LEAVE OF ABSENCE, Definition, Right to return, Employed person
CITE AS: Golden v Huron Valley Schools, No. 83-258818-AE Oakland Circuit Court (April 25, 1984).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: William P. Golden
Employer: Huron Valley Schools
Docket No: B82 03503 R01 85873W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: A claimant is considered an employed person under Section 48 of the Act when a claimant's request for a leave of absence in lieu of being fired is granted even if the leave is for an indefinite period and with no guarantee of re-employment.
FACTS: Claimant worked for the employer from September, 1954 until June, 1980. In August, 1980 he was charged criminally with embezzlement and commingling of funds. He was suspended with pay from August, 1980 until August, 1981. In June, 1981 he was convicted of the charged felonies. A hearing was scheduled to discharge claimant, however, the claimant and the employer reached a settlement. It was agreed claimant would request a leave of absence and the employer would grant the leave of absence until all his appeal rights were exhausted. Claimant began a leave of absence August 3, 1981 which continued through the date of the Referee hearing on March 22, 1982.
DECISION: Claimant was employed under Section 48 on August 3, 1981 and thereafter while on an approved leave of absence and was therefore ineligible for benefits.
RATIONALE: "The phrase 'leave of absence' is not defined in the statute. Appellant's suggested strict limitation of its meaning to only those leaves of absence where the employee has an 'absolute right' to return to work apparently arises from his understanding of American T. & T. Co. v Employment Security Commission, 376 Mich 271 (1965), and a now repealed provision of the Act, former Section 29(1)(d) ... A plain reading of the statute does not justify such a limited definition.
Appellant's reliance on American T.&.T. Co. v Employment Security Commission, supra, is misplaced. This Michigan Supreme Court decision was controlled by a now repealed section of the Act providing for pregnancy leaves. Even assuming the provision was presently in effect, its definition of 'leave of absence' is clearly confined to pregnancy leaves."