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Munising Memorial Hospital v Mary J Ward 13.13

Sections 29(1)(e), 29(6)

REFUSAL OF WORK, Burden of proof, Good cause for refusing employment with former employer, Suitability factors

CITE AS: Munising Memorial Hospital v Mary J. Ward No. 83-1415 AE, Alger Circuit Court (April 2, 1984).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Mary J. Ward

Employer: Munising Memorial Hospital

Docket No: B83 10109 91302W

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where Claimant, who had been the Director of Nursing, was discharged and refused reemployment as a Supervisor with the same employer, and the position meets the statutory suitability factors, Claimant is disqualified, unless a valid reason exists for rejecting the work.

FACTS: Claimant was discharged as Director of Nursing because she had so many job related responsibilities that she became ineffective as the Director. Claimant was offered three other positions, one of which was Supervisor of OR, ER and Central Supply. There would have been no reduction of pay or fringe benefits, but the position did not have the authority, control, or status of the former job. Claimant refused the work.

DECISION: Claimant is disqualified for refusal of work.

RATIONALE: The issues are (1) whether the claimant was offered suitable work; and (2) if she was offered suitable employment, whether it was refused with good cause. Citing Dueweke v Morang Greenhouses, 411 Mich 670 (1981), the Court found that the offer of work did not involve risk to Claimant's health, safety, morals, and physical fitness; nor did it compromise prior training, experience, prior earnings, length of unemployment, prospects for securing local work in the customary occupation or distance to work from residence, MCL 421.29(6); MSA 17.531(6). As for good cause, the Court found that the claimant's reason for rejecting the proffered employment was totally personal and not attributable to the employer. A personal reason may constitute good cause for rejecting offered employment, but only when it "would be determined by reasonable men and women valid and not indicative of an unwillingness to work."


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