This opinion will be unpublished and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
Susan B. Goldenson,
Firstsite Staffing, Inc.,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed May 30, 2000
Department of Economic Security
File No. 68499
Susan B. Goldenson, 7700 Cahill Road, #116, Edina, MN 55439 (relator pro se)
Firstsite Staffing, Inc., 8575 Lyndale Avenue S., Bloomington, MN 55420 (respondent employer)
Kent E. Todd, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert St., St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Foley, Judge.*
Relator Susan B. Goldenson challenges a decision by a representative of the respondent Commissioner of Economic Security disqualifying her from receiving reemployment insurance benefits. Because the evidence reasonably supports the commissioner’s representative’s conclusion that Goldenson failed to accept, without good cause, offers of suitable employment from respondent Firstsite Staffing, Inc. (Firstsite), a temporary employment agency, we affirm.
In reemployment insurance cases, we review “the findings of the commissioner or the commissioner’s representative, not those of the [reemployment insurance judge], even though those findings might involve witness credibility.” Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995). The commissioner’s findings are considered in the light most favorable to the decision, and those findings will not be disturbed if the evidence reasonably supports them. Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989).
An employee is disqualified from receiving benefits if he or she, without good cause, fails “to apply for available, suitable employment of which the claimant was advised by the commissioner or an employer” or fails “to accept suitable employment when offered.” Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 8(1), (2) (1998).
Goldenson worked for one of Firstsite’s clients from October 1998 to February 1999 as a sales telemarketer. Firstsite’s staffing specialist, Amy Jensen, testified that when Goldenson’s temporary assignment ended, she offered Goldenson a number of other assignments. Jensen submitted documentation in the form of notes she took on her contacts with Goldenson. Although Goldenson claimed that Jensen only offered her two assignments during that period, the commissioner’s representative was entitled to credit Jensen’s testimony and discount Goldenson’s. See Mark W. Peterson Law Offices v. Murphey, 392 N.W.2d 319, 322 (Minn. App. 1986) (credibility determinations are for fact finder).
Suitable employment is defined as “reasonably related to the claimant’s qualifications,” considering
the degree of risk involved to the health and safety, physical fitness, prior training, experience, length of unemployment, prospects for securing local employment in the claimant’s customary occupation, and the distance of the employment from the claimant’s residence.
Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 9 (1998). The issue of whether an offer of employment is “suitable” is one of fact to be determined by the commissioner. Zielinski v. Ryan Co., 379 N.W.2d 157, 159 (Minn. App. 1985). An offer of temporary employment may be suitable when a claimant’s work history includes temporary and short-term employment, and there is no evidence that the claimant sought permanent employment. See Vejdani v. Western Temp. Servs., Inc., 486 N.W.2d 461, 462-63 (Minn. App. 1992).
In this case, Goldenson does not claim that she refused Firstsite’s offered assignments because she wanted or desired permanent employment. To the contrary, Goldenson appears to prefer temporary work; all of her prior jobs have been temporary or short term. Moreover, the assignments offered to Goldenson involved unskilled clerical and office duties; these positions were commensurate with Goldenson’s prior history of clerical, sales, or office jobs. Finally, although the offered positions paid between $8 and $12 per hour, somewhat less than the $13 per hour Goldenson was earning at her last position with Firstsite, Goldenson admitted at the hearing that pay of $10 to $12 per hour was acceptable to her. Thus, the offered positions were suitable, based on pay and on Goldenson’s previous training and experience. Cf. Mbong v. New Horizons Nursing, 608 N.W.2d 890, 894 (Minn. App. 2000) (where employee’s work history demonstrates pattern of long-term employment, employee does not fail to accept offer of suitable employment when she refuses assignments of short duration from temporary employment agency).
“Good cause” to reject an offer of suitable employment is defined as “some necessitous and compelling reason for refusal.” Minn. R. 3305.0800, subp. 18 (1997). Good cause reasons “are usually personal to the claimant and extraneous to the employment, and are usually of a temporary and emergency nature so as not to detach the claimant from the labor market.” Id.
Goldenson claims that she did not accept the two offers that she admits she did receive because she had medical restrictions stemming from a back injury she received in late 1998. Although there is evidence that she injured her back when she fell down some stairs, she was able to continue working for Firstsite and there is no evidence that she was unable to work clerical jobs.
Goldenson further claims that she refused the offered positions because she was actively looking for another sales position. This does not constitute good cause for her refusal of Firstsite’s offers of other suitable employment. An employee cannot reject a suitable job offer because she is waiting for a better opportunity. See Preiss v. Commissioner of Econ. Sec., 347 N.W.2d 74, 76 (Minn. App. 1984).
The decision of the commissioner’s representative is affirmed.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.