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Gilliam v Chrysler Corp 13.03

Section 29(b)

REFUSAL OF WORK, Distance to work, Recall rights, Suitable work

CITE AS: Gilliam v Chrysler Corp, 72 Mich App 538 (1976).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: James Gilliam, et al

Employer: Chrysler Corporation

Docket No: B71 5700 41051

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: In determining the suitability of offered work, the loss of recall rights to local work must be considered. Further, a job is not automatically suitable because the distance is less than 45 miles.

FACTS: The claimants lived in Monroe and Newport, and worked in Trenton. One commuted 15 miles each way and the other drove 21 miles. Both were laid off and subsequently notified of work at other plants. The Monroe resident lived 44 miles from the Hamtramck plant at which he was offered work. The Newport resident was called by a Detroit plant, 42 miles from his home. Both claimants refused the offered work, citing the distance. If the claimants had accepted the offered work they would have lost their recall rights at the Trenton facility.

DECISION: The claimants are not disqualified for refusal of work.

RATIONALE: "In determining whether distance makes a job offer unsuitable the commission, referee and appeal board should consider where relevant, the age and health of the individual employee, the hours during which travel will be required, the time involved in traveling, traffic conditions and availability and reliability of a means of transportation, as well as any other facts which may relate to the distance factor and its bearing upon the suitability of the employment."

"Offered employment which is otherwise suitable may be unsuitable if it jeopardizes good prospects for recall to local work in an individual's customary occupation."



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