This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

C9-01-707

 

 

Charles H. Bruce,

Relator,

 

vs.

 

C. Price & Associates,

Respondent,

 

Commissioner of Economic Security,

Respondent.

 

 

Filed October 2, 2001

Affirmed; motion granted

Halbrooks, Judge

 

 

Department of Economic Security

File No. 9731 00

 

Charles H. Bruce, 202 East 12th Street, Redwood Falls, MN 56283-2204 (relator pro se)

 

C. Price & Associates, 9315 Largo Drive West, #230, Springdale, Maryland 20774-4755 (respondent)

 

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

 

 

 

            Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Halbrooks, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

HALBROOKS, Judge

            This appeal arises from a determination of the commissioner’s representative that relator was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.  Relator challenges the decision, disputing the findings of fact and contending that a change in his work schedule provided good reason for him to quit.  Because the record supports the determination that relator quit work without good reason caused by his employer, we affirm.

FACTS

            Relator Charles Bruce worked as a part-time weather observer for respondent C. Price & Associates from October 1999 until July 31, 2000.  On July 16, 2000, respondent altered its employees’ work schedules from 14-hour shifts to 10-hour shifts to conform to a contractual obligation with its client, the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Shortly afterward, respondent posted a new schedule containing the shorter shifts.  On the new schedule, relator was assigned to shifts on days that he had not previously worked.  On July 24, 2000, relator requested that he not be scheduled to work from July 30 to August 1 because he had already planned to spend those days with visiting relatives.

Relator did not receive approval from respondent but was told “we would work it out with, [sic] and we would get somebody to work.”  Relator did not show up for work on July 30, and he did not find a substitute for himself.  Unbeknownst to relator, respondent found another employee to cover relator’s shifts that weekend.

            On July 31, relator submitted a letter of resignation to his supervisor.  Although relator mentioned that he was unhappy with the new work schedule, the essence of relator’s letter was that he was resigning because he felt that when he asked for time off, he had been treated badly. 

            Relator filed a claim for unemployment benefits with the Minnesota Department of Economic Security.  The department determined relator was qualified to receive benefits, finding that relator quit with good reason caused by respondent.  Respondent appealed the decision, and a hearing was held before an unemployment law judge.  Relator testified that his letter did not describe all the reasons why he quit.  In addition to the trouble he experienced asking for time off, relator stated that he was also upset about the reduction of hours.  Curtis Price, respondent’s president, testified that, after receiving relator’s letter, he contacted relator personally and asked him to reconsider his decision.  Relator chose not to return.

The unemployment law judge reversed the department’s determination, and the commissioner’s representative affirmed the judge.  The commissioner’s representative found, by a preponderance of the evidence, that relator had quit without good cause.  This appeal follows.

D E C I S I O N

I.

On appeal, this court reviews the decision of the commissioner’s representative, not the decision of the unemployment law judge.  Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995).  We will sustain fact-findings of the commissioner’s representative if there is evidence reasonably supporting them.  Id. 

The determination that an employee quit without good reason attributable to the employer is a legal conclusion, but it must be based on findings that have the requisite evidentiary support.  Zepp v. Arthur Treacher Fish & Chips, Inc., 272 N.W.2d 262, 263 (Minn. 1978).  The findings of the commissioner’s representative must

be viewed in the light most favorable to the decision, and if there is evidence reasonably tending to sustain them, they will not be disturbed.

 

White v. Metro. Med. Ctr., 332 N.W.2d 25, 26 (Minn. 1983). 

            Generally, an applicant who quits employment is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1 (2000).  One exception occurs when “the applicant quit the employment because of a good reason caused by the employer.”  Id., subd. 1(1).  A good reason that justifies quitting is one:

(1) that is directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible; and

(2) that is significant and would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining in the employment.

 

Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(a) (2000).  The employee bears the burden of proving there was good reason to quit.  Hein v. Precision Associates, Inc., 609 N.W.2d 916, 918 (Minn. App. 2000).

The test for finding “good cause” is that

the circumstances which compel the decision to leave employment must be real, not imaginary, substantial not trifling, and reasonable, not whimsical; there must be some compulsion produced by extraneous and necessitous circumstances.  The standard of what constitutes good cause is the standard of reasonableness as applied to the average man or woman, and not to the supersensitive.

 

Ferguson v. Dep’t of Employment Servs., 311 Minn. 34, 44 n.5, 247 N.W.2d 895, 900 n.5 (1976) (quotation omitted).  “A substantial adverse change in the wages, hours, or other terms of employment” constitutes good reason for an employee to quit.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(c) (2000).  The employee must make his or her employer aware of the adverse conditions, and the employer must have a reasonable opportunity to correct the situation.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(b) (2000). 

            Here, the record supports the commissioner’s representative’s decision.  First, relator has failed to show that he had good reason to quit.  Although relator was understandably frustrated with respondent when he did not get a response to his request for time off, it was unreasonable to quit for this reason, especially in light of the fact that respondent found a replacement to work relator’s shifts.  Moreover, relator submitted his request after the schedule was posted.  Although respondent had generally not scheduled relator on those weekdays, relator had no reason to believe that respondent would not schedule him on these days.  Compare Baker v. Fanny Farmer Candy Shops No. 154, 394 N.W.2d 564, 566 (Minn. App. 1986) (holding employee, who “was originally hired with the understanding that she would not have to work nights,” had good cause to quit when she was transferred to night shift), withLarson v. Pelican Lake Nursing Home, 353 N.W.2d 647, 649 (Minn. App. 1984) (holding employee, who never expressly accepted or rejected “any definite hours on the day or night shifts,” did not have good cause to quit). 

Relator’s actual concern seems to be a conflict with how the president, Curtis Price, was managing his employees.  Relator stated in his termination letter that Price disregarded employee rights and accused Price of playing games with his employees’ lives.  Relator’s conflict with Price is also not a sufficient reason for quitting.  Trego v. Hennepin County Family Day Care Ass’n, 409 N.W.2d 23, 26 (Minn. App. 1987) (holding that an employee’s personality conflict with the employer does not constitute good cause to quit). 

Further, we agree with the commissioner’s representative that the change in relator’s hours caused by the new policy was not so substantial that a reasonable person would quit.  This change was caused by respondent’s contractual obligations with the FAA.  Although relator could no longer work the 14-hour shift that he preferred, he could have worked more shifts per week to make the same amount of hours.  Additionally, relator failed to make respondent aware that he was unhappy with this change in his schedule until after he quit.  Therefore, we affirm the commissioner’s representative’s decision.

II.

            The state moves to strike certain materials in relator’s appendix—pay stubs and a letter—from the record.  These materials were not presented during the administrative proceeding.  “The law is clear that matters not received into evidence at the trial may not be considered on appeal.”  Imprint Technologies, Inc. v. Comm’r of Econ. Sec., 535 N.W.2d 372, 378 (Minn. App. 1995); accord Minn. R. App. P. 110.01.

We “will grant a motion to strike material submitted in a party’s appendix when that material did not come before the trial court.”  Cressy v. Grassmann, 536 N.W.2d 39, 43 (Minn. App. 1995).  Because these documents were not introduced during the administrative proceeding, the motion to strike is granted.

Affirmed; motion granted.