MISCONDUCT, Absences and tardiness, Point system
CITE AS: Krug v IBP Foods, Kent Circuit Court, No. 02-05652-AE, (December 13, 2002)
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: David L. Krug
Employer: IBP Foods
Docket No. B2001-16302-161934W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Under a no-fault attendance policy the accumulation of enough points to warrant discharge does not necessarily require disqualification for unemployment benefits. Without evidence as to each instance of tardiness or absence, it cannot be concluded that there were an excessive number of incidents or whether the incidents were due to events within the employee’s control.
FACTS: Employer discharged claimant pursuant to its no-fault attendance policy, which provided for discharge if an employee accrued 14 points in a 12-month period. Claimant had already accrued ten points, and employer assessed additional points for two absences due to illness, an unexcused absence, an incident of tardiness and failing to timely call in. Claimant failed to timely call because his alarm clock malfunctioned and he was ill.
DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified under 29(1)(b).
RATIONALE: The loss of unemployment benefits is intended to be a “penalty imposed in addition to . . . discharge.” Jenkins v ESC, 364 Mich 379 (1971). “The governing principle in Veterans Thrift Stores, Inc., Hagenbuch; and Washington was that what is beyond an employee’s control cannot qualify as disqualifying misconduct. Therefore, a work rule violation beyond an employee’s control is, for purposes of defining disqualifying misconduct, no different than an absence or tardiness beyond the employee’s control.” As the employer did not offer specifics with regard to the ten points already assessed to claimant, there is “no principled basis to say that those 10 points establish more than a few absences over the year.”