MISCONDUCT, Insubordination, AIDS patient
CITE AS: Cook v Hackley Hospital, No. 84-19275-AE, Muskegon Circuit Court (May 15, 1985).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Jill M. Cook
Employer: Hackley Hospital
Docket No: B83 18855 94518W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Claimant discharged for refusing to treat an A.I.D.S. patient was not disqualified for misconduct when she had not been assured the disease could not be transmitted by personal contact with the patient.
FACTS: Claimant was employed as an LPN-2. Her duties included physical care of patients such as bathing, feeding, changing dressing on wounds and other treatments as needed. She had not previously been disciplined. She was fired for insubordination.
On the day of the incident in question claimant was assigned to two (2) areas, one of which was an isolation unit. Claimant was informed there was an A.I.D.S. patient in the area. She consulted with her supervisor and informed them that due to health and safety reasons, she could not work with an A.I.D.S. patient. She requested a transfer of assignments which was denied. She was informed if she refused her assigned duties she would face disciplinary action. She refused and was subsequently terminated.
DECISION: Claimant is not disqualified for misconduct under Section 29(1)(b).
RATIONALE: "The claimant feared for her personal safety and health since she had not been assured that the disease could not be transmitted by personal contact with the patient ... The employer has failed to prove misconduct connected with work within the meaning of MCL421.29(1)(b)."