Vanderlaan v Tri-County Community Hospital – 4.25

Vanderlaan v Tri-County Community Hospital
Digest no. 4.25

Section 48(2)

Cite as: Vanderlaan v Tri-County Community Hosp, 209 Mich App 328 (1995).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: James Vanderlaan
Employer: Tri-County Community Hospital
Docket no.: B91-00104-117753
Date of decision: March 20, 1995

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The MES Act does not require a contractual right to notice or payment in lieu of notice in order for monies received to be considered “amounts paid… in lieu of notice” thus rendering claimant ineligible for benefits.

FACTS: Claimant was discharged on June 14, 1990. Employee handbook provided that employer would give four weeks’ notice to terminate, but could instead, pay four weeks’ salary instead of notice. Claimant continued to receive regular pay checks for six weeks after he stopped working. The first four weeks were considered salary instead of notice by the employer and the last two were severance pay. The issue in this case was whether the four weeks pay were in lieu of notice and, therefore, remuneration. If so, claimant was not entitled to unemployment compensation for those weeks.

DECISION: Claimant received four weeks pay in lieu of notice (remuneration) following his termination and is ineligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: It is not necessary to prove a contractual right to notice in order to show pay in lieu of notice. The rules of statutory construction should be applied to give every word and phrase of Section 48(2) its plain and ordinary meaning. Contractual right is only one factor which may be considered in deciding whether or not claimant received remuneration. Other factors are employer’s custom or policy and employee’s expectation of payment.

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

Kulling v Kirk Design, Inc – 3.07

Kulling v Kirk Design, Inc
Digest no. 3.07

Sections 46(d), (now 46(g)); 46a(1)

Cite as: Kulling v Kirk Design, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Wayne County Circuit Court, issued February 1, 1990 (Docket No. 89-910000-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: David Kulling
Employer: Kirk Design, Inc.
Docket no.: B87-16118-107903
Date of decision: February 1, 1990

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: The claimant was not entitled to establish a benefit year under Section 46a(1), the alternative earnings qualifier, because he owned more than a 50% proprietary interest in the employing unit and Section 46(d) (now 46(g)) controls.

FACTS: Claimant owned 100% of the employing corporation. On March 5, 1987 he stopped drawing his salary from the corporation. The corporation stopped operating on September 30, 1987. On October 25, 1987 the claimant filed for unemployment benefits. The MESC denied the claim because claimant had more than a 50% proprietary interest in the employing corporation, only established 18 credit weeks and thus could not establish a benefit year.

The claimant argued under the alternative qualifier provision, Section 46a(1), he should be able to establish a benefit year.

Section 46a(1) became effective on January 2, 1982 followed by Section 46(d) on July 24, 1983.

DECISION: The claimant was not entitled to establish a benefit year under Section 46a(1), the alternative qualifier.

RATIONALE: The court noted that Section 46(d) begins with the statement: “Notwithstanding subsection (a)…” and the fact subsection (d) was enacted after Section 46a and concluded the legislative intent of 46(d) was to limit an individual with a substantial interest in an employing unit from receiving benefits. Section 46a(1) operates as an exception to Section 46(a), not Section 46(d).

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

Oak Park Education Association, MEA/NEA v Oak Park Board of Education – 20.02

Oak Park Education Association, MEA/NEA v Oak Park Board of Education
Digest no. 20.02

Section 30 and 31

Cite as: Oak Park Ed Ass’n, MEA/NEA v Oak Park Board of Ed, 132 Mich App 680 (1984).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: N/A
Employer: Oak Park Board of Education
Docket no.: N/A
Date of decision: March 6, 1984

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The Public Employment Relations Act is the dominant law regulating public employee labor relations and where there is a conflict between it and another statute the Public Employment Relations Act prevails diminishing the conflicting statute pro tanto.

FACTS: Oak Park Education Association and Oak Park School District negotiated a labor contract containing a salary provision which provided that the salary of a teacher recalled from summer layoff would be offset by the amount of unemployment benefits received during the summer layoff. When the district sought to enforce this provision, the Association sought to have the provision excised from the contract asserting that it was in violation of Section 30 of the MES Act which makes unemployment benefits inalienable by any assignment and Section 31 of the Act which makes invalid any agreement to waive, release, or commute an individual’s right to benefits.

DECISION: The trial court’s summary judgment for the District was affirmed.

RATIONALE: The Public Employment Relations Act requires parties to those contracts within its preview to bargain collectively with respect to wages. The provision in question concerns wages and was the subject of bargaining between the parties. The teachers were allowed to collect benefits when unemployed. The provision provides for a partial waiver of salary rather than a waiver of unemployment benefits. It did not require the teachers to waive, or in any way restrict, their rights under the MES Act.

Digest Author:  Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 12/91

Gormley v General Motors Corp – 3.01

Gormley v General Motors Corp
Digest no. 3.01

Section 27(f)

Cite as: Gormley v General Motors Corp, 125 Mich App 781 (1983).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Charles M. Gormley
Employer: General Motors Corporation
Docket no.: B80 16457 74672
Date of decision: May 17, 1983

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: “It is a general rule in Michigan, as well as in other jurisdictions, that all statutes are prospective in their operation except in such cases as the contrary clearly appears from the context of the statute itself.”

FACTS: The claimant was receiving a military pension prior to his layoff from General Motors in July, 1980. The statute in effect mandated that the claimant’s unemployment benefits be reduced because of the existence of the military pension. At the time of the claimant’s appeal, a newly enacted pension offset provision provided for a pension offset only if the pension came from a “base period employer.” The claimant contended that the new provision should be applied retroactively.

DECISION: The statute in question is not retroactive.

RATIONALE: Nothing in the language or context of the 1980 amendment to the Federal Employment Tax Act suggests a congressional intent that the amendment was to apply retroactively.

A remedial statute may be applied retroactively. A remedial statute is related to remedies or modes of procedure which do not create new or take away vested rights, but only operate in furtherance of a remedy or confirmation of rights already existing. Kalamazoo Ed Ass’n v Kal Schools, 406 Mich 579, 601 (1979).

Prior to the amendment claimant was barred from receiving full unemployment compensation benefits. However, the 1980 amendment allows claimants to receive full unemployment compensation benefits beginning November 1, 1980. The latter amendment creates a new right in claimant and others in claimant’s position and cannot be considered as being a remedial statute.

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