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PA: was nurse terminated for good cause?: unemployment insurance benefits denied. (Legal Case Briefs for Nurses).

CASE FACTS: Deborah Grysiak was last employed as a Registered Nurse Case manager by RRM Diversified Services from September 1, 2001, at a final rate pay of $50,000 per year. Her last day of work was November 7, 2001. Nurse Grysiak voluntarily terminated her employment due to the fact that her work was "interfering with her social and church work." At the time she was hired she was fully apprised of the terms of her employment. Her employer abided by those terms. Depending upon her case load, on occasion, Nurse Grysiak was required to report to her employer's office. All work was not conducted out of her home. Due to problems with telephone service, her employer was unable to immediately provide a phone for her. Starting on the date of hire, Nurse Grysiak was covered under her employer's healthcare insurance program. After Nurse Grysiak was terminated, she applied for unemployment compensation benefits (UCB). Nurse Grysiak's application for benefits was denied. The denial was of benefits was upheld by a referee. Nurse Grysiak appealed to the Unemployment Compensation Board (Board). The Board affirmed the decision of the referee. Nurse Grysiak appealed.

COURT'S OPINION: The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the judgment of the Board denying benefits. The court noted that Nurse Grysiak had submitted correspondence from Keystone Health Plan West (Keystone), which indicated that her employer had provided no coverage for her as provided for in her employment contract. The court noted that it appeared that the Board failed to consider Keystone's letter. The court held that the Board failed to make any specific findings about the documentary evidence from Keystone. Accordingly, the court ordered that the case be remanded back to the Board for consideration of that evidence. In unemployment compensation proceedings, the Board is the ultimate fact finding body empowered to determine the weight to be given to all evidence presented to it. Editor's Note: A dissenting opinion was fled by one justice on the grounds that there was no evidence indicating that Nurse Grysiak terminated her employment for reasons relating to the lack of insurance coverage. Apparently, the dissenting judge concluded that the issue relative to the failure of the employer to provide the insurance coverage required in accordance with the nurse's employment contract was not a factor in the nurse's termination and consequently, could not be utilized by her to justify her otherwise unfounded reason for terminating her employment contract. Insurance was not a factor according to the dissenting judge. Grysiak v. Unemployment Compensation Board, No.1452 C.D. 2002 (Pa.Commw. 02/07/2003)
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Author:Tammelleo, A. David
Publication:Nursing Law's Regan Report
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Previous Article:Is `electronic charting' really the answer? Case on point: Breeden v. Anesthesia West, 656 N.W.2d 913 -NE (2003). (Nursing Law Case of the Month).
Next Article:MN: nurse faxes patients' charts to her attorney: unemployment benefits denied for `misconduct'. (Legal Case Briefs for Nurses).

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