This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. ß 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

C4-99-2072

 

 

Everett T. Henry,

Relator,

 

vs.

 

Computer Products & Repair,

Respondent,

 

Commissioner of Economic Security,

Respondent.

 

 

Filed July 25, 2000

Affirmed

Halbrooks, Judge

 

Department of Economic Security

File No. 123899

 

 

Everett T. Henry, 421 East Travelers Trail, #307, Burnsville, MN 55337 (pro se relator)

 

Computer Products & Repair, 250 South 2nd Street, #110, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (respondent)

 

Kent E. Todd, MN Depít of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for commissioner)

 

 

 

††††††††††† Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge, Halbrooks, Judge, and Poritsky, Judge.*

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

HALBROOKS, Judge

††††††††††† The commissionerís representative disqualified relator from receiving reemployment benefits because he found that relator, without good cause, failed to apply for suitable employment of which he was advised.† We affirm.

FACTS

††††††††††† Respondent Computer Products & Repair (CP&R) employed relator Everett Henry as a computer technician until April 15, 1999.† On that day, Henry quit his employment because of a reduction in hours.† Henry had been working full-time, but CP&R informed him that, due to a business slowdown, they needed to reduce his hours.†

††††††††††† Henry established a benefit account with the Department of Economic Security seeking to receive reemployment benefits.† On April 26, 1999, CP&R mailed a certified letter to Henry offering him a full-time job equivalent to the one he quit 11 days earlier.† The letter required him to respond by May 3, 1999.† The record reflects that the post office attempted to deliver the certified letter on April 27 and May 4, 1999, but was unsuccessful.† The post office returned the letter to CP&R on May 12, 1999.

††††††††††† CP&R also contacted the department and asked a department employee to contact Henry and inform him of the job offer.† A handwritten note in the record indicates that on or about April 26, 1999, a department employee told Henry about the job and instructed Henry to call CP&R.† Henry contends that the department employee simply informed him that CP&R was considering hiring him back and that he was not told to contact them.† On May 7, 1999, the department determined that Henry was not eligible to receive benefits because he had avoided and refused to accept a suitable offer of employment.† After receiving the disqualification letter from the department on May 10, 1999, Henry did contact CP&R regarding the position.† CP&R informed him that it had already filled the position.

††††††††††† Henry appealed from the initial disqualification determination by the department and a hearing was held before a reemployment-insurance judge (RI judge).† Following that hearing, the RI judge affirmed the disqualification.† Henry appealed to the commissioner, and the case was remanded to the RI judge for the purpose of receiving additional evidence.† The RI judge held a second hearing and reversed the initial determination concluding that Henry had not been made an offer of employment.†

††††††††††† Following this determination and on the departmentís own motion, the commissionerís representative decided to review the RI judgeís decision.† The commissionerís representative reviewed the evidence submitted to the RI judge.† The commissionerís representative reversed the RI judge and concluded that Henry was disqualified from receiving benefits because he failed to apply for available suitable employment of which he was advised.

D E C I S I O N

††††††††††† On appeal, we review the decision of the commissionerís representative, not the decision of the reemployment-insurance judge.† Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995).† The commissionerís representativeís findings will not be disturbed if there is any evidence reasonably tending to support them.† Id.† But whether those findings support the commissionerís representativeís determination that an individual is disqualified from receiving reemployment benefits is a question of law subject to de novo review.† Lolling v. Midwest Patrol, 545 N.W.2d 372, 377 (Minn. 1996).†

The commissionerís representative made several factual findings, but Henry only challenges one of those findings.† The commissionerís representative found that

on April 26, 1999 the employer contacted a representative of the Department * * * and told him that the employer had full-time work available for the claimant and asked him if he would have the claimant call the employer about the job.† The Department representative relayed the message to the claimant on April, 26, 1999.

 

Henry does not dispute the fact that the department representative called him; rather, he contends that the department representative did not tell him to call the employer.† According to Henry, the department representative simply informed him that the employer was considering hiring him back, but he was not told to contact CP&R.

There is evidence in the record that supports the commissionerís representativeís finding.† The record contains a note written by the department employee contacted by CP&R regarding its desire to offer full-time employment to Henry.† The note reads:

Employer asked me to have claimant call, he wanted to offer him full time work again; I did 4-26-99.

 

Although the department employee did not testify at the hearing, this note is evidence reasonably tending to support the commissionerís representativeís finding.† See Tuff, 526 N.W.2d at 51.

††††††††††† Because there is sufficient evidence to support the commissionerís representativeís factual findings, we must determine whether those findings support the determination that Henry is disqualified from receiving benefits.† Lolling, 545 N.W.2d at 377.† The disqualification statute reads in part:

Offers of employment. †(a) A claimant shall be disqualified from benefits if the claimant, without good cause:

††††††††††† (1) failed to apply for available, suitable employment of which the claimant was advised by the commissioner or an employer;

††††††††††† (2) failed to accept suitable employment when offered; or

††††††††††† (3) avoided an offer of suitable employment.

 

Minn. Stat. ß 268.095, subd. 8 (1998).† The employer bears the burden of proving that an employee is disqualified from receiving reemployment-insurance benefits.† Decker v. City Pages, Inc., 540 N.W.2d 544, 547 (Minn. App. 1995).†

††††††††††† In this case, the commissionerís representative concluded that:

On April 26, 1999, the claimant without good cause avoided and failed to apply for available suitable employment of which he was advised by the Commissioner or an employer.† The claimant is disqualified for the duration of his unemployment * * * .†

 

We hold that CP&R has met its burden.† An employee of the department advised Henry that CP&R either wanted to offer him his job back or was considering hiring him back.† Henryís failure to contact CP&R and reapply for his job disqualifies him from receiving benefits under the plain meaning of Minn. Stat. ß 268.095, subd. 8(a)(1).†

††††††††††† Affirmed.

 



*† Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, ß 10.