This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Nancy L. Hendrickson,
American Express Financial Planning,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Filed August 16, 2005
Department of Employment and Economic Development
File No. 1152004
Olson, American Express Financial Planning,
Linda A. Holmes, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E2000, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351 (for respondent Department of Employment and Economic Development)
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Stoneburner, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Pro se relator Nancy L. Hendrickson challenges a decision by a senior unemployment review judge determining that she quit her job with respondent American Express Financial Planning (Financial Planning) without good reason caused by her employer and that she is therefore disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. Because the evidence reasonably supports the decision of the review judge, we affirm.
In May 2003, relator was employed by a temporary-employment service, Midwest Staffing, and assigned to part-time work for respondent Financial Planning as a general office worker. When relator accepted the temporary assignment, she agreed to work for $9 per hour. Financial Planning’s owner, Duane Olson, agreed to hire relator as a permanent employee at the end of her assignment and give her a wage increase if she met his performance requirements. Relator agrees that no specific amount was quoted, but claims that she understood Olson to promise that he would pay her the gross amount that Financial Planning was paying to Midwest Staffing for her services.
some point during her assignment, relator came upon a document in the fax
machine that indicated that Financial Planning was paying Midwest Staffing
$13.95 per hour for her services. Relator
claims that sometime in August 2003, shortly before the end of her assignment, Olson
told her that he planned to hire her on a permanent basis and pay her what he
was paying Midwest Staffing, or somewhere around $13 per hour.
Relator worked directly for Financial Planning from August 19 to August 29, 2003, when she quit. Although Olson offered relator additional hours per week and informed her of the possibility of future wage increases, she claimed that was not what she had been promised, that $10 per hour was not enough, and that she could not afford daycare on that amount.
D E C I S I O N
review of unemployment-insurance cases is narrow and limited to determining
whether the record reasonably supports the decision of the senior unemployment
review judge. Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (
employee who quits a job is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits
unless the employee quits “because of a good reason caused by the
employer.” Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd.
1(1) (Supp. 2003). A good reason caused
by an employer is defined as a significant reason directly related to the
employment for which the employer is responsible and that would “compel an average,
reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed” rather than remain
When an employer breaches
a term of an employment agreement, an employee may be deemed to have good
reason to quit. See, e.g., Hayes v. K-Mart
Corp., 665 N.W.2d 550, 552-53 (
evidence reasonably supports the review judge’s determination that a promise was
made to increase relator’s wages at the end of her temporary assignment, but
that a specific amount was not discussed.
The review judge found that there was conflicting testimony from relator
and Olson regarding the promised rate of hourly pay: relator claimed that Olson
promised to increase her pay to $13 per hour, while Olson claimed that he
merely promised to increase her pay from the amount that she received from
Midwest Staffing, which he did when he offered her an increase from $9 to $10
per hour. When there is conflicting
evidence, we must defer to the review judge on issues of credibility. Whitehead
v. Moonlight Nursing Care, Inc., 529 N.W.2d 350, 352 (
We conclude that relator’s misunderstanding about the amount of her raise does not constitute good reason caused by her employer to quit. Rather, relator chose to quit her job because her wage increase was not as large as she had hoped. Although this may have provided her with a reason to look for other employment, we cannot conclude that it provided her with good reason caused by her employer to quit. As the review judge stated, while relator’s “dissatisfaction with her hourly rate of pay might have prodded her to seek other employment while she continued working, the evidence does not lead us to conclude that the average reasonable worker would quit and join the ranks of the unemployed under similar circumstances.” We therefore affirm the decision of the review judge.
unemployment decisions made on or after August 1, 2004, the decision-maker
formerly known as the commissioner’s representative is referred to as a “senior
unemployment review judge.” Minn. Stat.
§ 268.105, subd. 2 (2004); 2004