MISCONDUCT DISCHARGE, Insubordination, Pay dispute
CITE AS: Barbaro v The Meade Group, Inc, No. 97-2828-AE, Macomb Circuit Court (November 7, 1997)
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Joseph J. Barbaro
Employer: The Meade Group, Inc.
Docket No. B96-13616-RO1-143588W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: An employee’s refusal to perform assigned duties is not disqualifying where the employer has failed to provide a meaningful avenue to resolve an on-going pay dispute.
FACTS: Employer discharged claimant for failing to deliver a vehicle to a customer. Claimant refused to make deliveries because the employer shorted his pay. This had happened four or five times in less than six months. Claimant testified his general manager had no explanation for his pay being short and told him to talk to the leasing manager. Claimant testified that employer had not corrected deficiencies in his pay when he previously complained to the leasing manager.
DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified from receiving benefits.
RATIONALE: Claimant’s refusal to deliver the vehicle cannot be considered disqualifying insubordination under the circumstances of this case. The undisputed evidence indicates claimant had a serious and long running pay dispute for which employer offered no reasonable avenue to resolve. Claimant’s refusal to perform arises from circumstances which go to the core of any employment contract. Such a reasonable refusal is distinguishable from Carter v ESC, 364 Mich 538 (1961).