APPEALS, Timeliness, Good cause for late protest, Average reasonable claimant, Definition of good cause, Misunderstanding of procedure, Notice of denial
CITE AS: Jaeger v Sears, Roebuck and Co, No. 80-010-766 AE,
Wayne Circuit Court (July 18, 1980).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Catherine Jaeger
Employer: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Docket No: B78 52058 59617
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: A party's lack of understanding of the appeal process can constitute good cause for a late protest.
FACTS: The claimant was found disqualified and ineligible. She continued to report to the branch office, but did not protest the determination until three months later. The claimant said she had not understood the protest procedure. A Notice of Denial was issued.
DECISION: The claimant has good cause for a late protest.
RATIONALE: "[T]he parameters of 'good cause' are not rigidly defined. The record in this case clearly demonstrates a rigid definition by the Commission to the effect that 'good cause' is limited to the situations defined in the regulation."
"The Board of Review has taken the position that a party's lack of understanding of the determination or of the appeal process cannot constitute good cause. This is an erroneous conclusion of law. A factual determination, as was made in this case, that there was a good faith misunderstanding by a lay person of the 20-day time limit on appeal, where the appeal is immediately filed when there is awareness within time parameters such as those existing in this case, can constitute good cause within the meaning of the Act and the regulation. The standard of conduct to be applied in determining such matters is the standard of conduct of the average reasonable claimant in light of all the circumstances, not the standard of conduct of the average Referee or Board of Review member."