573
Date of decision: May 26, 1993

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The employer’s actions in asking the claimant for his resignation “in the absence of proof of misconduct would have induced an average, reasonable, and otherwise qualified worker to leave” the employer’s employment.

FACTS: Employer accused the claimant of theft after observing items used in the employer’s business in the claimant’s vehicle. Claimant denied the accusation and had a witness to corroborate his story. Employer did not believe the claimant, and asked him to resign. The claimant refused, and asked the employer to discharge him. The employer did not discharge the claimant because it lacked proof the claimant committed theft. Claimant failed to report for his next scheduled shift, and applied for benefits four days later. The Referee concluded the employer’s suggestion that he resign constituted good cause attributable to the employer.

DECISION: The Court of Appeals affirmed the holdings of the lower tribunals and found the claimant not disqualified for benefits under Section 29(1)(a).

RATIONALE: “Good cause attributable to the employer exists `where an employer’s actions would cause a reasonable, average, and otherwise qualified worker to give up his or her employment.’ Johnides v St. Lawrence Hospital, 184 Mich App 172, 175 (1990) (quoting Warblow v The Kroger Co, 156 Mich App 316, 321 (1986)). For example, where an employer advised an employee to `do it the employer’s way or punch out,’ the court agreed that there was good cause attributable to the employer for the employee’s resignation. Degi v Varano Glass Co, 158 Mich App 695, 697, 699 (1987).”

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