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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday 8/31/15.  The first two cases stand for the proposition that an applicant for unemployment benefits must be available for suitable employment.  The first case is unique because it was reversed.  The third case was affirmed, and is a fairly typical misconduct case where the applicant was found ineligible for unemployment benefits because of employment misconduct.

1. A15-0072 Michelle Davidsavor, Relator, vs. Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent

Relator raises procedural and substantive challenges to an unemployment-law judge’s decision that she was ineligible for unemployment benefits.  The Appeals Court ruled that "[t]he situation did not demand greater procedural protections than Davidsavor received; therefore, the ULJ’s decision was not made upon unlawful procedure or in violation of constitutional provisions."  However, the Appeals Court 'conclude[d] that the ULJ’s finding that Davidsavor was not available for and actively seeking suitable employment after August 31, 2014, is “unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted.”'  As such, the Appeals Court reversed the determination that Davidsavior was ineligible for unemployment benefits.

2. A15-0053 Ahmed Ghanim, Relator, vs. FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Services, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Ahmed Ghanim challenges the unemployment-law judge’s determination that he was ineligible for benefits because he was not actively seeking suitable employment. Because substantial evidence in the record supports the unemployment-law judge’s determination, we affirm.

3. A15-0096 Courtney Paulson, Relator, vs. General Nutrition Center, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Courtney Paulson challenges an unemployment-law judge’s determination that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits. Because substantial evidence supports the unemployment-law judge’s conclusion that Paulson committed employment misconduct.  The misconduct in this case consisted of providing falsified "cycle reports" to the employer and causing the employer financial loss for her personal gain.  As a result, the Appeals Court affirmed the determination of ineligibility.

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 was one decision on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The decision underscores the rule that quitting a job without good reason caused by the employer makes an otherwise eligible applicant for unemployment benefits ineligible for those benefits.  The Court of Appeals will affirm factual findings of the Unemployment Law Judge ("ULJ") if those findings are supported by substantial evidence.

A14-1684, Lorraine Rosenthal, Relator, vs. Cardinal of Minnesota, Ltd., Respondent, Department of Employment & Economic Development, Respondent.


Relator Lorraine Rosenthal challenges the denial of her claim for unemployment benefits on the ground that the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) erred in determining that she quit her employment and was therefore ineligible to receive unemployment benefits, even though she had voluntarily retired. Because the ULJ’s factual findings are substantially sustained by the evidence in the record, 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 was one decision this week on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

A14-1685, Voeurn A. Sandberg, Relator, vs. Zaws, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment & Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) determination that she was ineligible during the period for which she sought benefits because she was not available for or actively seeking suitable employment because she was unwilling to commute more than 15 miles from her home.  The ULJ found that Sandberg’s unwillingness to commute more than 15 miles was “an unreasonable, self-imposed restriction” because suitable employment included employment beyond a 15-mile radius, and denied her benefits because she was not available for or actively seeking suitable employment. Sandberg requested reconsideration, asserting that she is willing to work more than 15 miles from her home, but was again denied.  The Court of Appeals agreed with the ULJ's reasoning and findings, and affirmed the denial of 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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There were four decisions on unemployment benefits released this week by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  While three of the decisions were affirmed, one was reversed.  Two of the affirmed decisions stand for the proposition that a person who quits a job in ineligible for unemployment benefits unless that person had a good reason for quitting caused by the employer.  The other affirmed decision restates the rule that an appeal must be filed by a strict deadline or it will be dismissed.  In the case that was reversed, the Relator was available for suitable work -- a prerequisite to receiving unemployment benefits -- during the period for which he sought benefits.  

A14-1249, Robert S. Paxton, Relator, vs. Ind. School District #047, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) decision that he did not have a good reason to quit caused by his employer and that certain subpoenaed records were irrelevant. 
The ULJ found that Paxton quit for four reasons and concluded that none was a good reason caused by the employer: (1) poor relations with subordinates; (2) disciplinary action taken against Paxton; (3) e-mail exchanges Paxton discovered between coworkers that he believed constituted harassment; and (4) a negotiated severance package. The record supports the ULJ’s decision that Paxton quit employment without a good reason caused by the employer.  As such, the Court of Appeals affirmed the ULJ's decision.

A14-1321 and A14-1325, Kari Robinson, Relator, vs. The Schuett Companies, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Kari Robinson challenges an unemployment law judge’s dismissal of her administrative appeal of two initial determinations. We conclude that the ULJ properly dismissed the administrative appeal because it was not filed within the 20-day appeal period. Therefore, we affirm.

A14-1594, Samuel I. Ricci, Relator, vs. Schmitty & Sons School Buses, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Samuel Ricci challenges the unemployment-law judge’s decision that he was ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was not available for or actively seeking suitable employment from May 11, 2014 through June 30, 2014. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (the department) contends that the unemployment-law judge’s ineligibility determination should be affirmed as to the week beginning May 11, 2014, but concedes that the judge should be reversed as to the period from May 18, 2014 through June 30, 2014. Respondent Schmitty & Sons School Buses, Inc. advised this court that it would not be filing a brief, although it believes that the judge’s decision should be affirmed. Because Ricci was available for and actively seeking suitable employment from May 11, 2014 through June 30, 2014, we reverse the denial of benefits.

A14-0647, Michael Mudek, Relator, vs. Redtail Management, Inc. – Billy’s Bar & Grill at Breezy Point, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

We affirm the determination of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because the record substantially supports the ULJ’s factual finding that relator quit without good reason caused by the employer.  Mudek argues that he quit because his employer reduced his hours from an average of 30 per week to four per week in response to a seasonal decline in business. In contrast, the ULJ found that Mudek quit because his campground was closing and he planned to move. The ULJ’s finding is supported by the record. Mudek testified that he planned to leave his employment after the campground shut down for the winter because he could no longer remain there and wanted to move. He requested only seasonal work in accordance with his plan to move in the fall.  Accordingly, there is substantial support in the record for the ULJ’s finding that Mudek quit to move and not because his hours were reduced.


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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Three cases involving unpublished unemployment decisions were released today.  Two were affirmed and the third was actually reversed. The first one involves a case where it is an undisputed fact that the Relator quit her job. However, the Relator challenges the ULJ’s conclusion that none of the exceptions in Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1 apply to her case. In the second case, the Relator was found to be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because he was neither available for nor actively seeking employment. The appellate court reversed the ULJ’s decision in the third case, granting the Relator’s request to reverse, but only based upon one of her three arguments -- that she had good reason to quit due to a consultant’s nonsexual and sexual harassment and her employer’s failure to address the Relator’s complaint when given the opportunity to do so. 

A14-1320   Terrylou Cripe-Scherek, Relator vs. MNKase LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Relator Terrylou Cripe-Scherek appeals the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she was ineligible to receive unemployment benefits after quitting her employment. Because Cripe-Scherek did not request an accommodation prior to quitting her employment, we affirm.

Relator was employed at Fantastic Sam’s and was responsible for all of the day-to-day operations of the salon, including hiring and firing employees. Approximately six weeks before quitting, Relator Cripe-Scherek was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition causing a blood clot to form in her leg.  Relator and her assistant manager discussed the fact that she could not continue performing her job—or any other job at Fantastic Sams—if she had to be seated 90 percent of the day.

 When Relator Cripe-Scherek quit, she told the owner that she was quitting because “her doctor put her on restrictions and she wasn’t able to work.” Relator Cripe-Scherek never asked the owner for additional leave or any other accommodation, which was one of the major reasons the appellate court affirmed the ULJ’s decision and also because she did not meet the statutory requirements for any of the exceptions under Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1.

The general rule is that an applicant is ineligible for unemployment benefits if that applicant quit employment without meeting a statutory exception.  In this case, Relator's appeal was based on the statutory exception that it was medically necessary for her to quit.  However, Relator did not ask her employer to make a reasonable accommodation for her condition prior to quitting.  As such, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of benefits. 

A14-0471  Keith Travis, Relator, vs. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., Respondent, Department of  Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary: Relator challenges an unemployment-law judge’s decision that he is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct and because he was neither available for nor actively seeking employment.

Because of a hand injury, Travis was asked to provide Wal-Mart with medical certification several times.  Travis failed to provide one, even after he was informed that such certification was required and given nearly a month to provide it. The ULJ further found that Wal-Mart discharged Travis because he failed either to return to work after leaving to acquire the certificate. Record evidence supports these facts and is not disputed by Travis on appeal.

During the hearing, the Relator told the ULJ that his hand was still bothering him, therefore, he was not actively seeking employment and the Relator’s wife testified that because of his hand injury, he couldn’t do anything. Therefore, the Court upheld the ULJ’s decision that Travis is ineligible to receive benefits due to his unavailability for and failure to actively seek suitable employment.

Accordingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial.

A14-0287  Jami Sternquist, Relator, vs. PAL Management, Inc., Respondent, Department  of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

 Summary:  In this certiorari appeal, relator requests reversal of the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she did not quit her employment due to a good reason caused by the employer. Relator argues that she had good reason to quit because (1) she was paid less due to her gender; (2) she was harassed by a consultant who acted in a supervisory role; and (3) she was uncomfortable managing her regional manager’s wife.

The ULJ determined that Sternquist was eligible for unemployment benefits from September 6 through September 14 because she was discharged from employment for reasons other thanemployment misconduct. But the ULJ determined that Sternquist was ineligible for unemployment benefits beginning September 15 because Sternquist notified Pawn America that she planned to quit her job as of September 19, and she quit for reasons other than a good reason caused by the employer. Sternquist requested reconsideration,and the ULJ affirmed her decision.

The Court of Appeals determined that the consultant’s nonsexual and sexual harassment, coupled with Pawn America’s failure to address Sternquist’s complaints when given a reasonable opportunity to do so, would compel an average, reasonable employee to quit and become unemployed.  Accordingly, the Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that the ULJ erred by determining that Sternquist did not have a good reason to quit caused by her employer.  Because the case was reversed based on the alleged sexual harassment and failure of the employer to respond, the Court of Appeals did not address Relator's other arguments.

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.