This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
Precision Technologies LLC,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed September 19, 2000
Affirmed; motion denied
Department of Economic Security
File No. 385099
Randall P. Rausch, 120 East Demont Avenue, No. 116, St. Paul, MN 55117 (relator- pro se)
Daniel J. Sheran, Lindquist & Vennum, 4200 IDS Center, 80 South Eighth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for 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 Shumaker, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge and Anderson, Judge.
Relator appeals from the commissioner’s determination that he was terminated for misconduct, disqualifying him from unemployment benefits, after taking a personal trip despite employer’s order that he report for work. Respondent Precision Technologies LLC moved to strike portions of relator’s brief. We affirm; motion denied.
Respondent Precision Technologies scheduled relator Randall Rausch, one of its Minnesota employees, to take a business trip to California. Rausch told his supervisor that he wanted to take time off from work to combine personal matters with the business trip.
Precision’s president later decided to send another employee to California because Rausch was needed in the Minnesota plant. When the president told Rausch of the cancellation, Rausch protested, saying that he had already made personal plans for a portion of the trip. The president stated that the company would reimburse Rausch for his airline tickets and that Rausch had to report to work.
Rausch told his supervisor that he intended to take the personal portion of the trip anyway. The supervisor warned Rausch that he might get fired. Rausch took the trip and was absent from work during the originally designated business days and the personal days. After Rausch returned, he was terminated.
Whether an employee committed misconduct is a mixed question of fact and law. Colburn v. Pine Portage Madden Bros., Inc., 346 N.W.2d 159, 161 (Minn. 1984). The commissioner’s representative’s factual findings are viewed in the light most favorable to the decision and will not be disturbed if there is evidence reasonably tending to sustain them. White v. Metropolitan Med. Ctr., 332 N.W.2d 25, 26 (Minn. 1983). Whether those findings support a misconduct determination is a question of law subject to de novo review. Cook v. Playworks, 541 N.W.2d 366, 368 (Minn. App. 1996). A reviewing court will affirm when the findings of fact are supported by the evidence and if the conclusions are not contrary to law. Colburn, 346 N.W.2d at 161.
An employee who is discharged for misconduct is disqualified from receiving reemployment benefits. Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 4 (Supp. 1999). Misconduct is defined as
intentional conduct * * * that disregards the standards of behavior that an employer has the right to expect of the employee or disregards the employee’s duties and obligations to the employer.
Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 6(a)(1) (Supp. 1999). Leaving work when an employer denies a request for leave may be disqualifying misconduct. See, e.g., Little v. Larson Bus Serv., 352 N.W.2d 813, 815 (Minn. App. 1984) (holding that when bus driver, whose request to be excused from work to attend a conference was refused, attended anyway, his discharge was for disqualifying misconduct). Because disobeying a direct order from an employer
indicates a willful disregard of his employer's interests “as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee”
it has been considered disqualifying misconduct. Daniels v. Gnan Trucking, 352 N.W.2d 815, 816 (Minn. App. 1984) (quoting Tilseth v. Midwest Lumber Co., 295 Minn. 372, 374-75, 204 N.W.2d 644, 646 (1973)).
Rausch argues that the commissioner’s representative’s findings of facts are in error and that the decision that he was discharged for misconduct is not supported by the evidence. We disagree.
Precision told Rausch that he could not have the time off for the California trip and that he would have to report to work instead. Rausch took time off anyway. His action was contrary to a direct order of the president of the company.
Rausch argues that the commissioner’s representative erred in finding that the president told Rausch to be at the plant to “oversee the expediting of an order for the major customer.” He points to his own testimony indicating that nothing unusual was happening at work. Yet, Rausch testified that he worked as much as 60 to 80 hours a week and that the company “had some delinquency problems.” Rausch’s supervisor testified that there was
business that needed to be conducted * * * because at that particular point in time there was some. There were a variety of issues concerning delivery and * * * [the president] was of the opinion that it required Mr. Rausch’s presence.
Finally, Rausch argues that he had renegotiated his request for time off because his supervisor suggested that he should go for only one day. The president told Rausch that he could not have any time off. Rausch was gone for four days.
The commissioner’s representative’s findings are supported by the evidence and her conclusions are not contrary to law.
Precision moved to strike portions of Rausch’s brief on appeal as unsupported by the record. While Rausch has taken a liberal view of the facts and has drawn self-serving inferences, we disagree with Precision’s contention that certain portions of relator’s brief are unsupported by the record.
Affirmed; motion denied.