Chippewa Valley Schools v Bollinger – 7.35

Chippewa Valley Schools v Bollinger
Digest no. 7.35

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Chippewa Valley Schools v Bollinger, Unpublished Opinion of the Macomb County Circuit Court, Issued Nov. 24, 2009 (Docket No. 2009-2460-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Susan Bollinger
Employer: Chippewa Valley Schools
Docket no.: 202971W
Date of decision: November 24, 2009

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HOLDING: A substitute teacher who fails to take steps necessary to continue the same type of employment that she previously held is not “available for work” for the purposes of the Michigan Employment Security Act.

FACTS: Claimant Bollinger worked for Employer Chippewa Valley Schools as a long-term substitute teacher between December 11, 2006 and June 21, 2007. She was informed that the assignment would not be available the following year, and that future substitute teaching assignments would only be available if she registered with Professional Educational Services Group (“PESG”), which claimant did not do. However, claimant did procure a substitute teaching assignment with the school Grosse Pointe South from October 24, 2007 to December 7, 2007.

The UIA issued a redetermination finding that claimant was “available for work,” which Employer appealed. The ALJ held that claimant was only available for work from July 1, 2007 to September 1, 2007. Claimant appealed to the Board of Review, which found that she was available for work between September 2, 2007 and October 20, 2007, as well as from December 9, 2007 to January 12, 2008, or essentially during all of the periods in which she was unemployed.

Employer appealed this decision, arguing that Claimant had been unavailable for work because she had been seeking only a full-time position, rather than the type of long-term substitute position she had held at her prior employer. Claimant argues that she was only required to demonstrate that she was actively seeking full time employment in her area of expertise.

DECISION: The Circuit Court reversed the Board of Review decision, finding Claimant was unavailable for work.

RATIONALE: Because Claimant chose to not register with PESG, she “refused to make herself available for work as a substitute teacher with Chippewa Valley or with any Macomb County School district.” By refusing to register and instead seeking a position as a full-time teacher, she was making herself unavailable to perform the exact type of full-time work that she had been performing prior to her unemployment.

Digest Author: Nick Phillips
Digest Updated: 8/14