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Lathrop v Guardian Industries Corporation 12.105

Sections 29(1)(b), 29(1)(m)

MISCONDUCT, Drug testing, Off duty

CITE AS: Lathrop v Guardian Industries Corporation, Monroe Circuit Court, No. 96-5236-AE (June 25, 1997).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Eugene Lathrop

Employer: Guardian Industries Corporation

Docket No. B94-03772-131761W

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Claimant's failure to correct his drug abuse problem, even though such usage was off-duty, demonstrates a willful or wanton disregard for the employer's interests when the employer grants the opportunity to correct the drug abuse problem.

FACTS: The claimant worked for the employer from August, 1990, to December, 1993, when he was discharged. The claimant was on a medical leave of absence beginning September 1, 1993. On November 3, 1993, the claimant took a drug test as part of a return to work policy. The test result was positive for cocaine and the employer placed the claimant on rehabilitative leave. The claimant took additional drug tests, and the results were inconclusive. The last test was on December 21, 1993 and showed a positive result for marijuana. The claimant admitted using marijuana. The employer discharged the claimant.

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

RATIONALE: "Reality and good sense require employers to maintain employees able to work. Claimant has openly admitted to using marijuana after taking multiple drug tests. Claimant's actions were intentional, irresponsible, and a substantial disregard of Guardian's interests. Claimant could not be a productive employee while on leave or suspension. Guardian invested time and expense during the various drug tests. The use of marijuana indicates to this Court the regard Claimant held for his employment and his employer's interests."


21, 16, d12: H

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