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Imlay City Community Schools v Merillat 10.70

Section 29(1)(a)

VOLUNTARY LEAVING, Leaving or discharge, Teacher, Evaluation

CITE AS: Imlay City Community Schools v Merillat, Lapeer Circuit Court, No. 86-011243 AE(B) (August 22, 1988)

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Calvin Merillat

Employer: Imlay City Community Schools

Docket No. B85-05959-99964

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant, a non-tenured teacher, initiates his resignation after receiving an unfavorable, but grievable, evaluation, he is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

FACTS: The claimant was employed as a probationary teacher for one school year. Because of his probationary status, the claimant did not have rights under the Teacher Tenure Act. The high school principal evaluated the claimant's performance. The evaluation indicated the claimant's performance was unsatisfactory and recommended that the Board of Education not renew the claimant's contract for the following school year. Upon reviewing his evaluation, the claimant resigned rather than let the evaluation and recommendation be forwarded to the School Board. There was a grievance procedure in place which would have allowed the claimant to contest the unfavorable evaluation or a decision by the School Board not to renew his contract.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for benefits under the voluntary leaving provision.

RATIONALE: The Board of Review found that since the principal had recommended the claimant's contract not be renewed, the claimant had in effect been discharged. The court found this ruling to be erroneous as the claimant initiated the idea of resignation. The court observed that not only was the evaluation contestable through a grievance procedure, but the principal had no authority to discharge the claimant. Moreover, the School Board could have refused to follow the principal's recommendation, or, if they had not renewed his contract, that decision itself could have been subject to grievance.


11, 6, d15: N/A

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