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Cassar v ESC 12.04

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT DISCHARGE, Definition of misconduct, Employer's interest, Inefficiency, Labor dispute, Unauthorized work stoppage, Wildcat strike

CITE AS: Cassar v ESC, 343 Mich 380 (1955)

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Francis J. Cassar, et al

Employer: Precision Manufacturing Co.

Docket No: B2 5713 14896

SUPREME COURT HOLDING: (1) Participation in an unauthorized work stoppage, in violation of a union contract, is misconduct. (2) Inefficiency is not misconduct, but wilful disregard of an employer's interest is.

FACTS: All eight claimants took part in an unauthorized work

stoppage precipitated by the discharge of their local union president. They were discharged for refusal to return to work.

DECISION: The claimants were discharged for misconduct.

RATIONALE: The Court adopted the following definition of misconduct from Boynton Cab Co v Neubeck, et al., 237 Wis 249 (296 NW 6326): "[T]he term 'misconduct' ... is limited to conduct evincing such wilful or wanton disregard of an employer's interests as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interests or of the employee's duties and obligation to his employer. On the other hand mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity, inadvertencies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances, or good-faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed 'misconduct' within the meaning of the statute."

The Court stated: "Plaintiffs have barred themselves from receiving what they might have obtained had they refrained from indulging in conduct designed to be prejudicial to the rights of their employer."



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