This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).







Angela M. Manderfeld,





Amy Nelson,



Department of Employment and Economic Development,




Filed January 23, 2007


Lansing, Judge


Department of Employment and Economic Development,

File No. 2370 06


Angela M. Manderfeld, 33815 U.S. Highway 59 Northwest, Newfolden, MN 56738-9244 (pro se relator)


Amy Nelson, Styles by Amy, 311 Third Street East, Thief River Falls, MN 56701-2009 (respondent)


Lee B. Nelson, 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 of Employment and Economic Development)


            Considered and decided by Dietzen, Presiding Judge; Lansing, Judge; and Kalitowski, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Angela Manderfeld appeals, by writ of certiorari, an unemployment law judge’s order disqualifying her from receiving unemployment benefits.  Because substantial evidence supports the determination that Manderfeld quit her job, and no exceptions to disqualification apply, we affirm.


            Amy Nelson employed Angela Manderfeld as a cosmetologist in a beauty salon from June 1998 until January 2006.  Manderfeld worked thirty-two hours from Monday through Friday, and, for at least the first five years of her employment, she also worked two Saturdays each month.

            Beginning in 2004, Manderfeld requested and received permission to be excused from working many of the Saturday assignments.  Manderfeld testified that she believed that the permission was permanent or long term until she could arrange childcare for her son.  Nelson testified that it was periodic permission for personal reasons that included moving and childcare problems resulting from Manderfeld’s boyfriend changing his work hours.  The unemployment law judge found that the permission was granted for “off and on requests” for various personal reasons and that Manderfeld had not worked any Saturdays for the last four months of her employment. 

            In January 2006, Nelson asked Manderfeld several times to resume scheduling herself for at least two Saturdays each month.  Manderfeld told Nelson that she did not have childcare and refused to work on Saturdays.  She also refused Nelson’s offer to bring her four-year-old child with her when she worked on Saturdays.  After a series of discussions, Nelson told Manderfeld that she could choose either to comply with her obligation to work two Saturdays each month or to leave her employment.  Manderfeld gathered her belongings and left. 

            Manderfeld applied for unemployment compensation and her claim was denied.  On appeal, an unemployment law judge determined that Manderfeld quit without a good reason caused by her employer.  Manderfeld appeals, claiming that she was wrongfully discharged and qualifies for unemployment benefits.


            We review an unemployment law judge’s (ULJ) decision to determine whether substantial rights were prejudiced because the findings, inferences, conclusion, or decision are affected by error of law or unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record.  See Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(d) (2006) (providing bases on which this court may reverse or modify ULJ’s decision). 

            An employee who voluntarily quits her employment is disqualified from unemployment benefits unless she quit for a good reason caused by her employer.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(1) (2006).  A good reason is one that is adverse to the worker, directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible, and would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(a) (2006).  The determination that an employee quit without good reason caused by the employer is a legal conclusion, but the conclusion must be based on findings that have the requisite evidentiary support.  Zepp v. Arthur Treacher Fish & Chips, Inc., 272 N.W.2d 262, 263 (Minn. 1978). We defer to the ULJ’s assessment of credibility and resolution of conflicting testimony.  Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995).  But we exercise independent judgment on issues of law.  Jenkins v. Am. Express Fin. Corp., 721 N.W.2d 286, 289 (Minn. 2006). 

            The ULJ determined that Manderfeld voluntarily quit her employment and that no exception to disqualification applied.  An employee voluntarily quits when the decision to leave is her own.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 2(a) (2006); see Shanahan v. Dist. Mem’l Hosp., 495 N.W.2d 894, 896 (Minn. App. 1993) (“The test for determining whether an employee has voluntarily quit is whether the employee directly or indirectly exercises a free-will choice to leave the employment.”).  Manderfeld acknowledges that working two Saturdays each month was a condition of employment at Nelson’s salon unless Nelson granted permission to excuse an employee from the Saturday assignment.  During January 2006, Nelson repeatedly requested that Manderfeld select which two Saturdays she wanted to work, but Manderfeld refused.  When Nelson asked Manderfeld to either comply with Saturday scheduling requirements or leave employment, Manderfeld gathered her belongings and left.  The record supports the ULJ’s finding that Manderfeld exercised a free-will choice to voluntarily terminate her employment.  Thus, Manderfeld is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits unless she quit for a good reason caused by her employer as defined by section 268.095, subdivision 1(1).

            The ULJ found that Manderfeld left employment because she did not want to comply with the scheduling policy that required her to work at least two Saturdays a month.  Manderfeld argues that Nelson’s requiring her to comply with the standard scheduling policy was unreasonable because she had been promised a permanent exemption, and she was unable to arrange childcare on Saturdays.  Nelson, however, disputes Manderfeld’s claim of unlimited permission.  The ULJ found that the permission extended only to specific personal requests and that Nelson denied permission for any further exemptions in January 2006.  Because this determination rests on credibility, we must defer to the ULJ’s determination.  The ULJ also found that Manderfeld “could have made an effort to try to find daycare but did not want to do so and quit.”  This determination is based on credibility and also on evidence in the record as a whole.  Manderfeld acknowledged that she was able to find childcare for Saturday nights, rejected Nelson’s offer to let her bring her child with her to the salon on Saturdays, and did not provide the ULJ with any concrete reasons why she had been unable to arrange for Saturday childcare in the seven months leading up to Nelson’s January demand that Manderfeld resume working two Saturdays each month.

            The ULJ’s findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record.  The record does not support a claim that Manderfeld’s voluntary termination of employment was for good cause attributable to the employer and we affirm.