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DCA Food Industries, Inc v Karr 10.58

Section 29(1)(a)

VOLUNTARY LEAVING, Voluntariness, Good cause attributable to the employer

CITE AS: DCA Food Industries, Inc. v Karr, No. 81665 (Mich App January 24, 1986).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: John L. Karr

Employer: DCA Food Industries, Inc.

Docket No: B81 03019 77378

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: "Because of the phrase attributable to the employer, 'good cause' cannot be found for purely personal reasons under Section 29(1)(a)."

FACTS: Claimant worked for the employer and also was a volunteer fire fighter. He reported for work exhausted after fighting a fire and asked his group leader if he could leave work early. Later, claimant and his union representative met with his supervisor and the personnel supervisor. The employer expressed concerns about the fire fighting duties interfering with claimant's work and asked claimant if his job at the fire department was more important. Claimant became angry and expressed an intention to quit. Several times the employer asked him to reconsider. Claimant then signed a "voluntary quit" statement. Later, he requested his job back, but the employer refused to rehire him except as a new employee.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for voluntarily leaving his work without good cause attributable to the employer.

RATIONALE: The claimant made a choice between working and not working for the employer. He did not acquiesce in a result beyond his control and therefore his leaving was voluntary. Laya v Cebar Construction Co., 101 Mich App 26 (1980).

The claimant may have believed that the choice presented by the employer was between voluntary fire fighting, on which he placed great importance, and employment. While his leaving may have been for "good cause" for personal reasons, Section 29(1)(a) requires that the "good cause" be attributable to the employer. Dueweke v Morang Drive Greenhouses, 411 Mich 670 (1981) (adopting Judge Levin's dissent in Keith v Chrysler Corp, 41 Mich App 708 (1972).


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