This opinion will be unpublished and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
Raymond Hebzinski, Jr.,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Department of Employment and Economic Development
File No. 4350 05
Howard L. Bolter, Borkon, Ramstead, Mariani, Fishman & Carp, Ltd., Suite 100, Parkdale I, 5401 Gamble Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55416-1552 (for relator)
Linda Holmes, Department of Employment and Economic Development, First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge; Minge, Judge; and Ross, Judge.
Relator challenges the decision of the SURJ that he was ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was not available for suitable employment or actively seeking suitable employment. We affirm.
Universal Spray & Drywall (Universal Drywall) terminated relator Raymond Hebzinski, Jr. (Hebzinski) on July 5, 2004. A Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) adjudicator determined that Hebzinski was ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was not available for and not actively seeking suitable employment. The unemployment law judge (ULJ) affirmed DEED’s adjudicator. Hebzinski appealed, and the Senior Unemployment Review Judge (SURJ) found that no determinative facts were in dispute and adopted the findings of fact and decision of the ULJ as DEED’s final decision.
Hebzinski worked as a truck driver and spray technician for Universal Drywall from 1994 through July 5, 2004. After being laid off, Hebzinski applied for and received unemployment benefits. In March 2005, Hebzinski completed a DEED questionnaire regarding his efforts to find employment. His responses indicated that he had applied for one job a month from November 2004 through January 2005. After verifying that Hebzinski was able to work with medical restrictions, a DEED adjudicator determined that Hebzinski’s work search was inadequate and that he was ineligible for unemployment benefits.
At the de novo evidentiary hearing before the ULJ, Hebzinski offered additional evidence of his efforts to find work in drywall, maintenance, or as a forklift or truck driver. He named or described a number of potential employers he contacted between November 2004 and April 2005. Hebzinski explained that he sought employment based on “whatever [he found] in the paper” and that his daughter had obtained “a couple” of job leads for him “off the computer.” The SURJ adopted the ULJ’s finding that Hebzinski had applied for approximately ten positions during the period from November of 2004 through early April of 2005 and determined that this was insufficient to continue receiving unemployment benefits because numerous jobs in his field should have been available. Hebzinski brought a certiorari appeal to this court.
issue in this case is whether the SURJ erred in determining that Hebzinski was
ineligible for unemployment benefits. On
appeal, this court reviews the decision by the SURJ. Tuff v.
Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (
applicant is eligible for unemployment benefits only if he “was available for suitable employment, and was
actively seeking suitable employment.”
The question in
our case is whether Hebzinski was actively seeking employment. This issue has been considered in several
cases. The supreme court determined that
regularly reading newspaper and journal advertisements, conducting a single
search of a job data bank, and applying for only two or three positions in
three months, is not actively seeking employment. Monson
Here, Hebzinski was able to work with medical restrictions.  Hebzinski’s work search consisted of reading newspaper advertisements, applying for one or two jobs a month, contacting his former employer, and conducting a one-time search of an electronic employment database. The SURJ found that he sought employment in fields where opportunities do not appear to be as limited as this scant search would suggest. Therefore, the SURJ did not err in concluding that these acts did not represent the reasonable, diligent efforts required of an active work search. See Monson, 262 N.W.2d at 172; James, 354 N.W.2d at 844. We conclude that the SURJ did not err in determining that Hebzinski lacked a genuine attachment to the workforce, which rendered him ineligible for unemployment benefits.
we consider whether the determination by the SURJ that numerous positions
should be available in the fields of driving and maintenance is erroneous. The statute defines “actively seeking
suitable employment” with reference to “the existing conditions in the labor
market area.” Minn. Stat. § 268.085,
subd. 16(a). Hebzinski calls our
attention to the Decker decision, in
which this court struck an unsupported presumption made by the SURJ. Decker,540 N.W.2d at 549. But the unsupported
finding in Decker dealt with the
claimant’s specific job-search efforts, not a description of generally
prevailing market conditions.
Effective August 1, 2004, the statutory title of the individual conducting
review proceedings under Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 2 (2004), was changed to
“senior unemployment review judge.” Compare
 SURJ may adopt the findings and decision of the ULJ as DEED’s final determination. Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 2a(a) (2004).
 We note that Hebzinski asserts that he applied for more than ten jobs. Because the SURJ did not make an express finding on quantity, but rather determined that Hebzinski applied for “approximately ten positions” during the relevant time period, we do not consider this to be a sufficient discrepancy to create an issue of fact in this case.
applicant may restrict himself to “suitable” employment, which considers the
relative “degree of risk involved to the health and safety” of the