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Youmans v Chelsea Community Hospital 13.10

Section 29(1)(e), 29(6)

REFUSAL OF WORK, Suitability, Wage differential

CITE AS: Youmans v Chelsea Community Hospital, No. 97579 (Mich App November 17, 1987).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Kathy Youmans

Employer: Chelsea Community Hospital

Docket No: B83 15104 93297

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The offered work was not suitable under Section 29(6) because of the wage rate and travel distance, but even if it were suitable, claimant had good cause to refuse the offer because of the increase in her transportation and child care costs.

FACTS: Claimant worked for 2 years as a Child Development Services Coordinator for employer. Previously, she had been a teacher. Claimant's job was eliminated. Employer offered her a teaching position on a full-time basis at $5.50/hr. She had been earning $6.92/hr. and worked only 24 hours a week. Claimant refused because of the hourly wage reduction and because of extra travel and child care costs associated with full time work.

DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified for benefits pursuant to Section 29(1)(e) of the Act.

RATIONALE: "Clearly, however, the decisive factor at all levels below has been the wage differential between plaintiff's part-time coordinator job and the offered full-time teaching position. Plaintiff's prior earnings were $6.92 per hour, 24 hours per week, or $166.08 per week. The offered job paid $5.50 per hour, 40 hours per week, or $220.00 per week. The referee focused on the hourly pay differential of $1.42 per hour. The Board of Review, on the other hand, did not consider the hourly wages involved, but instead looked at weekly pay, a $54 increase. We believe that the Board of Review erred as a matter of law in looking exclusively at weekly pay without taking into account the number of working hours needed to generate the pay. Plaintiff's "prior earnings" were $166 for 24 hours' work. This compares with a $54 per week increase provided plaintiff worked 16 additional hours. We do not think that a job offering in excess of 20 percent less pay for a comparable number of hours of work can as a matter of law, be deemed 'suitable', even with enhanced benefits of specified value."


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