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Bright v Detroit Newspaper Agency 12.102

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT, Labor dispute, Connected with work

CITE AS: Bright v Detroit Newspaper Agency, Macomb Circuit Court No. 97-2360-AE (November 17, 1997).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Ronald Bright

Employer: Detroit Newspaper Agency

Docket No. B96-01168-139959W

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Actions performed during a strike that demonstrate a willful or wanton disregard for the employer's interests constitute disqualifying misconduct.

FACTS: The claimant's collective bargaining unit was on strike against the involved employer. The employer discharged the claimant for an incident that occurred October 29, 1995. At 1:00 a.m. on that date, the claimant, together with other striking employees, left the union hall and drove to a parking lot. The only other vehicle in the parking lot was occupied by two security guards, who worked for the employer. The claimant drove his own vehicle, and positioned it in a manner as to prevent the vehicle driven by the security guards from escaping. The other striking employees then assaulted the security guards and the vehicle driven by the security guards. The record did not establish the claimant actually took part in the assault, except for his using his vehicle to prevent the security guards from easily escaping.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified from receiving benefits under Section 29(1)(b).

RATIONALE: The claimant admitted he drove his vehicle. Testimony from a security guard established the claimant parked his vehicle behind the security guards' vehicle blocking it from backing out. The claimant also ran his vehicle into the side of the security guards' vehicle when the guards attempted to flee. The testimony established the claimant intended to participate in the ambush-style attack on the security guards. No evidence was presented to infer the incident would not have occurred but for the security guards' connection with the employer because of the strike. The claimant's participation in the incident was connected to his work.


21, 16, d12: H

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