This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).








Brenda M. Walker,





Associated Bank,



Department of Employment and Economic Development,




Filed July 11, 2006


Toussaint, Chief Judge


Department of Employment and Economic Development

File No. 10606 05



Brenda M. Walker, 1217 Seventh Avenue South, South St. Paul, MN 55075 (pro se relator)


Associated Bank, c/o Talx UCM Services, Inc., Post Office Box 283, St. Louis, MO 63166-0283 (respondent)


Linda A. Holmes, Department of Employment and Economic Development, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351 (for respondent Department)



            Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Willis, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge

Relator Brenda M. Walker challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she is disqualified from receiving benefits because she quit her employment without a good reason caused by the employer.  Because the ULJ’s findings, inferences, conclusion, and decision are not affected by an error of law and are supported by substantial evidence, we affirm. 


An employee who quits employment is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits unless the employee can show that a statutory exception applies.  To establish that she had “good reason caused by the employer” for quitting, an employee must show that the employer was responsible for the reason that: 1) was directly related to the employment, 2) was adverse to the employee, and 3) would compel an average, reasonable employee to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining in the employment.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subds. 1, 3 (2004). 

This court may reverse or modify the ULJ’s decision if the substantial rights of the employee may have been prejudiced because the findings, inferences, conclusion, or decision is affected by error of law or unsupported by substantial evidence.  Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(d) (Supp. 2005).  In reviewing the ULJ’s decision, this court does not consider matters outside of the record.  Because the ULJ made no finding that there was any reason to hold an additional hearing, see id., subd. 2(c), and, because, on review, we consider only the administrative record, Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 115.04, subd. 1, we do not consider any additional or new evidence presented in Walker’s appellate brief, addenda, and attachment. 

Walker claims that her employer intended to fire her regardless of anything she might have done to improve her performance.  It is mere speculation whether her employer would have discharged her after the probation period, however, because Walker quit after less than one month of probation.  In any event, even notification of a future discharge is not considered a good reason caused by the employer for quitting.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(e) (2004).

Walker also claims that the facts support a “hostile environment” justifying the quit.  The only definition of good reason caused by the employer is provided by statute.  Id., subd. 3(g).  “Hostile . . . environment” is used in the statute only in reference to a claim of sexual harassment.  Id., subd. 3(f)(3).  As there is no allegation of sexual harassment, the use of the term in this case is misplaced.  Instead, Walker must show that the adverse actions of the employer would compel an average, reasonable employee to quit and become unemployed.  Id., subd. 3(a)(3).

The ULJ’s findings were consistent with Walker’s testimony at the hearing and do not support the conclusion that she quit with good reason caused by the employer.  The ULJ found that Walker received a delayed and negative performance review. She expected a review, which apparently was routine, and she knew that there were problems with the lockbox system for which she was in charge.   Therefore, it was reasonable that she might receive a negative review.  Her salary remained the same as before the regular review date, and she was placed on probation with the specific expectation that she would improve her performance.  An employer should be able to expect that it can take such steps to correct poor performance.  Walker also testified that she was deprived of certain “tools” and it would be “hard or impossible” to satisfy the probation conditions, but this, too, is speculative because she quit before trying to satisfy them.  In short, the facts do not support the conclusion that Walker was compelled to quit or that an average, reasonable employee would quit rather than remain in the employment.