DENIAL PERIOD, Reasonable assurance, Tenured teachers, Millage vote
CITE AS: School District of the Village of Spring Lake, Ottawa County v Bassett, No. 81-5806-AV, Ottawa Circuit Court (June 10, 1983)
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Charles Bassett, Deborah L. Boyink, et al
Employer: Village of Spring Lake
Docket No: B80 16573 RO1 75319
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: As of June 30, 1980, claimants' employment status was insecure, uncertain and very much in doubt.
FACTS: The school district scheduled a millage vote for June 9, 1980. The millage vote failed. On June 2, 1980,the school district sent a letter to claimant(s) notifying them that they no longer had reasonable assurance of reemployment. A second millage vote was scheduled for August 26, 1980. The school district sent a letter to Claimant(s) on July 7, 1980, extending reasonable assurance based upon the potential passage of the millage.
DECISION: Claimants are eligible for benefits.
RATIONALE: Black's Law Dictionary defines "assurance" as "a pledge, guarantee, or surety, a representation or declaration tending to inspire full confidence, a making secure." The record discloses a number of facts that would make claimants insecure regarding their future employment: (1) The first millage vote failed. (2) The Superintendent of Schools prepared a "Tentative Lay-Off Roster-Professional Staff," which he shared with claimants. The roster stated that the claimants "will in all probability be placed on lay-off status as of June 2, 1980, in anticipation of uncertain employment ... " (3) Claimants' names were placed in the Board of Education minutes of June 23, 1980 as being those identified for layoff.
The statutory language recited in the July 7, 1981 letter was insufficient to alter ... the preceding circumstances.