MISCONDUCT, Discharge, Alcoholism as disease, Waiver of benefits, Discharge or voluntary leaving, Forced resignation, Ultimatum
CITE AS: Hislop (Cherry Hill School District), 1980 BR 66126 (B78-
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Robert Hislop
Employer: Cherry Hill School District
Docket No: B78 17083 66126
BOARD OF REVIEW HOLDING: (1) A claimant may not execute an enforceable agreement to waive the individual's rights to benefits. (2) An ultimatum to resign or be dismissed because of alcoholism is a discharge for reasons other than misconduct.
FACTS: The claimant was an elementary school principal. The school district gave him an ultimatum to resign or be discharged for alcoholism. The Referee stated: "The claimant executed an agreement with the employer in which he resigned his position and agreed that he would make no claim against his employer, including benefits under the Michigan Employment Security Act."
DECISION: (1) The waiver is void. (2) The claimant is not
disqualified for misconduct discharge.
RATIONALE: The Board adopted the decision of the Referee, who
held: "It should be noted that a claimant may not execute an enforceable agreement to give up his right to unemployment benefits under the provisions of subsection 31 of the Act." "There is no question but what the claimant was going to be discharged for what the employer alleged to be misconduct under the Act: to wit his addiction to alcohol. It has been held on numerous occasions that alcoholism is a disease and as such cannot be the basis for a discharge for misconduct under the Act."