This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Ashley A. Huisman,
Total Card, Inc.,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Filed May 22, 2007
Department of Employment and Economic Development
File No. 2948 06
Ashley A. Huisman, 1411 Harding Avenue, Rock Rapids, IA 51246 (pro se relator)
Total Card, Inc., 1 Roundwind Road, Luverne, MN 56156 (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 Ross, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Halbrooks, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Relator Ashley Huisman challenges the unemployment law judge’s determination that she quit her employment without good reason caused by the employer. Relator also argues that the unemployment law judge erred in determining that she is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits after January 24, 2006. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Relator Ashley Huisman was employed by Total Card, Inc. as a full-time customer service representative from 2004 until she gave a two-week resignation notice on January 10, 2006, with an effective employment termination date on January 24, 2006. On January 12, 2006, the employer accepted relator’s resignation but made it effective immediately.
Relator argues that the unemployment law judge (ULJ) erred by determining that she quit and was not terminated, she quit without good reason attributable to the employer, and she is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits after January 24.
In reviewing the findings by the ULJ, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the decision. Skarhus v. Davanni’s Inc., 721 N.W.2d 340, 344 (Minn. App. 2006). Whether relator was discharged or quit is a question of fact. Shanahan v. Dist. Mem. Hosp., 495 N.W.2d 894, 896 (Minn. App. 1993). “Findings of fact must be reviewed in the light most favorable to the decision and will not be disturbed if there is evidence reasonably tending to sustain the findings.” Id. Whether relator quit for good reason caused by her employer is a question of law that we review de novo. Hein v. Precision Assocs., Inc., 609 N.W.2d 916, 918 (Minn. App. 2000). Whether the ULJ correctly determined that relator is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits after January 24 is also a question of law that we review de novo. Roloff v. Comm’r of Dep’t of Employment & Econ. Dev., 668 N.W.2d 12, 14 (Minn. App. 2003), review denied (Minn. Nov. 18, 2003).
The purpose of unemployment benefits is to provide income to individuals whobecome unemployed through no fault of their own. Minn. Stat. § 268.03 (Supp. 2005); Hansen v. C.W. Mears, Inc., 486 N.W.2d 776, 779 (Minn. App. 1992), review denied (Minn. July 16, 1992). When an employee quits on her own, she does not qualify for unemployment benefits unless she can show that she quit for good reason caused by her employer. Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(1) (Supp. 2005).
Relator argues that she was discharged and did not quit her job. A discharge occurs “when any words or actions by an employer would lead a reasonable employee to believe that the employer will no longer allow the employee to work for the employer in any capacity.” Id., subd. 5(a) (2004). A quit occurs “when the decision to end the employment was, at the time the employment ended, the employee’s.” Id., subd. 2(a) (2004).
“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.” Shanahan, 495 N.W.2d at 896. Here, the ULJ found that relator gave a two-week resignation notice on January 10, stating her last working day would be January 24. On January, 12, 2006, relator was discharged and escorted out of the building. From these findings, the ULJ properly concluded that relator was entitled to unemployment benefits when she was discharged on January 12, but that the discharge converted to a quit on relator’s intended resignation date, January 24. See Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 5(b) (2004) (stating that an employee who is terminated “within 30 calendar days prior to the intended date of quitting” is considered to have been terminated until the intended date of quitting, when the “separation from employment shall be considered a quit from employment”).
Relator also asserts that the ULJ erred by concluding that she is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits after the January 24 resignation date. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 5(b), the discharge converted to a quit on relator’s intended resignation date, January 24. An employee who quits without good reason attributable to the employer is not qualified to receive unemployment benefits. Relator asserts that she quit for good reason caused by her employer. But there is evidence in the record to support the ULJ’s finding that relator gave a two-week resignation notice because she expected to receive a more beneficial job.
In her appellate brief relator argues that she was compelled to quit due to intolerable working conditions and was fired because she complained about the supervisors. But these claims were not argued nor considered in the initial evidentiary hearing, and we will not consider them for the first time on appeal. See Roby v. State, 547 N.W.2d 354, 357 (Minn. 1996). We conclude that the ULJ properly determined that relator is disqualified from receiving benefits beginning on January 24.