This opinion will be unpublished and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
Ray A. Neloms,
Department of Employment
and Economic Development,
Filed July 17, 2007
Department of Employment
and Economic Development
File No. 2937 06
James C. Snyder, Sr., Snyder Law Office, P.A., 2499 Rice Street, #130, Roseville, Minnesota 55113 (for relator)
John J. Choi,
Lee B. Nelson, Linda A. Holmes, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-1351 (for respondent Department)
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
this certiorari appeal from an unemployment-law judge’s decision disqualifying relator
Ray A. Neloms from receiving unemployment benefits, relator argues that he
quit for a good reason caused by his employer, respondent City of
Those who pass the crew-leader exam are placed on a waiting list for employer-sponsored waste-water training in the order in which they scored. At the time he terminated his employment, relator was seventh or eighth on the list.
The city’s policy is to send to waste-water training those employees who are either (1) licensed waste-water operators needing continuing education credits, or (2) high enough on the waiting list such that they are considered “potential crew leaders.” At the time he terminated his employment, relator was not a licensed waste-water operator, nor was he high enough on the waiting list to be considered a potential crew leader.
However, any employee who has passed the crew-leader exam may take the waste-water certification exam if he or she has sufficient vacation time. The city reimburses the vacation time if the employee passes the exam. At the time he terminated his employment, relator did not have sufficient vacation time to take the exam.
On February 10, 2006, relator quit his employment and established a benefit account on February 16, 2006. On his benefit application, relator stated that he quit his employment because his employer denied him an opportunity to advance his career by prohibiting him from attending the most recent waste-water training.
When reviewing an unemployment-benefits decision, this
court may affirm the decision, remand the case for further proceedings,
or reverse or modify the decision if the substantial rights of the petitioner
may have been prejudiced because the decision is affected by error of law, is
unsupported by substantial evidence, or is arbitrary and capricious. Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(d)
(2006). We view the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ’s) findings of
fact in the light most favorable to the decision. Skarhus
v. Davanni’s, Inc., 721 N.W.2d 340, 344 (Minn. App. 2006). We will not disturb factual findings that are
reasonably supported by the record. Ress v. Abbott Nw. Hosp., Inc., 448
N.W.2d 519, 523 (
An employee who quits cannot collect unemployment
benefits unless the employee quits for a good reason caused by the
Good reason caused by the employer is defined as 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.”
good personal reason does not necessarily equal a good cause to quit. Kehoe
Because it is undisputed that relator quit, the only issue we must decide is whether the ULJ’s finding that relator did not quit for a good reason caused by his employer was supported by the record. The record shows that the city had established objective criteria for determining who to send to waste-water training. Even though relator did not possess the necessary qualifications to receive employer-sponsored training, he nonetheless argues that his employer was retaliating against him for a discrimination complaint he filed with the EEOC in 2004. He claims that his employer’s harassment and discrimination caused him severe mental trauma, and he cites to Marz in support of his claim that he quit for good cause.
However, relator testified that his belief that respondent was retaliating against him was just an assumption, and he has not presented any corroborating evidence. In addition, this case is distinguishable from Marz because relator has not presented any evidence that he suffered mental trauma; that his employer showed preference to less qualified or less experienced employees; or that his employer deviated from its established policy by denying him training. See id. at 289 (stating that the employee must show good cause attributable to the employer for leaving the employment). In addition, the record does not contain any evidence that the EEOC required the city to take any corrective action that could be considered a potential motive for retaliation. As such, we conclude that relator’s disappointment with his prospects for career advancement—although arguably a good personal reason to quit—does not equate to a good reason to quit caused by his employer.
DEED moved this court to strike relator’s reply brief. A reply brief “must be confined to the new
matter raised in the brief of the respondent.”
Affirmed; motion granted.