Mathews v Transportation Management, Inc – 10.84

Mathews v Transportation Management, Inc
Digest no. 10.84

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Mathews v Transportation Mgt, Inc, Kalamazoo Circuit Court, Docket No. B95-0144-AE (February 9, 1996).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Mary Mathews
Employer: Transportation Management, Inc.
Docket no.: B93-01271-126090W
Date of decision: February 9, 1996

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: When the employer is aware of a complaint of sexual harassment, fails to take steps to rectify the problem after adequate notice and the problem is likely to persist or repeat, the leaving is with good cause attributable to the employer.

FACTS: The claimant was sexually harassed by two male co-workers. She informed her supervisor, and the men’s supervisor, about the harassment. The claimant admitted she did not specifically state that she was being sexually harassed to her supervisor. After she complained to her supervisor the harassment ceased until the supervisor departed. The claimant’s manager, an employer witness, was aware of the claimant’s complaint. Sexual comments were regularly made over the employer’s radio. The employer was aware obscene objects were left in the workplace, and while the employer removed the objects it made no effort to investigate. During claimant’s exit interview, the manager revealed to the claimant she was aware of the claimant’s sexual harassment complaint. When the claimant threatened to file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the manager laughed and told her to go ahead.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified from receiving benefits.

RATIONALE: The manager was aware of the claimant’s complaint to her supervisor. The claimant’s reference to the Civil Rights Commission indicates the complaint concerned sex discrimination. Since the manager responded by laughing, it was “reasonable for the claimant to assume the employer was not going to rectify the hostile work environment after adequate notice, and that repetition of the episode was likely to occur.”

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