This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Department of Economic Security
File No. 458699
Richard Singsime, PO Box 649, Fredonia, AZ 86022 (pro se relator)
Best Friends Animal, Highway 89, Kanab, UT 84741 (respondent)
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner)
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Amundson, Judge, and Huspeni, Judge.
Because the representative of the Commissioner of Economic Security has made a credibility determination regarding whether relator was offered a suitable position and failed to accept it, and there exists in the record evidence reasonably tending to sustain this determination, we affirm.
Respondent Best Friends Animal Sanctuary terminated relator Richard Singsime from his position as a receptionist and intake person, informing him that the reason for his discharge was that customers had complained about his demeanor. Testifying before a reemployment compensation judge, employees of respondent indicated that two days after termination, respondent had offered relator a maintenance job, which would have paid the same as his previous position, but that relator turned it down. Relator, in contrast, testified that he was never offered another position. The reemployment compensation judge found that relator refused to accept, without good cause, an offer of suitable employment and, therefore, was ineligible for benefits. The commissioner’s representative affirmed that decision. On appeal, relator challenges this credibility determination, asserting that the employer never offered him a maintenance position and contending he would have accepted the job had it been offered.
D E C I S I O N
This court’s review of an appeal from a denial of reemployment insurance benefits is limited. The decisions of the commissioner’s representative are to be accorded “particular deference,” and a reviewing court must affirm if there is “reasonable support in the evidence” to sustain the commissioner’s decision. Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995) (citations omitted).
A claimant who fails to accept or avoids an offer of suitable employment without good cause shall be disqualified from benefits. Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 8(a)(2), (3) (1998). The question of whether a suitable offer of employment has been made is one of fact, involving credibility determinations; therefore, the commissioner’s representative’s decision on this issue “may not be questioned if there is evidence in the record which reasonably tends to sustain his findings.” Willrich v. Top Temporary, Inc., 379 N.W.2d 731, 732 (Minn. App. 1986) (citation omitted). Furthermore, this court must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the commissioner’s representative’s decision. White v. Metropolitan Med. Ctr., 332 N.W.2d 25, 26 (Minn. 1983).
Relator asserts he never received an offer of reemployment or reassignment. However, the record includes testimony from two employees of respondent that the employer did offer relator reemployment, and relator refused the offer. The commissioner’s representative found that the offer had been made and that relator failed to accept it, apparently finding respondent’s testimony more credible than relator’s on the determinative issue. Credibility judgments are the province of the commissioner’s representative, not of this court. LaSalle Cartage Co. v. Hampton, 362 N.W.2d 337, 341 (Minn. App. 1985). Because there is evidence in the record reasonably tending to support the determination of the commissioner’s representative, we will not disturb it.
Finally, there is no evidence in the record to indicate that the offer of reemployment was not a suitable one or that relator had good cause to reject the employment offered to him. He would have incurred no reduction in pay. Nor is there any evidence in the record of what experience or training requirements, if any, were involved with either his former job or the one found to have been offered.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.