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This week there were two unemployment unpublished decisions from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The first case is quite interesting because it is in regard to whether or not performers and professional staff members are considered employees or independent contractors if hired on a short-term basis, which is the reason Relator Skylark Opera challenges the ULJ’s decision that these persons are employees. The Court reversed this decision. The second case involves the Relator challenging her ineligibility to collect unemployment benefits because she quit her job. This case was affirmed by the Court.

A13-2343  Skylark Opera, Relator, vs. Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Relator Skylark Opera challenges a final decision by a ULJ determining that performers and professional staff members that they hire on a short-term basis for a handful of annual productions are employees rather than individual contractors, and for this reason that wages paid to these persons are taxable under the unemployment-insurance laws.  The Appeals Court held because Skylark Opera hires persons on a short-term basis for only four performances, that the workers were hired as independent contractors.  Because the persons hired by Skylark Opera are independent contractors, we reverse.

A14-0054  Wendy Bronstad, Relator, vs. The House of Hope, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.        

Summary:  Relator Wendy Bronstad applied for unemployment benefits, but the  Department of Employment and Economic Development determined that she is ineligible because she quit her employment without a good reason caused by her employer. Bronstad filed an administrative appeal, and the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) upheld the ineligibility determination and affirmed this decision after Bronstad requested reconsideration.  TheAppeals Court concluded that because Bronstad’s reason for quitting was due to a demotion based on unsatisfactory job performance, substantial evidence supports the ULJ’s finding that the circumstances that caused her to quit would not cause an average, reasonable worker to quit. The ULJ did not err in upholding the determination of ineligibility. Affirmed.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 

 
 
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There were two decisions on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued this week.  Both decisions were issued on Monday 9/15/2014.

The first decision involves a certified nursing assistant who was discharged for employment misconduct and subsequently denied benefits.  The second involves a bus driver who had quit her job and was found to meet an exception to the general rule that a person who quits in ineligible for unemployment benefits, but was ultimately denied benefits because she was not available for suitable employment.  Both decisions were affirmed.

A13-2369, Cathy Justice, Relator, vs. Glacial Ridge Hospital, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:

Relator challenges the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) determining that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged for employment misconduct.  The misconduct included ongoing insubordination issues, failing to work in a respectful manner, having conflicts with co-workers, not wanting to complete required job duties, and continuing to leave the unit for long periods when on the job.  Because substantial evidence supports the ULJ’s determination that relator committed employment misconduct by displaying clearly a serious violation of the standard of behavior her employer had the right to expect, the Court of Appeals affirmed.

A14-0049, Ja'Na Dickens, Relator, vs. Metropolitan Council, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:

Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she is ineligible during the period for which she sought benefits because she was not available for or actively seeking suitable employment.   On September 3, 2013, relator Ja’Na Dickens quit her employment as a bus operator for the Metropolitan Council because the position, which required frequent nighttime and weekend shifts, interfered with her ability to care for her terminally ill son. Dickens returned to her former position as a school bus operator, working part-time from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, but continued looking for an additional part-time or a full-time transportation position. Dickens limited her search to positions with daytime hours and limited weekend work so she could care for her son.

Dickens applied for unemployment benefits. Respondent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) determined that Dickens is not subject to the general rule that one who quits employment is ineligible for all unemployment benefits because Dickens quit in order to provide necessary medical care for her son. But DEED determined that Dickens is nonetheless ineligible for benefits because she was not available for suitable employment.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision, concluding that, while Dickens’s decision to prioritize being available to care for her son over being available for work is understandable, it renders her ineligible for benefits. Accordingly, the ULJ did not err by determining that Dickens was not available for suitable employment during her period of unemployment and therefore was ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 




 
 
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This week there were only two unpublished opinions from the Minnesota Court of Appeals related to unemployment benefits. The relator in the first case challenges the ULJ’s decision that she was overpaid unemployment benefits because she improperly reported her earnings. The appeal by the relator in the second case is one we commonly see – the ULJ’s decision that he is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because he quit his employment without good reason caused by his employer. Both cases were affirmed.

1.  A14-0386  Kristin Buege, Relator, vs. County of Houston, Respondent, City of   Caledonia, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Relator appeals an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) decision that she was overpaid unemployment benefits because she improperly reported her earnings.  Relator worked as the City of Caldonia and Houston County in a variety of roles with varying rates of pay.  Further, some of the earnings were deductible, and reduces the amount of unemployment benefits, and some were not deductible.  The end result was that Relator received an overpayment of unemployment benefits.  On appeal, Relator argues argues that the ULJ erred by failing to consider that she reported her earnings in good faith and by miscalculating her earnings.  However, acting in good faith is not a defense to an overpayment of unemployment benefits.  We affirm.

2.  A14-0172  Cody Sigfrid, Relator, vs. Osseo Powersports, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) determination that  he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he quit his employment  without good reason caused by his employer.  The ULJ found that Relator quit his job for personal reasons (to become a full-time student), and consequently was ineligible for unemployment benefits.  We affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 


 
 
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There were three unpublished opinions this week from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. All three are interesting cases, especially the third case. In the first case, the Relator quit her job due to stress and anxiety and challenges the ULJ’s determination that she is ineligible for unemployment because she quit her job for medical reasons. The second case involves a Relator who received unemployment benefits for a year, and then attempted to establish another benefit account, even though he had not lost a job while he was receiving benefits.  The third case is odd and definitely worth a look because it involves an appeal by an employer of a determination by Unemployment Insurance Minnesota that a former employee is eligible to receive benefits.  All three cases were affirmed.

1.  A14-0057  Sondra Keeney, Relator, v. Midwest Special Services, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Sondra Keeney was employed by Midwest Special Services, Inc., until she quit due to stress and anxiety. An unemployment-law judge determined that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits. On appeal, she argues that she is eligible because she had a serious illness that made it medically necessary to quit and because she quit for a good reason caused by her employer. Although there is a medical exception to the general rule that quitting employment results in ineligibility for unemployment benefits, the unemployment law judge found that Keeney did not prove that she had to quit for medical reasons by introducing evidence, such as a doctor's note.  The Court of Appeals affirmed because the unemployment law judge's decision was supported by substantial evidence.

2.  A13-2221  Donald Bergs, Relator, v. Midwest Special Services, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary: Donald Bergs sought and received unemployment benefits from the department of employment and economic development after being terminated from his job. After the end of the benefit year applicable to his benefit account, Bergs tried to establish another benefit account. But the department invalidated his attempts to do so because Bergs had not experienced another loss of employment. The department also determined that the unemployment benefits Bergs received on his original benefit account must be reduced by an amount equal to 50 percent of his Social Security old-age benefits. In this petition for certiorari review, Bergs challenges the department’s invalidation of his attempts to establish another benefit account and the department’s reduction of his benefits. We affirm.

3.  A14-0052  Tonya Johnson, Respondent, v. Asbestos Workers Union No. 34, Relator, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:   Asbestos Workers Union No. 34 (the Union) challenges the unemployment-law judge’s decision that respondent Tonya Johnson is eligible for unemployment benefits because she was not discharged for employment misconduct.  The "misconduct" in this case was allegedly knowing that Johnson's supervisor had misappropriated Union funds to pay for personal services on Johnson's behalf -- a repairperson's examination of Johnson's air conditioning unit to determine why it was not working and an attorney in a criminal matter.  The unemployment law judge found that Johnson did not know that Union funds had been misappropriated to pay either the air-conditioning bill (indeed, Johnson did not know that there was a bill) or her attorney.

The Union contends that the evidence does not support the factual findings and that the unemployment-law judge should have issued a subpoena and ordered an additional hearing. Because substantial evidence supports the findings and the unemployment-law judge acted within her discretion, we affirm.


If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.