MISCONDUCT, Court order, Social worker
CITE AS: Hupy v Department of Social Services, Menominee Circuit Court No. D97-8278 (June 19, 1998).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Kathi Hupy
Employer: Department of Social Services
Docket No. B97-05143-145538W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Failure to immediately investigate whether foster care placement was made in a manner consistent with a judicial order, and subsequent failure to take corrective action constituted misconduct.
FACTS: The claimant was employed as a social worker by the Family Independence Agency. In that capacity she was responsible for overseeing the placement of a minor child. A probate court entered an order requiring the minor to be placed in a particular foster care residence. At the time the child was living in a private home not licensed for foster care. The claimant failed to immediately investigate whether placement was made in a manner consistent with the judicial order, and when she found out it was not, took no corrective action, not even to update agency records. The claimant acknowledged this failure and conceded she had not followed proper procedure. She explained she thought the living arrangement which had manifested itself was in the best interests of the child.
DECISION: The claimant was disqualified under Section 29(1)(b).
RATIONALE: Regardless of what the claimant believed to be in the best interests of the child, the court had ruled on the matter and the claimant had a legal obligation to act in a manner consistent with that ruling. By failing to take positive corrective action, the claimant misled and deceived her employer. This conduct evidenced a willful and wanton disregard of the employer's interests and was in disregard of the standards of behavior that the employer had a right to expect.
12, 24: F