Parker v. TNT Logistics North America, Inc. – 7.36

Parker v. TNT Logistics North America, Inc.
Digest No. 7.36

Section 421.28(1)(c)

Cite as: Parker v TNT Logistics North America, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Wayne County Circuit Court, issued December 27, 2007 (Docket No. 07-717651-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Karen F. Parker
Employer: TNT Logistics North America, Inc.
Date of decision: December 27, 2007

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HOLDING: A claimant is not ineligible for benefits under Section 421.28(1)(c) if she leaves her job due to physical impairment if she seeks job placement help to return to the work force.

FACTS: Claimant left her factory job due to arthritis and other physical impairment. The UIA deemed her ineligible for benefits under Section 421.28(1)(c), finding her unable to perform suitable full-time work. At an ALJ hearing, Claimant admitted her condition likely precluded her from returning to her previous kinds of employment. But, she testified she had sought job placement help with the Michigan Rehabilitative Services to return to the work force.

The ALJ and Board of Review both affirmed the UIA’s determination of ineligibility.

DECISION: The Circuit Court reversed Board of Review. Claimant is not ineligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: Following McKentry v MESC, 99 Mich App 277 (1980), the court noted that a “claimant is not ineligible for benefits under the ability provision when seeking a different type of employment than his or her last job.” And, under Bolles v MESC, 361 Mich 378 (1960), “registering for and seeking work were indicia that a claimant was able and available for work, and therefore remained attached to the labor market.”

Here, Claimant had previously performed clerical work and was seeking further job training to potentially return to such employment. Therefore, Claimant maintained a sufficient connection to the workforce to preserve benefits eligibility.

Digest author: Austin L. Webbert, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest updated: 10/31/2017

Koehler v General Motors Corp – 7.29

Koehler v General Motors Corp
Digest no. 7.29

Sections 28(1)(c), 48

Cite as: Koehler v General Motors Corp, unpublished opinion of the Oakland Circuit Court, issued May 6, 1997 (Docker No. 96-532329-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Carl Koehler
Employer: General Motors Corporation
Docket no.: B94-10946-134361W and FSC94-00569-134392W
Date of decision: May 6, 1997

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where a claimant worked full-time for a self-owned business he was not unemployed within the meaning of Section 48 of the MES Act. Moreover, where a claimant is preoccupied with developing his own business, putting in hours equivalent to full-time work, he is not available within the meaning of Section 28(1)(c).

FACTS: The claimant was a part-owner of an irrigation company. While collecting unemployment benefits, the claimant worked for his company in excess of 40 hours per week and received distributions from profits. During this period the claimant sought other work but his efforts were infrequent and indifferent. Claimant did not receive a paycheck from this company but did pay personal expenses out of the business’ account.

DECISION: The claimant was not unemployed within the meaning of Section 48 and was not available within the meaning of Section 28(1)(c). Claimant was properly subject to the penalties for fraud.

RATIONALE: Where the claimant is not ready, willing, able and anxious to resume work in industry, his efforts should be considered startup as opposed to self-help. With respect to availability, the claimant’s indifferent job search efforts established he was not truly attached to the labor market and therefore not available within the meaning of Section 28(1)(c). Claimant’s testimony was inconsistent and self-serving and therefore unreliable. In light of his representations to the Agency that he was not employed and his failure to disclose his connection to or responsibilities with his business, the assessment of penalties and sanctions was correct.

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

Postema v Grand Rapids Diecraft Inc – 7.30

Postema v Grand Rapids Diecraft Inc
Digest no. 7.30

Sections 28, 54(b)

Cite as: Postema v Grand Rapids Diecraft Inc, unpublished opinion of the Ottawa Circuit Court, issued September 19, 1996 (Docket No. 95-23141-AA).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: James Postema
Employer: Grand Rapids Diecraft Inc.
Docket no.: B93-06258-127231W
Date of decision: September 19, 1996

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant was primarily engaged in establishing his own business, his mental attitude was not one of genuine attachment to the labor market. Where the claimant only sought work via networking with potential customers and other industry contacts, he was not “seeking work” and was not “available to work.”

FACTS: Claimant was laid off from an executive position in February, 1992. He received regular benefits then extended benefits until December 12, 1992. Claimant started his own tool and die business on August 15 as 51% owner. Corporate status was established week of August 9, 1992. During the first week the business grossed $24,000. After that, expenses exceeded profits. Claimant received no wages. For weeks ending August 29, 1992, and September 5, 1992, claimant failed to report self employment. Thereafter, he reported self employment but zero earnings. For week ending September 12, 1992, claimant reported 70+ hours at his business, but thereafter reported only 20 hours. Claimant sought work primarily through “networking” with contacts who were also potential customers. He never actually filled out any job applications.

DECISION: Claimant ineligible for benefits for period August 9, 1992, through December 12, 1992. Claimant must pay restitution and penalties only for some of the weeks in question as for the most part claimant disclosed his interest in self employment and the nature of his job seeking efforts.

RATIONALE: Claimant’s own testimony demonstrated that he was not diligently searching for employment or truly available for work. “His `mental attitude’ was not that of someone attached to the labor market; rather, it was that of an entrepreneur spending his time and energy trying to make his business successful.”

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

Kenkel v Tremec Trading Co – 4.30

Kenkel v Tremec Trading Co
Digest no. 4.30

Section 48

Cite as: Kenkel v Tremec Trading Co, unissued opinion of the Oakland County Circuit Court, issued January 30, 1995 (Docket No. 94-476557).

Appeal pending: No
Claimants: Matthew Kenkel
Employer: Tremec Trading Co.
Docket no.: B93-05246-126675W
Date of decision: January 30, 1995

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Self-employment does not, per se, disqualify an individual from receiving benefits so long as they receive no remuneration and remain genuinely attached to the labor market.

FACTS: Claimant’s job with employer was eliminated in April 1992. At that time, Claimant purchased 50 percent interest in a real estate franchise. Claimant was not involved in day to day running of business, but did assist with long term planning. He received no compensation for services provided. He testified that he was at all times available for and seeking work. Any time he spent at the business was to increase the equity of his holding.

DECISION: Claimant was unemployed within the meaning of Section 48.

RATIONALE: Claimant’s situation was compared and contrasted with that of claimants in Phillips v UCC, 323 Mich 188 (1948) and Bolles v ESC, 361 Mich 378 (1960). Found to be similar to facts of Bolles which enunciated test of whether or not claimant remained genuinely attached to the labor market despite his self-employment. Distinguish from Phillips, because claimant had not returned to a profession in which he had previously worked and he earned no remuneration. Citing Bolles, the court noted the intent of the Act is to foster industry and self-help, not idleness and inactivity.

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

Gallant v W B Doner Co – 7.33

Gallant v W B Doner Co
Digest no. 7.33

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Gallant v WB Doner Co, unpublished opinion of the Oakland County Circuit Court, issued January 4, 1995 (Docket No. 94-476350-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Jeri Gallant
Employer: W.B. Doner Co.
Docket no.: B92-02016-122380W
Date of decision: January 4, 1995

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant placed undue restrictions on where she would work and what type of work she would do, she made herself unavailable within the meaning of the statute.

FACTS: Claimant suffers from agoraphobia (fear of being in open or public places) and advised the MESC that there were limitations on where she would seek or accept employment. She was held ineligible due to her failure to establish unrestricted availability. She had a “comfort zone” of locations she was willing to work in and that zone did not include the Detroit metropolitan area. Furthermore, claimant was qualified to do advertising work but was only seeking work in retail because she wanted to make a career change.

DECISION: Claimant is ineligible for benefits under Section 28(1)(c).

RATIONALE: Claimant was desirous of obtaining employment but restricted her availability for certain types of work which she was qualified to perform and restricted the geographical locations to which she was willing to travel. She only wanted to work in communities that were familiar to her. She did not seek advertising work for which she was qualified and limited her job search to certain Detroit suburbs.

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

Anulli v Easy Cut Tool Corp – 7.32

Anulli v Easy Cut Tool Corp
Digest no. 7.32

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Anulli v Easy Cut Tool Corp, unpublished opinion of the Macomb County Circuit Court, issued November 8, 1990 (Docket No. 89-3688-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Ettore Anulli
Employer: Easy Cut Tool Corporation
Docket no.: B87-15460-107554W
Date of decision: November 8, 1990

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant spent time answering phones and giving quotes for 20 hours a week for a company in which he had substantial investment, and also was unable to show he was seeking work, he did not establish he was available for full time work.

FACTS: Claimant had a 51 percent ownership interest in the involved employer. It was decided to dissolve the business. Claimant filed for benefits. While collecting benefits claimant spent 20 hours per week at Vance, Inc., another business in which he had a substantial investment.

DECISION: Claimant is ineligible under Section 28(1)(c).

RATIONALE: Court cites Dwyer v UCC, 321 Mich 178 (1948). Claimant spent substantial amount of time at Vance, Inc. while drawing benefits, although he wasn’t paid. He also failed to demonstrate that he was seeking work and therefore was unable to show a genuine attachment to labor market.

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

Schontala v Engine Power Components – 7.31

Schontala v Engine Power Components
Digest no. 7.31

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Schontala v Engine Power Components, unpublished opinion of the Ottawa Circuit Court, issued October 27, 1987 (Docket No. 86-8221-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Timothy Schontala
Employer: Engine Power Components
Docket no.: B85-11974-101743W
Date of decision: October 27, 1987

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant asserted he was available for full time work but showed by his actions that, in fact, he was not, he did not meet the availability requirement for eligibility under Section 28(1)(c).

FACTS: After working full time for the employer for over a year, claimant requested reduction to part-time work so he could return to school. Claimant was granted part-time status but shortly thereafter was laid off due to lack of work for part-time employees. Claimant was attending school and placed numerous applications for part-time work. He applied for benefits while still in school when he could not find any part-time work. Claimant asserted that he would accept full-time employment but Referee did not find his testimony credible.

DECISION: Claimant is ineligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: Determination of genuine attachment to the labor market is made by means of a subjective test which looks at the actions of the individual. In this case, claimant quit his full time employment, requested part-time status, enrolled in school nearly full-time, and subsequently applied for part-time work. See test enunciated in Dwyer v UCC, 321 Mich 178, 189 (1948).

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