VOLUNTARY LEAVING, Definition of layoff, Characterization of separation
CITE AS: Dushane v Bailey T L DDS, No. 00-40206-AE, Muskegon Circuit Court (February 6, 2001)
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Tracy L. Dushane
Employer: Bailey T L, DDS
Docket No. B1999-13378-154400
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: The nature of the separation determines whether the claimant is laid off or voluntarily quit, not the labels used by the parties. A layoff is a separation of an employee from employment (a) at the will of the employer, (b) due to a lack of work, and (c) which is at least initially understood by the employer and the employee to be temporary.
FACTS: Claimant approached the employer and asked to be laid off so that she could look for other employment. Employer had work available for claimant. Claimant stated in her application for benefits that she was “laid off due to lack of work.” Claimant admitted in her testimony that it was her choice to leave the job.
DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.
RATIONALE: The question to be resolved is whether or not the facts of this matter demonstrate an actual layoff of the claimant as defined by Michigan courts. The Board is not “bound by the words used by the employer and employee to describe the separation.” I.M. Dach Co. v ESC, 347 Mich 465, 489 (1956). The Court of Appeals in MESC v General Motors Corp, 32 Mich App 642, 647 (1971) held that, “A layoff is a termination of employment at the will of the employer, without prejudice to the worker. Layoffs may be due to lack of orders, technical changes, or failure of flow of parts or materials to the job, as needed.” “A ‘layoff’, as distinguished from a discharge, contemplates a period during which a working man is temporarily dismissed . . ..” MESC v General Motors Corp, supra, at 648. In Chrysler Corp v Washington, 52 Mich App 229, 234-235 (1974), the court defined “layoff” as, “To cease to employ (a worker) usually temporarily because of slack in production and without prejudice to the worker usually distinguished from a fire.” In this matter, the claimant admitted she asked for a “layoff” and said she would leave and not come back.