This opinion will be unpublished and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
Sather Trucking Company, Inc.,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Filed August 1, 2006
Sather Trucking Company, Inc., One Sather Plaza, P.O. Box 28, Round Lake, MN 56167 (respondent employer)
Linda A. Holmes, Department of Employment and Economic Development, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351 (for respondent Department)
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Relator challenges the senior unemployment review judge’s (SURJ) determination that he quit his employment with respondent without good reason caused by his employer. Because the SURJ’s findings are based in the record and support the conclusion that relator is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, we affirm.
Relator Joseph J.
Oliver worked as an over-the-road truck driver for respondent Sather Trucking Company,
Inc. from September 1998 to March 2005. While
relator lived in
When relator came in for the March 7 meeting with Goesch, Lee told him not to expect much. Relator asked Goesch to get him a new dispatcher because he felt Widman was favoring other drivers, but Goesch said he could not do that. Even though Goesch said he did not want relator to quit, relator thought Goesch was not going to do anything, so he quit.
Respondent Department of Employment and Economic Development initially determined that relator was disqualified from receiving benefits because relator quit without good reason caused by the employer. He appealed and a hearing was held before the unemployment law judge (ULJ). The ULJ found the situation was not so egregious or adverse that an average, reasonable employee would quit, and the SURJ independently agreed. Relator filed this certiorari appeal.
This court reviews
the findings of the SURJ rather than those of the ULJ. Tuff v.
Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (
Relator quit his job as an over-the-road truck driver because he felt the dispatcher was favoring other drivers. An employee who quits employment is disqualified from receiving benefits unless it falls within a statutory exception. Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1 (2004). To qualify for benefits, relator must show that he had a good reason caused by the employer for quitting that was (1) directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible, (2) adverse to the employee, and (3) would compel an average, reasonable employee to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining in the employment. See id., subd. 3(a) (2004).
The SURJ found
that relator’s miles were “comparable” to those of other full-time drivers and
that relator’s assignments to California were “less frequent” than other
drivers for the six months about which he complained. These findings have a substantial basis in
the record. Sather’s documents indicate
that the 45 full-time drivers traveled 56,226 average miles for September
through February, and relator came in just below the average at 53,535
miles. Relator was paid $.40 per mile
and $25 per stop. His four trips to
that Widman gave him “garbage loads,” and Widman’s friends got the better,
high-mileage trips to
The issue then is whether these work conditions “would compel an
average, reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining
in the employment.”
Because relator was
not treated in a manner significantly different from the average employee and
the record does not demonstrate a substantial decrease in his compensation,
there is no basis justifying a quit for good reason caused by the
employer. Although we understand that relator
was particularly interested in receiving dispatches home to
testimony also supports the SURJ’s finding that relator had a personality
conflict with the dispatcher. Irreconcilable
differences with one’s employer or frustration and dissatisfaction with one’s
working conditions, however, are not good reasons to quit. Portz
v. Pipestone Skelgas, 397 N.W.2d 12, 14 (
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.