This opinion will be unpublished and may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
Lyon L. Conley,
Thomas and Thorngren, Inc.,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Department of Economic Security
Agency File No. 123099
Lyon Conley, 1630 North 42nd Avenue, East St. Louis, IL 62204 (pro se relator)
Thomas and Thorngren, Inc., P. O. Box 55, Nashville, TN 37202 (respondent employer)
Kent E. Todd, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent commissioner)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Willis, Judge.
Lyon Conley appeals the Commissioner of Economic Security’s order disqualifying him from receiving reemployment benefits. Because it is undisputed that Conley quit, and because the evidence reasonably supports the commissioner’s representative’s finding that Conley quit for personal reasons not caused by his employer, we affirm.
From April 17 to May 2, 1999, Lyon Conley worked as a housekeeper for Thomas and Thorngren, Inc., doing business as Embassy Suites Hotel. In the separation statement that Conley submitted to the Department of Economic Security, he stated that he quit because he relocated back to East St. Louis, Illinois, for personal reasons. He also stated that he gave Embassy Suites two weeks’ notice.
A department adjudicator disqualified Conley from receiving reemployment benefits, and he appealed his disqualification to a reemployment insurance judge. The judge was unable to reach Conley for the scheduled telephone hearing, and, on a review of the file, the judge affirmed the denial of benefits. In a letter to the judge, Conley indicated that the department had an incorrect telephone number, provided a current telephone number, and also said that he quit his employment because of a workplace injury.
Conley appealed the reemployment insurance judge’s order. The commissioner’s representative affirmed the disqualification, finding that Conley quit his job without good reason attributable to his employer and that no other exception applied. The commissioner’s representative stated that he based his decision on the statements Conley submitted in his letter to the reemployment insurance judge, as well as the evidence that Conley and Embassy Suites had previously submitted.
Conley appeals, contending that he left his employment because of a workplace injury that prevented him from continuing his job.
A person who voluntarily quits employment is disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits unless the employee demonstrates that he quit for good cause attributable to the employer. Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(1) (1998); Marz v. Department of Employment Servs., 256 N.W.2d 287, 289 (Minn. 1977). Good cause includes a reason that “is directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible” and “that is significant and would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit.” Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(a)(1)-(2) (1998). Whether good cause existed is a legal conclusion, but the findings on which the conclusion is based must have reasonable support in the record. Zepp v. Arthur Treacher Fish & Chips, Inc., 272 N.W.2d 262, 263 (Minn. 1978).
The record is undisputed that Conley quit his employment at Embassy Suites. In his separation statement, he stated that he quit “because [he] relocated back to E. St. Louis, IL, due to some personal problems.” He also stated that he gave Embassy Suites two weeks’ notice of his May 2, 1999, termination date. Embassy Suites also submitted a statement saying Conley quit to relocate. According to Conley’s statement that he provided two weeks’ notice of this termination date, Conley’s notice would have been submitted on April 18, 1999.
In his appeal to this court, Conley states that he quit because of a workplace injury. He also states that his chiropractor removed him from all work duties after May 4, 1999. An employee who quits is not disqualified from receiving benefits if a serious illness made quitting medically necessary. See Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(6) (1998) (providing that serious illness is an exception to disqualification). But, the record does not support Conley’s contention that he quit because of an injury. The only indications in the record that Conley suffered an injury are the name and address of a chiropractor who Conley claims directed him to stop working; the name and address of an attorney who he states is handling his workers’ compensation claim; and his unsupported assertions in his letter to the reemployment insurance judge and in his informal brief that he was injured at work.
The commissioner’s representative’s findings that Conley quit for personal reasons not attributable to his employer are amply supported by Conley’s separation statement and Embassy Suites’ submission, which both state that Conley quit to relocate to Illinois. Conley’s subsequent submission stating that he quit because of a workplace injury is inconsistent with his earlier statement, and the commissioner’s representative did not credit this explanation. Furthermore, even if Conley did sustain a workplace injury that prevented him from continuing to perform his duties, by his own account the injury did not occur until May 1, 1999, nearly two weeks after he provided Embassy Suites notice of his intent to quit. Thus, the injury would have been collateral to the reason he provided Embassy Suites when he decided to quit. Cf. Lumpkin v. North Cent. Airlines, Inc., 296 Minn. 456, 461, 209 N.W.2d 397, 401 (1973) (stating that original reason given for discharge, not collateral misconduct, determines whether employee disqualified from receiving benefits).