This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






Nathan P. Dressel,



Spee-Dee Delivery, Service, Inc.,

Commissioner of Economic Security,


Filed July 10, 2001


Peterson, Judge


Department of Economic Security


Nathan P. Dressel, 715 11th Avenue Southeast, Rochester, MN  55904-7319 (pro se relator)


Spee-Dee Delivery Service, Inc., P.O. Box 1635, St. Cloud, MN  56302 (respondent)


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


            Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Lindberg, Judge.*

U N P U B L I S H E D    O P I N I O N



Relator Nathan P. Dressel challenges the determination of the representative of respondent Commissioner of Economic Security that he is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because he was discharged from employment for misconduct.  We affirm.


            On May 12, 2000, Dressel experienced mechanical problems with the truck he was driving for work at respondent Spee Dee Delivery Service, Inc.  Dressel noted the problems on a vehicle report sheet, and Spee Dee claims that prompt steps were taken to repair the problems.  On May 18, 2000, Dressel noticed that the truck’s power brakes were failing, and the truck lost power and began to surge forward in spurts when Dressel pressed on the accelerator.  Dressel stopped and called the Rochester office where he worked, but he did not get an answer.  Dressel also called Spee Dee’s St. Cloud office twice to arrange a vehicle switch but kept getting disconnected.  Dressel made the telephone calls using his personal cellular phone, a practice that is prohibited by company rules.

            Dressel then drove the truck to the Rochester facility and arrived before noon.  He discovered that there was only one substitute van available at the facility, and he was not sure of its condition.  He called the St. Cloud terminal for advice.  When he said that there was another van available, he was told to take the van out and drive it around the block to determine its mechanical condition.  Dressel decided not to because he did not think that he would be able to tell the van’s condition by driving it around the block and because he was so angry that he felt he needed to cool down.  Dressel decided that it was best for him to go home.

Dressel was asked if he could return at 5:00 p.m. to speak with his manager, but he declined because he had plans for the evening.  He offered to come in a half-hour early the next day to discuss the situation.  He was also asked if he could wait at the facility until his manager returned, but he refused.  Dressel chose to go home and said that he would be in early the next day.

            Dressel unloaded his truck and did not finish making his deliveries for the day.  He did not follow Spee Dee’s procedure for preparing a log of the 160 items that had not been delivered or for arranging for customer pick-ups.  He went home at 12:18 p.m., halfway through his normal workday.  He reported for work the following morning and was asked to sign a statement saying he had quit his job.  He refused, and an argument followed.  He was then discharged.       


            The commissioner’s representative’s determination that an employee is disqualified for reasons of misconduct is a mixed question of fact and law.  Colburn v. Pine Portage Madden Bros., 346 N.W.2d 159, 161 (Minn. 1984).  A reviewing court will affirm if “the findings of fact are not without support in the evidence” and if “the conclusion on those facts is not contrary to the statutory mandate.”  Id. 

 “Employment misconduct” means

(1) any intentional conduct, on the job or off the job, 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; or

(2) negligent or indifferent conduct, on the job or off the job, that demonstrates a substantial lack of concern for the employment.


Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 6(a) (2000).

            There is no dispute that Dressel left early after he brought the truck in with mechanical problems.  Spee Dee asked Dressel to test drive another van by driving it around the block to see if he could use it to complete his deliveries, but he did not do so.  Spee Dee requested that Dressel wait at the Rochester terminal until a manager returned, but he did not do so.  Instead, he chose to go home because he was angry and he felt that he needed to cool down.  Dressel was only about halfway through his regular workday when he was asked to wait.

The general rule is that if the request of the employer is reasonable and does not impose an unreasonable burden on the employee, a refusal will constitute misconduct.


Sandstrom v. Douglas Mach. Corp., 372 N.W.2d 89, 91 (Minn. App. 1985).

            The evidence supports the commissioner’s representative’s findings that Spee Dee’s requests were reasonable and would not have imposed an unreasonable burden on Dressel.  Those findings support the conclusion that Dressel was discharged from employment for employment misconduct.

Dressel argues that he has been diagnosed with a personality disorder, which he contends should be considered an illness that allowed him to be absent from work.

            Inefficiency, inadvertence, simple unsatisfactory conduct, poor performance because of inability or incapacity, or absence because of illness or injury with proper notice to the employer, are not employment misconduct.


Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 6(b) (2000).

As proof of his personality disorder, Dressel attached to his appellate brief a copy of his discharge from the Marine Corps.  But Dressel did not present this evidence to Spee Dee.[1]  Nor did he present any other evidence that demonstrated that he had informed Spee Dee that he has a personality disorder.  Under Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 6(b), an absence because of illness is not misconduct only if there is “proper notice to the employer.”   Dressel told Spee Dee that he was angry, not that he had a personality disorder that made it necessary for him to go home.

Finally, Dressel challenges the commissioner’s representative’s conclusion that Dressel committed misconduct when he failed to follow several of Spee Dee’s work rules.  Because we have already concluded that Dressel’s failure to comply with Spee
Dee’s reasonable requests constituted misconduct, it is not necessary to determine whether Dressel’s failure to follow Spee Dee’s work rules was also misconduct.


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

[1] Dressel did not present this evidence in the hearing before the unemployment law judge or to the commissioner’s representative.  Consequently, we may not consider the evidence on appeal.  Appelhof v. Commissioner of Jobs & Training, 450 N.W.2d 589, 591 (Minn. App. 1990).