RESTITUTION, Back pay award, Recovery of benefits, Unjust enrichment
CITE AS: Knight v Holland HitchKnight v Holland Hitch CompanyKnight v Holland Hitch Company, No. 77-4046 CZ, Ottawa Circuit Court (November 4, 1983).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Howard V. Knight
Employer: Holland Hitch Company
Docket No: B77 19822 68271
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where a claimant is awarded back pay by an arbitrator for a contested discharge and he is paid full back pay minus the unemployment insurance benefits he earlier received from the MESC, the employer is liable for restitution to the MESC.
FACTS: The claimant grieved his discharge. He received an arbitration award of full back pay for all lost time less unemployment compensation received.
DECISION: The employer is liable to MESC for the unemployment compensation deducted from the back pay awarded claimant.
RATIONALE: "A review of the language of the Michigan Employment Security Act makes it clear that the legislative purposes giving rise to the act did not include permitting double recovery by a claimant-employee (later determined to have been wrongfully discharged and entitled to back pay) by permitting him to retain unemployment benefits and full back pay for the same period. Neither do such legislative purposes support the enrichment of an employer who wrongfully discharges an employee, at the expense of the state fund and other employers, by permitting the employer to retain unemployment benefits deducted from back wages paid to the employee after reinstatement.
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