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Michigan Bell Telephone v Spoelstra 12.47

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT DISCHARGE, Off duty, Wire tapping, Connected with work

CITE AS: Michigan Bell Telephone v Spoelstra, No. 84-43602 AE, Kent Circuit Court (January 8, 1985).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Robert D. Spoelstra

Employer: Michigan Bell Telephone Co.

Docket No: B82 18225 RM1 95148W

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Off-duty conduct can be work connected misconduct as a matter of law.

FACTS: Claimant was asked by a "casual acquaintance" to install a tape recording device on a home telephone. The device was installed, with the assistance of the home owner, on a Saturday, when the claimant was off duty. The employer testified that the installation violated personnel policy.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for misconduct.

RATIONALE: The court cited numerous cases from other jurisdictions where off-duty misconduct disqualified claimants from unemployment benefits. The court particularly relied on Gregory v Anderson, 109 NW2d 675 (Wis 1961) which found that, "Because of the nature of certain employments, conduct of employees during off-duty hours may harm or tend to harm the interests of the employer." (109 NW2d 675, 679).


6, 9, d1:NA

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