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Court upholds discharge of employees who violated "no discussion" rule

In Grandvue Medical Care Facility v. Reniewicz and Wood, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Michigan Employment Relations Commission's (MERC) ruling that the employer had not committed an unfair labor practice in firing two nurse aides.    The Aides were terminated because they had "discussed" a Medical Care Facility's pending investigation into a resident's  multiple claims of sexual assault.  One of the terminated employees argued that the policy should not apply to simply to her because she had simply asked for a copy of the pertinent policy.  The other argued that the employer's action constituted a violation of the Public Employee Retirement Act.  The judges pointed out that the employer had a "no discussion" policy applicable to such allegations, in an attempt to avoid tainting pending investigations, and that in any event, one of the employees was subsequently discovered to have sent nearly 2,000 e-mails on personal matters during working hours.  They concluded that MERC properly deemed one of the employees to have "managerial" status, and that the employer's actions were taken in good faith and did not violate the PERA.

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