There were three unpublished Minnesota unempolyment opinions this week.  In all three cases, the Relator challenges the ULJ's decision that the Relator was discharged for employment misconduct.  These cases are a good reminder that misconduct generally renders an otherwise eligible applicant ineligible for benefits.  All three cases were affirmed.

A14-0728   Timothy J. Fish, Relator, v.. Young Men's Christian Association - YMCA Brainerd, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development,Respondent.

Summary:  Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) decision that he was discharged for employment misconduct and ineligible for unemployment benefits.  Fish made three arguments in support of his position.

First, Fish argues that the ULJ should not have considered an incident from 2008 in evaluating whether this current incident was misconduct. The incident from 2008 was not an isolated event, but served as the starting point in tracking Fish’s progressively deficient work performance.

Second, Fish argues that his conduct was reasonable under the circumstances and had no negative impact on the YMCA. The YMCA was negatively impacted because, like Auger, an employee complained about Fish’s conduct.

Third, Fish argues that he used his best discretion and committed an error in good faith. Good-faith errors in judgment if judgment is required are not employment misconduct. Judgment was not required. Fish punched in to work, not to lie down. He was not in a position to judge whether he should work or lie down. Even if judgment was required, Fish’s conduct was unreasonable

If Fish were not feeling well when he punched in, it would have been reasonable for him to either (1) punch out, rest, and punch in again when he was feeling well, or (2) call his supervisor and seek permission to lie down. The ULJ appropriately determined that Fish engaged in employment misconduct that resulted in him being ineligible for unemployment benefits.  Affirmed.

A14-0283    Kenny R. Johnson, Relator, vs. TFG LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Relator Kenny Johnson challenges an unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) determination that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was   discharged for employment misconduct after he yelled at and threatened coworkers. Because an employer has a right to expect an employee to refrain from inappropriate and offensive conduct, Johnson’s profane treatment of a coworker and insubordination constitute employment misconduct. Accordingly, the ULJ did not err in determining that Johnson is ineligible for unemployment benefits.  Affirmed.

 A14-0470    Jesse Marshall, Relator, vs. St. John's Lutheran Home of Albert Lea, Respondent, 
 Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Relator challenges a final decision of an unemployment law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct for excessive tardiness. Relator argues that (1) the ULJ erred by determining that relator’s repeated tardiness constituted employment misconduct; (2) the ULJ abused his discretion by declining to grant a new evidentiary hearing; and (3) relator did not receive a fair hearing. 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. 



03/26/2015 9:56am

Thank you for this valuable post..

10/09/2015 2:07pm

We can not believe in reason until and unless we have the reason for anything. Taking the example of the farmers, If he educated, then he will protect the soil from rain or any other things that damage it rather than believing that rain has damage the soil


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