This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. ß 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Lonnie R. Norberg,
Twin Cities Glass Block, Inc.,
Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development,
Department of Employment and Economic Development
File No. 5777 03
Lonnie R. Norberg, 5767 Naughtor Avenue Northeast, St. Michael, MN 55376-3289 (pro se respondent)
Dennis Paul Pelowski, 300 Lumber Exchange Building, 10 South Fifth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for relator)
Lee B. Nelson, Katrina I. Gulstad, Department of Employment and Economic Development, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development)
††††††††††† Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski Judge; and Minge, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D†† O P I N I O N
Relator Twin Cities Glass Block, Inc. challenges the decision of the representative of the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development finding respondent Lonnie Norberg eligible for unemployment benefits.† We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
On appeal, this court reviews the decision of the commissionerís representative rather than the decision of the unemployment law judge.† Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995).† We review the commissionerís representativeís factual findings in the light most favorable to the decision and will not disturb them if the record reasonably tends to sustain them.† Lolling v. Midwest Patrol, 545 N.W.2d 372, 377 (Minn. 1996).† Whether an offer of suitable employment has been made is a question of fact involving a determination of credibility.† Willrich v. Top Temp., Inc., 379 N.W.2d 731, 732 (Minn. App. 1986).† When the parties present conflicting evidence, this court must defer to the commissionerís representativeís credibility determinations.† Whitehead v. Moonlight Nursing Care, Inc., 529 N.W.2d 350, 352 (Minn. App. 1995).
††††††††††† Relator argues that respondent unreasonably refused to accept an offer for suitable employment.† An applicant is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits if the applicant fails to accept an offer of suitable employment without good cause.† Minn. Stat. ß 268.095, subd. 8(a)(2) (2002).† Here, the commissionerís representative concluded that respondent did not avoid, fail to apply for, or fail to accept an offer of suitable employment.
††††††††††† The commissionerís representative found that, following respondentís discharge, relator did not make respondent an offer to return to work.† The commissionerís representative also found that, although respondent objected to some of the terms of employment discussed between him and relator, respondent would have accepted the job had an offer been made.† Relator cites Lolling v. Midwest Patrol for the proposition that an offer to return to work need not specify every single detail that may relate to the job and failure to provide a return date is not fatal to the issue of whether relator has made an offer.† 545 N.W.2d 377.† But in Lolling, the court reviewed the evidence in the light most favorable to the employer and concluded that there was evidence in the record that reasonably sustained the commissionerís representativeís findings.† Id.† The procedural posture of this case requires us to review the evidence in the light most favorable to the employee and affirm the commissionerís representativeís decision if the facts reasonably support its findings.
††††††††††† Here, the record indicates that respondent did not unreasonably refuse to pursue an offer for suitable employment.† Respondent met with relator in January 2003 to discuss possible new terms of employment, and it is undisputed that no offer was made at this meeting.† In February 2003, relator contacted respondent to inform him that he would not be called back on March 1, 2003, as respondent earlier anticipated.† In March 2003, respondent again met with relator to discuss possible terms of employment.† Although the record indicates that respondent walked out of the March meeting, upset with some of the proposed terms of employment, respondent stated that he probably would have accepted employment under those conditions had an offer been made.† The day after the meeting, relator stopped service on respondentís company cellular phone.† Relator then mailed respondent a letter summarizing the terms of employment, but the letter specifically stated that it was not a contract.† And the letter did not state when respondent would be able to return to work.
††††††††††† We conclude that the commissionerís representativeís findings, that relator did not make an offer of employment and respondent did not avoid an offer of employment, are reasonably supported by the record.† Because respondent was discharged without cause and has not failed to accept suitable employment, he is eligible for unemployment benefits.