Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance
Subject: Jamilla J. Conner (Hearing No. 97605350MW) v. LIRC and Northwest
General Hospital, No. 98-CV-002754 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Milwaukee County, November 24, 1998,
Stanley A. Miller, Circuit Judge)
Digest Codes: MC 640.03
The employe began working for this provider of health care services in April 1996 as director of the alcohol and drug treatment center. She worked full time and was paid $42,000 per year. In July 1997 the employe was told by the employer's president that a person she supervised, Burks, had falsified a time card. She was given permission to investigate and make a recommendation. After discussing the matter with Burks, the employe concluded a mistake had been made and recommended, in a written memo to the president, that Burks' pay be docked. Subsequently the president advised the employe that Burks should be discharged. The employe repeated her recommendation and the president repeated that Burks should be discharged. The employe refused to discharge Burks and repeated that refusal. She stated that the president would have to fire her and then fire Burks. The president then discharged the employe.
The commission found that the employe had been discharged for misconduct and was not eligible for unemployment benefits. [Commission decision].
Held: The commission's findings of fact are conclusive if supported by any credible and substantial evidence. The commission's misconduct decisions are entitled to great weight.
One of the employe's duties was to discharge workers. It was the employer's prerogative to order the employe to discharge Burks. Although she disagreed with the decision, the employe had no right to be insubordinate and to refuse to carry out a direct order. The employe admitted that she twice refused to carry out a direct order. Despite having a different opinion, she had a duty to follow her employer's order. It was reasonable for the employer to order the employe to discharge Burks and to discharge the employe for her refusal. Whether the timecard was intentionally falsified is not relevant to whether the employe was discharged for misconduct. The employe has not met her burden of showing that the commission's decision was unreasonable. Decision affirmed.
Please note that this is a summary prepared by staff of the commission, not a verbatim reproduction of the court decision.
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