Myllylahti v. Full Force Diamond Drilling – 10.109

Myllylahti v. Full Force Diamond Drilling
Digest No. 10.109

Section 421.29(1)(a)

Cite as: Myllylahti v Full Force Diamond Drilling, unpublished opinion of the Ontonagon County Circuit Court, issued February 9, 2010 (Docket No. 09-71 AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Robert J. Myllylahti
Employer: Full Force Diamond Drilling USA, Inc.
Date of decision: February 9, 2010

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HOLDING: Where the working conditions imposed on a claimant by the employer are mentally and physically challenging enough to cause a reasonable, average or otherwise qualified worker to give up his employment, the claimant’s leaving was with good cause attributable to the employer.   

FACTS: Claimant began working for the employer on October 1, 2008 as a driller’s assistant working 13 hours per day, seven days per week. Claimant’s last day of work was October 22, 2008, when Claimant quit without prior notice to employer in the middle of his shift. Claimant indicated that the work was too hard and he could no longer do it. However, Claimant did not notify his employer of any work-related problems prior to quitting.

DECISION: The ALJ found that Claimant was disqualified for benefits. The MCAC affirmed. The Circuit Court reversed. Claimant is not disqualified for benefits.  

RATIONALE: To determine whether an employee left employment due to good cause attributable to the employer, the reasonable person standard is applied. “Under that standard, ‘good cause’ compelling an employee to terminate his or her employment should be found where the employer’s actions would cause a reasonable, average, or otherwise qualified worker to give up his or her employment.” Carswell v Share House, Inc, 151 Mich App 392, 396-397 (1986). The cumulative effect of 13 hours of heavy manual labor every day for twenty-two days straight, both mentally and physically, on a reasonable, average or otherwise qualified worker is born out by the record. Claimant’s physical inability to continue to do the job demanded of him by the employer, under working conditions imposed by the employer, would cause a reasonable, average or otherwise qualified worker to give up his employment, as well. This constitutes good cause attributable to the employer and not a personal reason attributable to claimant.

Digest author: Cydney Warburton, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest updated: 10/31/2017

McKentry v MESC – 7.28

McKentry v MESC
Digest no. 7.28

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: McKentry v MESC, 99 Mich App 277 (1980).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Bessie McKentry, et al.
Employer: Muskegon Area Intermediate School District
Docket no.: 43884
Date of decision: August 11, 1980

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: “A plain reading of the statute does not indicate that a claimant must be able to perform his last job but only that ‘he is able and available to perform full-time work for which has previously received wages.'”

FACTS: The claimant, a teacher aide, was treated for knee trouble.

“[P]laintiff testified that she could not return to work for defendant school district because she could not stand on her feet all day. However, she also testified that there was work which she had performed in the past which she could still do, such as working for the telephone company or for Misco Corporation.”

DECISION: The claimant is eligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: “The lower court and the administrative agency focused on the fact that the plaintiff could not perform the job she last held with defendant school district in determining that plaintiff was not able and available to perform full-time work. A plain reading of the statute does not indicate that a claimant must be able to perform his last job but only that ‘he is able and available to perform full-time work for which he has previously received wages.'”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 11/90