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Stephens v Howmet Turbine Components 12.24

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT DISCHARGE, Absence without notice

CITE AS: Stephens v Howmet Turbine Components, No. 82-17057 AE, Muskegon Circuit Court (April 7, 1983).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Annie J. Stephens

Employer: Howmet Turbine Components

Docket No: B82 03101 82966

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Claimant wilfully disregarded the

interests of her employer by failing to appear at work for three consecutive work days, and by failing to properly notify her employer.

FACTS: Claimant was terminated for being absent three consecutive days. During these three days claimant failed to provide proper notification to her employer. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement, which establishes company policy, explicitly directs employees to contact the personnel department by telephone or in person and give notice of intended absence.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified under Section 69(2)(b)

of the Act.

RATIONALE: The Court adopted the definition of misconduct

articulated in Carter v Employment Security Commission, 364 Mich 538, 541: 111 NW2d 8217 (1961).

A harsh ruling on the meaning of misconduct was handed down in Wickey v Employment Security Commission, 396 Mich 487 (1963). There, a seaman aboard a ship went ashore to attend a movie and failed to return to his ship before departure. This was his first offense but the Court stated that "an employer has a right to expect his employees to return on time." Thus, the Court found misconduct for one day may be sufficient to deny an employee benefits. The underlying principles of the Carter and Wickey kind of cases place a duty on an employee to present himself on a daily basis, or to inform his employer when he cannot do so. Violations of that duty demonstrate disregard both of employer's interests and of the employee's duties.


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