MISCONDUCT DISCHARGE, Burden of proof, Appraisal of evidence, Commission as interested party, Non-adversarial proceeding, Opposition at hearing
CITE AS: Miller v F. W. Woolworth Co, 359 Mich 342 (1960).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Mary V. Miller
Employer: F. W. Woolworth Co.
Docket No: B59 616 22717
SUPREME COURT HOLDING: A claimant's entitlement to benefits must be decided " ... without regard for the fact or nature of opposition, if any, by the employer or, for that matter, by the commission itself."
FACTS: The claimant was discharged from her job at a soda fountain. Her supervisor testified that repeated incidents involving insolence and foul language caused her to bring the claimant's conduct to the attention of the store manager. The manager testified that he was told of the problem by the supervisor, but he took no action on the day of the discussion because he needed the claimant. He added that the claimant treated a customer improperly on the following day, and was discharged after a co-worker told the manager what had happened. The employer's only evidence of the final occurrence was hearsay.
DECISION: The claimant was discharged for misconduct.
RATIONALE: "There is no solution difficulty in this case once we perceive that Miss Miller has neither sued nor drawn upon her employer as at law; that she has applied to the employment security commission for benefits according to procedures authorized by the statute under which she claims; that the commission itself is designated by the statute as 'an interested party' (see sections 36 and 38 of the act, CLS 1956 Sections 421.36, 421.38); that the participant function of the commission is that of statutory administrator of a public trust fund the claimant may or may not have a right to tap depending on administrative appraisal of the whole of the evidence brought before its administrative arms, and that the appeal board (when called upon) is vested with independent duty as well as plenary authority to decide each claimant's qualification for benefits without regard for the fact or nature of opposition, if any, by the employer or, for that matter, by the commission itself."