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Chirrup v Northwest Airlines 12.33

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT, Consumption of alcohol during lunch period

CITE AS: Chirrup v Northwest Airlines, No. 99946 (Mich App April 12, 1988).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: James D. Chirrup

Employer: Northwest Orient Airlines

Docket No: B86 01065 102146

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Drinking alcohol during lunch hour in violation of the employer's rule and on the employer's premises constitutes misconduct.

FACTS: During his lunch hour claimant was observed with 2 others sitting in a car in the employer's parking lot. At the time, the observer, a sheriff's deputy, saw open containers of beer and marijuana. Claimant admitted drinking beer but denied smoking marijuana. Claimant was not arrested, only detained. Employer discharged claimant for violating its rules against consuming alcohol and absenteeism during work hours.

DECISION: Claimant disqualified under Section 29(1)(b).

RATIONALE: "Contrary to what plaintiff urges, we do not believe his actions of consuming alcohol during work hours constituted 'ordinary negligence or inadvertence' rather than an intentional or substantial disregard of his employer's interests. We are loath to understand how his actions were merely negligent or inadvertent. Did he accidentally or carelessly spill beer into his mouth as he was eating lunch? Thankfully, even he does not claim this. Instead, he admits to drinking the beer purposefully and to knowing that he was violating company rules. This, we believe, constitutes intentional disregard of Northwest's interests."


11, 15:C

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