What happened in lower courts, What happened in plain everyday language and What does this all mean in simple terms?
Procedural History – The claimant namely, Aisha Nicolas, appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals against the order that was passed by the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission (MCAC) and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that disqualified the claimant from receiving unemployment benefits (Harvey, 2014). The claimant held that the lower tribunals made a decision as opposed to the law and they failed in identifying that health and physical condition are not in the control of any person and that the conduct of the claimant did not constitute to any kind of disqualification against the interest of the employer (ACS) (Barnard, 2012).
Facts – Auto Club Services (ACS) as a customer sales representative hired the claimant on October 2012. As per the leave policy of the company, an employee earned three days off from work after working for 90 days (Berman et al., 2015). This was known as the “no fault attendance policy.” However, no written exceptions to this policy were laid. On February 28, 2013, the claimant felt unwell and she informed ACS about her absenteeism through voice mail. On March 1, 2013, she was discharged for her absenteeism because of the “no fault attendance policy”. Additionally, she was also disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits as laid in MCL 421.29(1) (b).
Plaintiff Argues: That her conduct was not illegal and not subject to disqualification from the employment benefits as physical well being and health is not under the control of an ordinary human being.
Defendant Argues: The Claimant failed to comply with the attendance policy of ACS and non compliance with any of the attendance policy of the company shall mean disqualification and discharge of the employee from his existing services irrespective of whether the employee informed the employer about his condition or not (Neubauer & Meinhold, 2016).
Question to be decided: Based on the facts, the issue that arises in this case here is whether an absence for good cause un violation of an employer’s attendance policy constitute to misconduct or not?
Holding of Court: The Court held that if a person takes leaves from work for a good cause then such action does not constitute to misconduct under MCL 421.29(1) (b).
Majority Opinion – The plaintiff, Aisha Nicholas, won the case as the Court argued that even though the claimant failed to comply with the attendance policy of the organization yet she informed the organization about her absenteeism. Additionally, the Court also held that physical and health condition is not under the control of There was no dissent to the decision that was decided by the Michigan Court of Appeals
Rule of case – The Court in this decision held that “infractions” that lead to termination do not necessarily lead to misconduct under MCL 421.29(1) (b). Absenteeism that is beyond the control of a person does not lead to misconduct. The Court held that the Claimant was wrongfully disqualified for “misconduct” and demanded for further proceedings in favor of the claimant.
Popular Name of the Statute: Michigan Employment Security Act
MCL Citation: Michigan Employment Security Act, 1936 PA 1, 421.29
Date when the Statute was passed: 1936
Last Amended Year: 2016
Summary of the Act: The Act deals with those situations in which the employee who has left work, either voluntarily or involuntarily, shall be subject to disqualifications from utilizing employment benefits.
The four most important provisions of the statute are summarized as follows:
- An employee who has left work without sufficient reason may be subject to disqualification.
- An employee who has left left work with reasonable cause shall not be subject to disqualification.
- A person who informs the employer prior to taking a leave from the company may not be subject to disqualification
- An employee who has been away from work due to physical or health condition that is beyond her control shall not be subject to disqualification as per the Act (Player, 2013).
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