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MESC v Bennett Fuel Co 2.15

Section 18(d)(2)

TAX RATE, Quarterly Report, Late filing, Good cause, Bookkeeper misconduct

CITE AS: MESC v Bennett Fuel Co, unpublished per curiam Mich App, May 30, 1995 (No. 160028).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: N/A

Employer: Bennett Fuel Company

Docket No. L85-02360-RM1-2068

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Good cause for late protest of contribution rate established by showing that delay in filing an appeal was due to the misconduct of employer's bookkeeper.

FACTS: In 1984 MESC raised employer's contribution rate from 1% to 10% because of a missing quarterly report for the 2nd quarter of 1983. Notice of the increased tax rate was mailed on April 10, 1984. Employer did not protest within 30 days. Failure to observe time limit to protest of contribution rate was due to dereliction of duty on the part of employer's bookkeeper--he had secreted a number of employer's business documents in his car, destroyed others. When the misconduct was discovered, employer fired the bookkeeper, filed the missing quarterly report and requested redetermination of its contribution rate.

DECISION: Employer is entitled to present evidence on merits of its case for redetermination of the contribution rate.

RATIONALE: Unemployment Agency Administrative Rule 270 provides that "good cause" is defined to include situations where "an interested party has newly discovered material facts which through no fault of its own were not available at the time of the determination." Gross misconduct of employer's bookkeeper prevented employer from filing a timely appeal of the 10% contribution rate. This amounted to "good cause" for the delay.


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