This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Noel B. Gilles,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Filed April 17, 2007
Department of Employment and Economic Development
File No. 3266 06
Noel B. Gilles,
Lee B. Nelson, Linda A. Holmes, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, 1st National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Lansing, Judge; and Worke, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On certiorari to our court, Noel Gilles appeals an unemployment-law judge’s decision that he is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because he failed to maintain an active benefit account. Because the unemployment-law judge’s decision relies on law that is no longer in effect and was not in effect at the time of the ineligibility decision, we remand for further proceedings.
F A C T S
Noel Gilles established an active unemployment-benefits account in September 2005. As an unemployment-benefits recipient, Gilles received a notice describing TELECLAIM, the state’s system for accessing and managing unemployment benefits by touch-tone telephone. The notice instructed him to call TELECLAIM to maintain his eligibility for benefits:
IMPORTANT: You must call TELECLAIM as instructed to maintain an active account even if wage information, benefit determinations or an appeal are pending. If you forget or do not call TELECLAIM as scheduled, to answer the questions regarding your ongoing eligibility for the two-week period, you will be denied benefits for that period.
Gilles successfully used the TELECLAIM system to maintain eligibility and received unemployment benefits until January 20, 2006, when the Department of Employment and Economic Development determined that Gilles was no longer eligible for benefits because he missed a mandatory orientation session. Gilles appealed the ineligibility determination and obtained a favorable decision on February 13, 2006.
On February 21, 2006, Gilles entered the TELECLAIM system to request benefits for the period covering the appeal, which extended from January 9, 2006, through February 18, 2006. The department denied Gilles’s request based on its finding that Gilles did not file a continued biweekly request for benefits for January 9, 2006, through February 18, 2006. Gilles again appealed and participated in a telephone hearing on March 21, 2006. In that hearing Gilles explained that he did not make a request for benefits between January 11, 2006, and February 21, 2006, because his ineligibility appeal was pending.
The unemployment-law judge (ULJ) issued a decision the following day, denying Gilles’s request for benefits. The analysis section of the decision primarily consists of a page and a half of quoted statutory material. Following the quoted statutes, the decision briefly states that Gilles’s misunderstanding about his obligation to continue requesting benefits during a pending appeal was not “a good reason” for failing to request those benefits.
Gilles filed a request for reconsideration on March 23, 2006, arguing that he did not stop requesting benefits, but that the TELECLAIM system prevented him from requesting benefits. The ULJ affirmed his earlier decision on April 26, 2006, observing that TELECLAIM call records admitted into evidence at the March 21, 2006 telephone hearing showed that Gilles had not logged into the system for any purpose between January 11, 2006, and February 21, 2006. Gilles now appeals.
D E C I S I O N
On appeal from an unemployment-law
judge’s (ULJ) benefits determination, we may affirm, remand, or reverse.
analysis section of the ULJ’s March 22, 2006 decision begins by quoting the
statutory requirement that to be eligible for benefits for a given week an
applicant must have an active benefits account and file a “continued biweekly
request for unemployment benefits for that week pursuant to section
ULJ’s decision does not provide a standard citation for the statutes that it
quotes, and we, therefore, have no indication of the time period for which the
decision asserts that the quoted language was effective. Significantly, the legislature amended the
unemployment statutes in 2005, with the changes effective July, 1, 2005. 2005
Gilles established his benefits
account in September 2005, and the events relevant to his benefits
determination occurred in the early part of 2006. As a result, it appears to us that Gilles was
directed by the commissioner to request his benefits in a manner no longer
Consequently, the ULJ’s reasons do not provide a legal basis for denying Gilles benefits. Because neither Gilles nor the department addressed the issue of the repeal of Minn. Stat. § 268.086, subd. 4, we remand to the ULJ for a determination on whether Gilles is ineligible for benefits under the law in effect at the time he requested benefits.