Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance

Subject: Jane M. Juza (Hrg. No. 97400048GB) v. LIRC and American Red Cross, Case 97-CV-453 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Brown Co., December 29, 1997)

Digest Codes:  MC 610.25

The employe worked for the American Red Cross. Her duties involved receiving and processing orders for blood and blood products, as well as delivery work on a substitute basis. On October 30, 1996, the employe made a delivery of blood to a VA hospital. Subsequently the employer received a written complaint from an individual, Larson, employed by the hospital. Larson, alleged that the employe had been rude to him when she made her delivery on 10/30/96. The employer’s supervisor set up a meeting with the employe to discuss the complaint, but the employe left work prior to the meeting, claiming that she was sick.

For the next several days the employe continued to call in sick. On one of those days she wrote a letter to Larson. The letter included a statement that because of Larson’s complaint she would never deliver anything to the Veteran’s Hospital.

Larson forwarded a copy of the letter to the employer. When the employe returned to work two days later, the employer fired her for writing a letter which threatened disruption in the employer’s delivery of blood to the hospital.

LIRC found misconduct. The employe appealed with the argument that she did not intend her letter to Larson to be threatening. She meant it to be an apology for his perception of her rudeness. She also made vague assertions of bias in the administrative system. [Commission decision]

Held: The finding of misconduct is affirmed. On its face, the letter to Larson was threatening to the employer’s client and constituted misconduct. No support is found for the employe’s allegation of bias.

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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