Willits v. Job Service of North Dakota

Petitioner Maria Willits appealed the decision of the Job Service North Dakota ("Job Service") that denied her application for unemployment benefits after Job Service found she voluntarily left her employment without showing good cause attributable to her employer. In October 2003, Petitioner began working full time as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) for Circle of Nations School, a boarding school for Native American children located on federal property in Wahpeton. According to Petitioner, she became concerned that one staff member she had trained was not proficient in English. After a different staff member committed a medications error in late October 2009, Petitioner met with the dean of students of the school and expressed concerns about training the two staff members to administer medications because she did not believe they were qualified and would pose a risk to the student population. Petitioner told the dean that she would not re-certify the two staff members but would train others. Petitioner subsequently contacted the State Board of Nursing and inquired whether she could conduct medication administration training as an LPN. She was informed that she was not authorized to train staff to administer medications and that she needed to be supervised by a registered nurse or licensed practitioner. According to Petitioner, she concluded her work at the school was outside the scope of her nursing license. Petitioner's concerns were discussed with the school's administrators. In November 2009, Petitioner informed the school through a phone message that she quit her employment. By then, the school had obtained the services of a doctor to oversee nursing activities. The Supreme Court affirmed Job Service's decision, concluding "a reasoning mind reasonably could have determined that [Petitioner] did not make a reasonable effort to preserve her employment relationship and, consequently, that she left her employment without good cause attributable to her employer."