This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Mark K. Garski,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed March 7, 2000
Department of Economic Security
File No. 1173UC99
Celeste E. Culberth, 8400 Lyndale Avenue South, Suite 7, Bloomington MN 55420 (for relator)
Blanda, Inc., 2963 Center Court, Eagan, MN 55121 (respondent)
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Anderson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Relator Mark E. Garski challenges a determination that he voluntarily quit his employment, arguing the evidence shows he was involuntarily discharged. We affirm.
Garski worked as a machine operator for respondent Blanda, Inc. On December 15, 1998, Garski argued with Blanda's CEO about a Minnesota Department of Labor summary of wage, hour and employment laws. Garski refused to sign an acknowledgment that he had been made aware of the summary because he did not believe the summary was accurate. The CEO felt threatened and told Garksi to punch out and go home for the day. Believing he had been fired, Garski made no attempt to return to work.
The Department of Economic Security issued a nondisqualification determination, finding Garski had been involuntarily separated from employment. Blanda appealed, and after hearings a reemployment insurance judge reversed, finding Garski voluntarily quit employment without good reason. On appeal, the commissioner's representative affirmed. Garski appeals.
This court reviews the factual findings of the commissioner's representative in the light most favorable to the decision to determine whether there is evidence in the record that reasonably tends to sustain those findings. Lolling v. Midwest Patrol, 545 N.W.2d 372, 377 (Minn. 1996). Whether an employee voluntarily quit or was discharged is a question of fact. Gonsior v. Alternative Staffing, Inc., 390 N.W.2d 801, 805 (Minn. App. 1986), review denied (Minn. Aug. 27, 1986). A discharge
occurs when any words or actions by an employer would lead a reasonable employee to believe that the employee's services are no longer desired by the employer.
Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 5 (1998).
Garski argues that his belief that he had been terminated was reasonable. When the CEO told him to punch out for refusal to sign the acknowledgment, Garski made a contemporaneous notation that he had been told to leave. He applied for reemployment insurance and contacted Blanda to obtain unpaid wages. The evidence in the record indicates Garski believed he had been terminated. If the CEO simply told him to go home for the day, however, this belief was not reasonable.
Blanda's witnesses all testified that the CEO told Garski to go home for the day. Garski argues these witnesses were not credible as they had changed their stories since the nondisqualification determination. The commissioner's representative credited their testimony, however, and this court generally defers to the commissioner's determinations regarding credibility. Norman v. Rosemount, Inc., 383 N.W.2d 443, 445 (Minn. App. 1986), review denied (Minn. May 22, 1986). Accordingly, we accept Blanda's contention that the CEO told Garski to go home for the day. After Garski left for the day, he made no attempt to return to work. The record reasonably supports the commissioner's representative's determination that Garski voluntarily quit employment.