Liu v. R & E Automated Systems – 16.89

Liu v. R & E Automated Systems
Digest No. 16.89

Section 421.28(1)(c)

Cite as: Liu v R & E Automated Sys, unpublished order of Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission, entered October 28, 2015 (Docket No. 14-032454-244075W).

Appeal pending: Yes
Claimant: Shu Liu
Employer: R & E Automated Systems LLC
Docket no.: 14-032454-244075W
Date of decision: October 28, 2015

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HOLDING: The ALJ’s order should be set aside since the Agency’s initial determination set forth a completely theory of ineligibility than was set forth at the hearing.

FACTS: This case was brought before the Appellate Commission pursuant to the claimant’s appeal from an order denying reopening by an ALJ. The claimant requested a rehearing of the ALJ’s amended decision. The ALJ issued an order denying the reopening.

DECISION: The claimant is not ineligible for benefits. The portion of the ALJ’ s decision that found the claimant ineligible for benefits under Section 28(1)(c) of the Act is reversed.

RATIONALE: The ALJ should have allowed rehearing to at least correct the errors in the amended decision. These issues were the reason the Appellate Commission set the order aside. When the initial determination was made, the issue was framed as “Your non-citizen documentation confirming you are lawfully present in the United States expired on September 17, 2014.” At the hearing, the Agency admitted that the actual issue was that the claimant’s work visa had expired. Since this was a completely different issue than that which is set forth in the determination, the decision should be set aside. The Agency cannot set forth one explanation for ineligibility in a determination, then appear at a hearing on appeal of the determination and proceed on an alternate theory of ineligibility. A claimant cannot be expected to foresee and prepare for an issue other than that which the Agency set forth in its determination. This is contrary to basic due process. For these reasons, the Commission reversed the portion of the ALJ’s decision that found the claimant ineligible for benefits under Section 28(1)(c) of the Act. The claimant is not ineligible under Section 28(1)(c).

Digest Author: Cydney Warburton, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest Updated: 1/6/2016

Wilcox v. Bay City American Legion 18 – 16.88

Wilcox v. Bay City American Legion 18
Digest No. 16.88

Section 421.33, Admin. Rules 792.11411(10), 792.11415(5), and 792.11431

Cite as: Wilcox v Bay City American Legion 18, 2015 Mich ACO 14-015959-244230W

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Appeal pending: Yes
Claimant: Deborah E. Wilcox
Employer: Bay City American Legion 18
Tribunal: Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission
Date of decision: August 31, 2015

HOLDING: An Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) encouragement to an unrepresented Claimant, who in good faith misunderstood the scope of the hearing, caused the claimant to withdraw her appeal. The ALJ did not explain to the Claimant the ramifications of withdrawing, which constitutes good cause to reopen the appeal.

FACTS: Claimant was employed by Dore and Associates but was laid off. During this period of unemployment, claimant accepted a part-time position as a bartender with American Legion, but broke her ankle outside of work shortly after accepting the position. On doctor’s orders, Claimant withdrew from her position and was disqualified under Section 29(1)(b) of the Michigan Employment Security Act for voluntarily leaving her position with American Legion. Claimant received a hearing on September 11, 2014 with Bay City American Legion 18 as the employer for the hearing. During the hearing, the unrepresented Claimant articulated that she did not understand why or how her employment with American Legion would affect her claim, which she believed was established based on income earned from Dore and Associates. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) suggested it was unnecessary for the claimant to pursue the matter and encouraged her to withdraw her appeal. The claimant followed the ALJ’s suggestion and withdrew her appeal. The ALJ never explained the ramifications of withdrawing an appeal. After obtaining representation, Claimant filed a request to the ALJ to reopen her appeal, arguing that a good faith misunderstanding of the scope of the hearing constituted good cause for reopening as ruled in Jaeger v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., Digest No. 1620. The ALJ denied the request, and the claimant appealed the denial.

DECISION: The ALJ erred in denying claimant’s request to reopen her appeal, and thus, the appeal has been reopened. The matter is remanded to the Michigan Administrative Hearings System for a new hearing with a different ALJ.

RATIONALE: Pursuant to Administrative Rule 792.11415(5), the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission (MCAC) will only review an ALJ’s denial of a request for reopening if it decides there is good cause for reopening. Administrative Rule 792.11402(v) defines “good cause” as reliance on incorrect information from the agency, ALJs, the hearing system, or the MCAC. The ALJs failure to explain the ramifications of withdrawing an appeal to the claimant constitutes good cause under this rule, and thus, the appeal is reopened. If the MCAC grants a request for reopening, Administrative Rule 792.11431 requires the decision on the appeal to be decided according to the “record already made” at the initial hearing. Because the hearing featured no testimony or evidence, the claimant’s appeal must be remanded for a new hearing.

Digest Author: Sean Higgins, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest Updated: 1/6/2016

Bateman v Jackson Industrial Manufacturing Co – 7.17

Bateman v Jackson Industrial Manufacturing Co
Digest no. 7.17

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Bateman v Jackson Industrial Manufacturing Co, unpublished opinion of the Kent County Circuit Court, issued May 5, 1980 (Docket No. 80 29462 AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Robert L. Bateman
Employer: Jackson Industrial Manufacturing Company
Docket no.: B77 10805 RO2 62489
Date of decision: May 5, 1980

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: (1) Where a medical restriction limits an individual to seated work, which the claimant has never performed for wages, the claimant is not able and available for work. (2) Lack of counsel is not good cause for reopening. (3) A late appeal to the Board may be treated as a request for reopening.

FACTS: An equipment painter became medically restricted to seated work, which he had never performed for wages. He appeared before the referee without an attorney. His late appeal to the Board was treated as a request for reopening.

DECISION: The claimant is ineligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: “The Board of Review was within its authority in rejecting the so-called Delayed Appeal for lack of jurisdiction because of untimely filing and did properly refer it back to the Referee for a rehearing.”

“The claimant was fully advised of his rights to counsel..”

“[A]fter May 18, 1977 claimant was released and permitted by his doctor to perform ‘seated work only.’ Claimant did not meet the test of able and available for work requirements. The claimant’s testimony at the hearing indicated that all his work experience training and background has been in heavy work active jobs and not seated work.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
6/91

Ellison v. MESC – 12.138

Ellison v. MESC
Digest No. 12.138

Section 421.29

Cite as: In the matter of the claim of Ellison, unpublished opinion of the MESC, issued June 6, 1972 (Docket No. B71-1229-40927).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Thomas H. Ellison
Employer: Michigan Employment Security Commission
Docket no.: B71-1229-40927
Date of decision: June 6, 1972

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HOLDING: An indefinite suspension of a Claimant is equivalent to a discharge. Claimant’s disqualification for benefits should begin with the week in which the act or discharge which caused the disqualification occurred.

FACTS: This is an appeal from a decision issued on May 1, 1972. Claimant originally appealed a February 23, 1972 holding that Claimant should be disqualified from benefits under Section 29(9) of the Act for the period from December 15, 1971 through December 31, 1971; disqualified from benefits under Section 29(1)(b) of the Act for the week ending on January 1, 1972; and subject to requalification under Section 29(3) of the Act.

DECISION: The Appeal Board affirms the February 23, 1972 holding, except the part of the decision that relates to the disqualification under Section 29(9), as well as the dates of separation and discharge. The Appeal Board modifies the decision to establish that Claimant was given an indefinite suspension for misconduct either directly or indirectly connected with the work, and then discharged on December 31, 1970. Claimant was discharged following his last day of work on December 15, 1970 and is disqualified for benefits for the week ending in December 18, 1970.

RATIONALE: When an individual is given an indefinite suspension, it is tantamount to a discharge, and the disqualification should begin with the week in which the act or discharge which caused the disqualification occurred. The disqualification will continue until the individual requalifies as provided under Section 29(3) of the Act.

Digest Author: Winne Chen, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest Updated: 1/7/2016