October 27, 2013

Banky v. Storer Broadcasting - 443 N.W. 2d 112 (1989) - Michigan

FACTS: Bankey sued Storer after the company fired him.  He claimed that Storeer had changed its firing policy in the handbook after he had worked there from "discharge with cause" to "at the will of the company."

HISTORY: Bankey won.  Federal Court of Appeals certified the Supreme Court of Michigan the issue question.

ISSUE: "May the employer... unilaterally change [its] written policy statements by adopting a generally applicable policy and alter the employment relationship of existing employees to one at the will of the employer in the absence of an express notification to the employees from the outset that the employer reserves the right to make such a change?"

HOLDING: Yes

RATIONALE: Not a unilateral contract but rather something which the employer benefits from establishing.  Taken from Toussaint the approach promotes stability among employees in 2 significant ways:  1) holds employees accountable for personnel policies 2) requires such policies be consistently applied.

DISPOSITION: Affirmed.