This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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






Anthony L. Garcia,





Supervalu Inc.,



Department of Employment and Economic Development,



Filed September 18, 2007


Worke, Judge


Department of Employment and Economic Development

File No. 10916 06


Anthony L. Garcia, 1427 Fallbrook Lane, Woodbury, MN 55125 (pro se relator)


Lee B. Nelson, Department of Employment and Economic Development, 1st National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Department)


            Considered and decided by Worke, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Ross, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

WORKE, Judge

            Relator challenges the decision by the unemployment-law judge that he quit without good reason attributable to the employer and was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, arguing that (1) he was laid off from prior employment and took a position with Supervalu even though it required him to work evenings, which had an adverse effect on his young family; (2) he quit to get a job with a company that offered day hours, but it turned out that the company was not hiring; and (3) he should be able to collect benefits under the circumstances.  We affirm.


            This court may affirm the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ), 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 findings, inferences, conclusion, or decision are:

(1) in violation of constitutional provisions;

(2) in excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the department;

(3) made upon unlawful procedure;

(4) affected by other error of law;

(5) unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted; or

(6) arbitrary or capricious.


Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(d) (2006).  Findings of fact are viewed in the light most favorable to the ULJ’s decision, and deference is given to the ULJ’s credibility determinations.  Skarhus v. Davanni’s Inc., 721 N.W.2d 340, 344 (Minn. App. 2006).   Whether an individual quit employment and the reason the individual quit are questions of fact for the ULJ to determine.  Beyer v. Heavy Duty Air, Inc., 393 N.W.2d 380, 382 (Minn. App. 1986).  Whether, based upon the findings, the applicant falls under a statutory exception to disqualification is a question of law, which this court reviews de novo.  Peppi v. Phyllis Wheatley Cmty. Ctr., 614 N.W.2d 750, 752 (Minn. App. 2000). 

            In May 2006, relator Anthony L. Garcia quit his job as a truck driver with respondent Supervalu, Inc.  Relator told his supervisor that he had an opportunity to work during the day, Monday through Friday, at another company.  But appellant had not been offered a job at the other company, and he found out that the company was not hiring only after quitting his job with Supervalu.  In applying for benefits, appellant explained that he quit because he overheard that there were going to be layoffs in the warehouse and he was low on the seniority list.  Supervalu appealed the initial determination that relator was not disqualified from receiving benefits because he quit for a good reason caused by the employer.  Following a hearing, the ULJ ruled that relator did not have a good reason to quit and was disqualified from receiving benefits.  The ULJ found that relator voluntarily left his employment because he believed that he had a job opportunity that would better serve his long-term interests and he was concerned about possibly being laid off due to his low seniority.  However, relator was never expressly informed of any particular layoff.  Relator also did not receive an actual offer of employment from the other company before quitting. 

            An applicant who quits employment shall be disqualified from all unemployment benefits unless an exception applies.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1 (Supp. 2005).  An exception to disqualification applies when “the applicant quit the employment because of a good reason caused by the employer.”  Id., subd. 1(1).  “What constitutes good reason caused by the employer is defined exclusively by statute.”  Rootes v. Wal-Mart Assocs., Inc., 669 N.W.2d 416, 418 (Minn. App. 2003); Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(g) (2004) (providing that statutory definition is exclusive and that no other definition shall apply). 

            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.


Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(a) (2004).  “[T]here must be some compulsion produced by extraneous and necessitous circumstances.”  Ferguson v. Dep’t of Employment Servs., 311 Minn. 34, 44 n.5, 247 N.W.2d 895, 900 n.5 (1976).  The “reasonable-worker” standard is objective and is applied to the average person rather than the supersensitive.  Id.  “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.”  Nichols v. Reliant Eng’g & Mfg., Inc., 720 N.W.2d 590, 594 (Minn. App. 2006).  Appellant does not present any evidence to support his argument that he quit his employment because of a good reason caused by Supervalu. 

            Relator argues that he quit because he overheard talk of a possible layoff and was concerned about his long-term future.  Another exception to disqualification applies when “the applicant quit because the employer notified the applicant that the applicant was going to be laid off due to lack of work within 30 calendar days.”  Minn. Stat.  § 268.095, subd. 1(6).  Relator admits that while he overheard talk of possible layoffs, he never received an official notice of a layoff; therefore, this exception does not apply. 

            Relator also contends that his work days and hours were difficult on his family, so when he heard about a company where he could get better work days and hours, he quit.  An exception to disqualification applies when “the applicant quit the employment to accept other covered employment that provided substantially better terms and conditions of employment.”  Id., subd. 1(2).  Relator, however, had not received an offer of employment at another company.  Because relator did not quit in order to “accept other covered employment,” this exception does not apply.  And none of the remaining exceptions applies to relator’s situation.  See Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1.  Because relator voluntarily quit, and none of the exceptions to disqualifications applies, the ULJ did not err in determining that relator was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. 

            Finally, relator asks this court to consider his personal situation and look beyond what the statutes direct.  Minnesota law, however, prohibits us from allowing unemployment benefits under equitable or common law.  Minn. Stat. § 286.069, subd. 3 (2006) (“There shall be no equitable or common law denial or allowance of unemployment benefits.”).