This opinion will be unpublished and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
Volt Management Corp.,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Filed August 15, 2006
Volt Management Corp., c/o Employers Unity Inc., P.O. Box 749000, Arvada, CO 80006-9000 (respondent)
Linda A. Holmes, Department of Employment and Economic Development, First National Bank Building, 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 conclusion of the unemployment-law judge that relator was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because she quit without a good reason caused by her employer. Because the evidence reasonably tends to sustain the findings supporting that conclusion, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Respondent Volt Management provides administrative services to its corporate clients. Volt hired relator Denise Blomker in August 2003. Her last assignment, with a client corporation’s IT department, began in December 2004.
Blomker quit her employment with Volt in September 2005. She applied for unemployment benefits, and a department adjudicator determined that she quit without a good reason caused by her employer. She appealed; after a telephone conference, an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) also determined that Blomker had quit without a good reason caused by Volt. Blomker requested reconsideration, and the ULJ issued an order of affirmance.
A person who quits employment is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits unless, in relevant part, the quit was “because of a good reason caused by the employer.” Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(1) (Supp. 2005). Section 268.095, subdivision 3 (2004), provides:
(a) A good reason caused by the employer for quitting is a reason:
(1) that is directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible;
(2) that is adverse to the worker; and
(3) that would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining in the employment.
(b) The analysis required in paragraph (a) must be applied to the specific facts of each case.
(c) If an applicant was subjected to adverse working conditions by the employer, the applicant must complain to the employer and give the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the adverse working conditions before that may be considered a good reason caused by the employer for quitting.
. . . .
(g) The definition of a good reason caused by the employer for quitting employment provided by this subdivision shall be exclusive and no other definition shall apply.
“Whether an employee has been
discharged or voluntarily quit is a question of fact.” Midland
Elec., Inc. v. Johnson, 372 N.W.2d 810, 812 (
The ULJ found that “Blomker quit because she objected to training her replacement . . . .” Blomker’s testimony supports this finding. She testified that Volt “wanted me to train in [my replacement] for two weeks half days [i.e., August 29 – September 9].” When asked if she agreed to do so, Blomker testified, “I did not agree to do so. What I did was I turned in my resignation, I said that I would train her for one week and that was the week of [August] 29th [through September 2].” When asked why she did not agree to train her replacement for the full two weeks, Blomker said, “Well, one of the reasons . . . is that when [the client corporation’s] work is there [then] I think a [client corporation] employee should be training in someone, . . . not having someone else do the work.” When asked if she “philosophically thought that it shouldn’t be [she who trained] this new person,” Blomker answered, “Right.” Blomker’s testimony supports the finding that she quit because she objected to training her replacement.
The ULJ also found that Blomker quit “because she had not been offered another assignment by Volt.” Again, evidence supports the finding. On August 4, Blomker sent Volt an e-mail that said: “I have made my decision. Please start the process to get me a new position.” Blomker testified that she told Volt that she “wanted to be placed in another assignment” and that Volt tried to find another position for her. Blomker also testified that a different department in the client corporation planned to hire someone from Volt and that she interviewed with that department but was not offered the job.
Blomker quit 25 days after letting Volt know that she wanted a different position. She testified that “[Volt tries] to get you something comparable [to the position you’re leaving.] I certainly wasn’t going to go for a clerical position with the background I have. I prefer something admin or executive assistant type work which is what I had been doing.” Volt’s branch manager confirmed that “[Blomker’s] employment would have been continued if she had stayed and you know we absolutely did try to accommodate her [by] finding another position but . . . of course we want to find something that would work for [Blomker] as well as the customer [and it] has to be a good match.”
Even if Blomker considered that her position was an “adverse
working condition,” within the meaning of the unemployment-insurance statute, she
was obliged to give respondent time to correct that condition before it would
become a good reason caused by the employer for quitting. See
The evidence supports the ULJ’s findings that Blomker quit because she objected to training her replacement and because Volt had not yet found her a new position; neither reason is a good reason to quit caused by Volt.
In her brief, Blomker says she became unemployed due to “health concerns” and describes an injury and the conditions resulting from it. But when she was asked during the hearing if her injury related to her decision to quit, she said, “No that has nothing to do with it.” Blomker also claims in her brief that she wasn’t given “opportunity to elaborate on the workplace situations” during the telephone hearing. But the transcript shows that when the ULJ asked her, “[W]hat else would you like to tell me[?],” she answered, “I guess that’s about it. I think that’s enough.”
The ULJ’s conclusion that Blomker quit without a good reason caused by her employer is based on findings that are supported by substantial evidence.