This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Donald I. Frishberg,
Best Cleaners, Inc.,
Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development,
Filed September 21, 2004
Department of Employment and Economic Development
File No. 16391 03
Donald I. Frishberg, 10641 Greenbrier Road, #327, Minnetonka, MN 55305 (pro se relator)
Best Cleaners, Inc., 8105 Minnetonka Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN 55426 (respondent)
Lee B. Nelson, Linda A. Holmes, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, 390 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent commissioner)
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Halbrooks, Judge.
Relator Donald I. Frishberg challenges the decision by the commissioner’s representative that he was disqualified from unemployment benefits, arguing that he quit because he was physically unable to perform his job. We affirm.
In March 2002, relator’s doctor informed him that due to a pinched nerve in his back, he should avoid lifting more than 20 pounds. In May 2002, relator established an unemployment-benefits account pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 268.07 (2002). The same month, relator took a job delivering laundry for respondent Best Cleaners (Best). Although the job required relator to regularly lift bags weighing between 15 and 30 pounds, he never informed Best of his physical limitation with respect to lifting. Shortly after beginning the job, relator’s back began bothering him; he did not notify Best or request any accommodation. In November 2002, relator quit his job because of the back pain, but told Best that he was leaving because he felt that he was overqualified for the job.
In August 2003, relator established a second unemployment-benefit account pursuant to the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002, Title II, Pub.L. 107-147, 116 Stat. 30 (2002) (TEUC Act), which provided extra weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to unemployed workers who had received all regular state unemployment benefits available to them. Section 202(d)(2) of the TEUC Act provides that “the terms and conditions of the State law which apply to claims for regular [unemployment] compensation and to the payment thereof shall apply to claims for [compensation brought under this act].”
Both an adjudicator for the Department of Employment and Economic Development and an unemployment-law judge determined that relator was disqualified from receiving either state or TEUC Act unemployment benefits; a representative of the Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development affirmed that determination. This appeal follows.
On appeal, this court defers to the decision of the commissioner’s representative. Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995). The commissioner’s representative’s factual findings are viewed in the light most favorable to the decision and are not disturbed if evidence in the record reasonably tends to sustain them. Lolling v. Midwest Patrol, 545 N.W.2d 372, 377 (Minn. 1996). This court reviews the district court’s rulings on questions of law de novo. Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989).
An employee who quits his employment is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits unless he falls under one of the eight exceptions set forth in Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1 (2002), including that the employee quit for a good reason caused by the employer, id., subd. 1(3), or that a “serious illness or injury made it medically necessary that the applicant quit, provided that [he] made reasonable efforts to remain in that employment . . . [including] inform[ing] the employer of the [condition] and request[ing] accommodation.” Id., subd. 1(7).
Relator knowingly accepted a position with lifting requirements that violated his doctor’s recommendations and then quit after experiencing back problems from performing his required duties. He does not contend that he notified Best that he was unable to do his job for medical reasons, that he quit because of adverse working conditions, that he ever made reasonable efforts to keep his job, or that he requested any accommodation for his medical condition from Best before he quit. Relator is therefore disqualified from receiving either state or TEUC benefits.