Sections 29(1)(b), 38
APPEAL, Circuit Court standard of review, Court of Appeals standard of review, Last straw doctrine
CITE AS: Osborn v Superior Data Corp, unpublished per curiam Court of Appeals, November 30, 1999 (No. 207997).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Billy J. Osborn
Employer: Superior Data Corporation
Docket No. B96-04777-R01-141178W
COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Circuit Court erred in its determination that a Board of Review decision disqualifying the claimant for benefits based on his terrible attendance record was contrary to law. While the claimant's numerous absences may have been largely due to valid reasons, his failure to adequately respond to the requirement that he attend work more regularly amounted to statutory misconduct.
FACTS: Claimant was a single parent of four minor children. Upon hiring the claimant, the employer agreed to be flexible to accommodate family and job responsibilities. The employer's tolerance waned after a year and demanded the claimant resolve his attendance problem because it was adversely affecting his ability to complete assignments. The claimant's poor attendance persisted and it became clear he was unwilling to take action to fix his attendance problem.
DECISION: Reverse circuit court decision and reinstate disqualification imposed by Board of Review.
RATIONALE: Circuit court applied incorrect standard of review. It may reverse a Board of Review decision only if it finds the Board decision to be contrary to law or is not supported by competent, material, substantial evidence. Here the circuit court erroneously focused on whether or not individual absences were for good cause. The key issue was claimant's failure to address his employer's demand that he find a solution to his child care issues and improve his attendance.
When a circuit court decision is in turn being reviewed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, the level of scrutiny to be applied is "the clearly erroneous standard of review" that is, "a finding is clearly erroneous when, on review of the whole record, this Court is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been made."
24, 16, d22:J