Sections 9 and 29(9)
DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION, Fifth Amendment
CITE AS: Genesee County v Patrick, Genesee Circuit Court No. 81-459-AE (December 2, 1982).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Doris Patrick
Employer: Genesee County
Docket No. B79-13236-69136
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Claimant's refusal to answer questions in an investigation was disqualifying misconduct. Claimant's refusal to testify at the Referee hearing because claimant believes the testimony may incriminate her does not rebut a prima facia case against the claimant.
FACTS: The claimant worked for the county in a federally funded work experience program. The employer became aware the claimant may have worked at United Parcel Service (UPS) while receiving wages from the county. The claimant was called into an investigation and refused to answer whether she had contemporaneous employment with UPS. She refused to sign a release authorizing UPS to provide the county information about her potential employment at UPS. The claimant was suspended indefinitely for refusing to cooperate during the investigation. The employer subsequently confirmed the claimant worked at UPS while working for the county.
At the Referee hearing the claimant was placed under oath and asked if she had been employed at UPS contemporaneous with her employment with the county. The claimant refused to answer since a response might incriminate her.
DECISION: The claimant was disqualified under Section 29(9) for the period of the suspension.
RATIONALE: The court found the employer's prima facia case established the claimant was employed at UPS. The employer had a right to know if the claimant was working for the employer and not some other employer during working hours. Claimant's act of working for another employer during the same hours she was supposed to be working for the involved employer is misconduct. The claimant failed to rebut the employer's evidence. Section 9 of the Act provides no one is excused from testifying at a Referee hearing, but no one shall be prosecuted based on the compelled testimony upon claiming her privilege not to testify. Claimant did not claim that Section 9 privilege during the hearing.
5, 6, d3: N/A