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Jackson v General Motors Corporation 12.48

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT DISCHARGE, Alcoholism, Intoxication

CITE AS: Jackson v General Motors Corporation, No. 85-502315 AE, Wayne Circuit Court (July 26, 1985).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Ernest Jackson

Employer: General Motors Corporation

Docket No: B84 05495 RO1 97336W

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: There is no alcoholism defense when an employee is intoxicated on the job.

FACTS: Claimant, a rail car operator, reported for work in an unsafe condition due to alcohol. Claimant had three previous suspensions for alcohol related instances and was diagnosed as an alcoholic. Claimant's speech was slurred and rambling and he staggered when he walked. Claimant admitted to drinking alcohol before reporting to work . Claimant's defense was that alcoholism is an occupational disease.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for misconduct.

RATIONALE: "The Board of Review has allowed alcoholism as a defense to disqualification of benefits, but typically that defense has been used when an employee is discharged for absenteeism or tardiness that is due to alcoholism." The court cited Moore v Frederick E. Herrud, Inc.,No 83 319859 AE, Wayne County Circuit Court (February 21, 1984). "The legislature made a clear judgment in M.C.L.A. 421.29(1)(b) that employees who are dismissed for being intoxicated while at work are properly disqualified."


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