Section 29(1)(e), 29(6)
REFUSAL OF WORK, Burden of proof, Suitability
CITE AS: Lasher v Mueller Brass Co, 62 Mich App 171 (1975).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Gary Lasher
Employer: Mueller Brass Company
Docket No: B70 6233 39380
COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The burden of proving disqualification for refusal of work, including that the offered work was suitable, is on the employer. Suitability of offered work is to be determined at the time when the offer was made.
FACTS: Claimant was laid off in May, 1970. At the time of lay off he was classified as a "center list grinder, set-up service and operator" earning $3.54 per hour. In July, 1970 the employer offered claimant a job as a janitor at $2.80 per hour.
Claimant, his union representative and the personnel manager all expected he would be recalled to his old job within two weeks. In fact, he subsequently was called back two weeks later, on July 20, 1970.
On July 6th, however, claimant refused the janitor job. This refusal was partly based upon the personnel manager's advice that refusal would only jeopardize his unemployment benefits for one week. On July 13th, claimant notified the company he would take any work available.
DECISION: Appeal Board decision reversed. The matter was remanded for further evidence on the suitability of the work offered.
RATIONALE: The Appeal Board incorrectly relied on claimant's July 13th statement he would take any position as determinative the July 6th job offer was "suitable". The court held the determination as to whether the work was suitable must be confined to the time the offer was made. As such, the matter must be remanded because the Board applied the improper standard. On remand the burden of proving disqualification is on the employer. The Board is to first determine if the work offered was suitable, then determine the question of good cause, if necessary.