Lee v Bermex, Inc – 10.87

Lee v Bermex, Inc
Digest no. 10.87

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Lee v Bermex, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Wayne County Circuit Court, issued January 27, 1994 (Docket No. 93-324459-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Christopher A. Lee
Employer: Bermex, Inc.
Docket no.: B91-3452-RO1-121313W
Date of decision: January 27, 1994

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: A loss of a prerequisite of employment through one’s own inaction is a purely voluntary leaving, not a constructive leaving.

FACTS: Claimant worked as a meter reader. As a requirement of employment, the claimant was expected to have a vehicle. The claimant met this requirement when hired, but later “totaled” his vehicle. The employer allowed the claimant to use public transportation or car-pool with another employee until he found a replacement vehicle. This accommodation continued for seven months. The employer gave the claimant an advance pay-out of vacation time to purchase a vehicle. The employer was unable to continue to accommodate the claimant’s lack of a vehicle. The claimant failed to obtain a vehicle. The employer discharged the claimant.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for benefits under Section 29(1)(a).

RATIONALE: The court distinguished this matter from Clarke v North Detroit General Hosp, 437 Mich 280 (1991). Unlike the nurses in Clarke who took steps to meet their condition of employment by preparing for an examination, the claimant in the present matter “made no effort to meet his condition of employment.” The claimant’s discharge “resulted from his decision not to do anything about his situation for a lengthy period of time.” His leaving “could reasonably be characterized as volitional, freely chosen and willful – in short, voluntary.” The court found applicable Echols v MESC, 4 Mich App 173 (1966), and City of Saginaw v Lindquist, 139 Mich App 515 (1984), which hold that a loss of a prerequisite of employment through one’s actions is a voluntary leaving without good cause attributable to the employer.

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