This week’s recent decisions on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals include one appeal by an employee who quit her job and challenged the ineligible determination based upon an exception, and two cases of employee misconduct. All decisions were affirmed. The following decisions were released on June 30, 2014.

1. A13-1822  Kimberly A. Thomas, Relator, vs. US Bank National Association,   Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  We affirm the decision of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because relator quit her employment and fails to satisfy either of the relevant statutory exceptions that would allow for benefit eligibility.

In this case, it is undisputed that Thomas quit her job. Therefore, Thomas has to satisfy an exception in order to be eligible for benefits; (a.) serious-illness-or-injury exception; or (b.) good-reason-caused-by-the-employer exception.

Because Thomas failed to establish that it was medically necessary for her to quit her employment, and because she was not denied a requested accommodation, the ULJ did not err by concluding that she does not satisfy the serious-illness-or-injury exception.

In the good-reason-caused-by the-employer exception, the ULJ analyzed Thompson’s struggles with the bank manager and the subordinate employee involved in the December 7 incident. Because this exception “does not encompass situations where an employee experiences irreconcilable differences with others at work or where the employee is simply frustrated or dissatisfied with [her] working conditions,” Portz v. Pipestone Skelgas, 397 N.W.2d  12, 14 (Minn. App. 1986)

2. A 13-2137  Eldo Abrahamson, Relator, vs. Minneapolis Oxygen Comp-Joint Acct., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Relator challenges an unemployment law judge’s determination that he was dismissed for employment misconduct and thus ineligible for unemployment benefits. We affirm.

Abrahamson was employed as a driver who hauled hazardous, explosive materials. After receiving two separate anonymous phone complaints about Abrahamson’s reckless driving, Abrahamson was fired in July 2013 for employee misconduct. 

The ULJ concluded that, sustained by evidence, Abrahamson’s reckless driving constituted a serious violation of the standards of behavior, and thus constituted employment misconduct.

3. A 13-2066  Ann Westre-Nelson, Relator, vs. Coborn’s Inc., Respondent, Department     of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

 Summary:  In this certiorari appeal, relator Ann Westre-Nelson, a gas-station manager, challenges the unemployment law judge’s (ULJ) decision that she was ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged for employment misconduct. Because substantial evidence supports the ULJ’s determination that relator committed employment misconduct, 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.



Any Decision issued by an Unemployment Law Judge as the consequence of a hearing might be surveyed by the same judge if a Request for Reconsideration is documented inside 20 schedule days of the mail date of the Decision.

09/28/2016 6:46am

I am really thankful to you for sharing the decisions with us. We all have been waiting for some changes in the unemployment benefits for long now. I am delighted to learn about them.


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