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Resetz v Gratiot Community Hospital 12.126

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT, Absence without notice, Personal reasons, Domestic violence

CITE AS: Resetz v Gratiot Community Hospital, No. 252901 (Mich App May 17, 2004).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Debra Resetz
Employer: Gratiot Community Hospital
Docket No. B2002-17218-166818W

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: A three-day absence without notice is not disqualifying when the absence results from circumstances beyond the employee’s control.

FACTS: Employer discharged claimant for failure to call in or report to work on three consecutive days, a violation of its work rules. Prior to the three-day absence, the claimant had an exemplary attendance record. Employer’s rules provided that three consecutive days of absence without appropriate notice could result in disciplinary action, but did not mandate discharge. The claimant called in on the third day of her absence. The claimant was in Georgia; she fled from a domestic dispute and feared for her life. Claimant notified her supervisor two weeks before fleeing to Georgia that she had been forced from her home due to a domestic dispute. Her supervisor contacted the police on the first day of claimant’s absence out of concern for her safety.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified for benefits.

RATIONALE: An absence from work that results from circumstances beyond the employee’s control does not constitute “misconduct” under the MES Act so as to disqualify the employee from benefits. Washington v Amway Grand Plaza, 135 Mich App 652 (1984). Here, the claimant, “who had no history of absenteeism or disciplinary problems, provided a sufficient, good cause explanation for her absence.” Employer’s policy did not mandate discharge for the type of conduct in which the claimant engaged, she had no notice that she could lose her job.


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