UNEMPLOYED, Leave of Absence
CITE AS: Rice v International Health Care Management, Inc., Monroe Circuit Court, No. 95-3309-AE (December 30, 1996).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Gail Rice
Employer: International Health Care Management, Inc.
Docket No. B93-06823-R01-128754W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant was given choice between a leave of absence and termination after she notified employer of her pregnancy, she did not voluntarily request the leave of absence and was, therefore, unemployed and eligible for benefits under Section 48.
FACTS: Claimant worked for employer as housekeeper, nurse aide, laundress beginning in 1986. Claimant notified employer that she was pregnant and had some medical restrictions. Claimant requested work within her restrictions or light duty work. Employer refused and offered claimant a "voluntary" leave of absence as alternative to termination. Claimant testified her leave was not voluntary, i.e. was not requested by her.
DECISION: Claimant is not ineligible for benefits under Section 48(3).
RATIONALE: Neither the Agency, the Referee, nor the Board of Review addressed the issue of voluntariness. Claimant's unrebutted sworn testimony was that she accepted a so-called voluntary leave of absence to avoid termination. The record does not support the conclusion that the claimant voluntarily requested a leave of absence. Therefore, the conclusion that she was ineligible for benefits under 48(3) was erroneous as a matter of law.
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