This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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






Kevan K. Holmberg,





Minneapolis Trailer Sales,



Commissioner of Economic Security,



Filed October 2, 2000


Willis, Judge


Department of Economic Security

File No. 499799


Kevan K. Holmberg, 6385 River Ridge Lane, Monticello, MN  55362 (pro se relator)


Minneapolis Trailer Sales, 12975 George Weber Drive, Rogers, MN  55374 (respondent)


Kent E. Todd, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN  55101 (for respondent Commissioner)


            Considered and decided by Crippen, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Willis, Judge.


U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Relator challenges a determination by the commissioner’s representative that he is disqualified from receiving reemployment-compensation benefits.[1]  Because the record supports the conclusion that relator quit his employment without good reason caused by his employer, we affirm.


            Relator Kevan K. Holmberg began his employment as a commissioned salesman for respondent Minneapolis Trailer Sales (“MTS”) in August 1991.  On November 6, 1999, Holmberg submitted a letter of resignation to MTS’s owner, Keith Kornovich.  In the letter Holmberg stated he needed to move on to “other challenges” but that he would like to remain on duty until the winter vacation started.  MTS observes a winter vacation each year, which in 1999 was to begin on December 18.

On several previous occasions Holmberg informed Kornovich that he intended to resign; each time Kornovich was able to convince him to stay.  After meeting with Holmberg on November 6 to discuss his resignation, Kornovich concluded that Holmberg was dissatisfied with his employment because he “had a problem working with” Kornovich.  When the two met again on November 8, Kornovich proposed hiring a sales director to supervise Holmberg so he would not have to work directly with Kornovich and therefore need not resign.  Holmberg stated that he did not think hiring a sales director would resolve the issues leading to his resignation.  Kornovich responded that if Holmberg was planning to resign, “it would be best” if he did not continue to work through to the winter vacation.  Kornovich also suggested to Holmberg that he wait until the new sales director was hired before deciding whether he would be able to continue working at MTS but that he felt it would be better if Holmberg was not there while Kornovich was in the process of hiring the new sales director.  The parties agreed to meet again on November 10.  On November 9, Kornovich promoted another salesperson to serve as sales director.  On November 10, Holmberg went to MTS and cleaned out his desk.  Kornovich and Holmberg spoke briefly but did not discuss the hiring of the new sales director or Holmberg’s employment.

Holmberg applied for reemployment-compensation benefits, and the Department of Economic Security concluded that Holmberg was not disqualified from receiving benefits.  MTS appealed, and the reemployment judge also concluded that Holmberg was not disqualified.  MTS again appealed, and the commissioner's representative reversed, concluding that Holmberg was disqualified from receiving benefits because he quit without good reason caused by MTS.



This court accords decisions of the commissioner’s representative particular deference.  Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995).  We will affirm a determination of disqualification from benefits if the commissioner’s representative’s findings of fact “are not without support in the evidence” and if “the conclusion on those facts is not contrary to the statutory mandate.”  Colburn v. Pine Potage Madden Bros.,346 N.W.2d 159, 161 (Minn. 1984).

An employee who has voluntarily “quit” his job without “a good reason caused by the employer” is disqualified from receiving reemployment-compensation benefits.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(1) (Supp. 1999).  But an employee who has been “discharged” from employment is not disqualified from receiving benefits.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 4 (Supp. 1999).  “Whether an employee has been discharged or voluntarily quit is a question of fact.”  Midland Elec., Inc. v. Johnson, 372 N.W.2d 810, 812 (Minn. App. 1985).  The commissioner’s representative’s findings on this question must be reviewed in the light most favorable to the decision and will not be disturbed if there is evidence reasonably tending to support them.  Id.

Under Minnesota’s reemployment-compensation scheme, “[a] quit from employment occurs when the decision to end the employment was, at the time the employment ended, the employee’s.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 2 (Supp. 1999).  The commissioner’s representative concluded that Holmberg was not discharged because he had the opportunity to continue working for MTS after November 10 but chose not to.  During his November 6 and 8 meetings with Holmberg, Kornovich expressed his desire to have Holmberg stay on with MTS and at the November 8 meeting encouraged him to try working with the new sales director before making a decision to leave.  On November 10, Kornovich did not inform Holmberg that he had hired a sales director, but neither did he do anything to give Holmberg the impression that continuing work was not available if he wanted it.  The record reasonably tends to support the commissioner’s representative’s conclusion that because the decision to end employment was Holmberg’s, he was not discharged but rather quit.

Holmberg asserts he had good reason to quit caused by his employer, that is, dissatisfaction with his work because Kornovich regularly dismissed his concerns about customer complaints.  But good reason to quit is not established when an employee has irreconcilable differences with his employer or when an employee is simply frustrated or dissatisfied with his working conditions.  Ryks v. Nieuwsma Livestock Equip., 410 N.W.2d 380, 382 (Minn. App. 1987) (citations omitted).  The commissioner’s representative’s determination that Holmberg did not have good reason to quit is supported by the record.

Holmberg also claims that he was not allowed to work through his entire notice period.  An employee who gives notice of his intention to quit and is not allowed by the employer to work during the entire notice period “shall be considered discharged from the employment as of the date the employer will no longer allow the employee to work.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 5(b) (Supp. 1999).  Kornovich did ask Holmberg not to come in to MTS while Kornovich was searching for a sales director, and he told Holmberg that if he decided to resign “it would be best” if he did not continue to work through to the winter vacation.  But Kornovich also encouraged him to work with the new sales director before making a decision to leave.  The commissioner’s representative determined that, although Holmberg may have been “temporarily suspended for a brief period of time,” it was not reasonable for Holmberg to conclude on November 10 that Kornovich would not allow him to work through to the winter vacation without at least first asking whether the new sales director had been hired or clarifying whether he could keep working through the end of his notice period.  Record evidence supports the commissioner’s representative’s conclusion that Holmberg was not prevented from working the entire notice period.



[1] Effective April 7, 2000, the legislature changed the program name from reemployment compensation to unemployment insurance and redesignated reemployment-compensation benefits as unemployment benefits and reemployment compensation judges as unemployment law judges.  2000 Minn. Laws ch. 343.  Because Holmberg’s claim was filed and the reemployment compensation judge issued a decision before the effective date of the amendments, we use the previous terminology.  See Boser v. AT & T Communications, Inc., No. CX-94-1893, 1994 WL 762591, at *1 (Minn. App. Feb. 28, 1994) (using terminology of earlier version of statute when incidents in the claim occurred before effective date of legislation changing terminology).