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Hagenbuch v Plainwell Paper Company, Inc 12.38

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT, Progressive disciplinary system, Terms of

employment contract

CITE AS: Hagenbuch v Plainwell Paper Company, Inc., 153 Mich App 834 (1986).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Stephen Hagenbuch

Employer: Plainwell Paper Company

Docket No: B84 08943 97902

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Actions which may not justify termination under some employment contracts may nonetheless constitute misconduct.

FACTS: Claimant was discharged by the employer for excessive absenteeism and tardiness. The collective bargaining agreement provided for a progressive discipline system which allowed an employee to be discharged after accumulating four warning slips within a 12-month period. Claimant accumulated four warning slips but contended that one should not have been issued, and therefore should not have been counted against him in the discharge decision.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for misconduct.

RATIONALE: "The MESC and circuit court should not be put in the position of evaluating and construing specific terms of collective bargaining agreements and other employment contracts to determine misconduct for the purposes of eligibility of unemployment compensation. Just as terms of labor agreements may provide for discharge for misbehavior less severe than that required under the law of misconduct, other agreements might be more lenient than the act. Accordingly, a claimant's behavior must be evaluated independently from the terms of his employment contract. Failure to review claims in such an objective manner would lead to the inevitable result that claimants dismissed from different employers for similar wrongdoings would be accorded different treatment under the act."


3, 11:NA

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