This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. ' 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).

STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
C7-96-26

Kelly M. Martinson,
Relator,

vs.

Micro Voice Applications, Inc.,
Respondent,

Commissioner of Economic Security,
Respondent.

Filed July 23, 1996
Affirmed
Holtan, Judge
*

Department of Economic Security
File No. 6896 UC 95

Kelly M. Martinson, 4129 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Pro Se Relator)

Micro Voice Applications, Inc., 100 South Fifth Street, Suite 1800, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (Pro Se Respondent)

Kent E. Todd, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)

Considered and decided by Norton, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Holtan, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N

HOLTAN, Judge

Relator Kelly Martinson challenges the decision of the representative of the Commissioner of Economic Security (Commissioner) disqualifying her from receiving reemployment insurance benefits. Martinson argues she terminated her employment with respondent Micro Voice Applications, Inc. (Micro Voice) with good cause. We affirm.

FACTS

In March 1994, Micro Voice hired Martinson as an event coordinator, a newly created position that involved the organization of internal events and singles events for clients nationwide. During the course of her employment, Martinson expressed dissatisfaction with the company's support for her position. She complained about the financing of events on the grounds that she did not receive a company credit card until her eleventh month and that Micro Voice was not prompt in reimbursing her for out-of-pocket expenses. Martinson also experienced difficulty managing her workload.

In March 1995, Martinson discussed her problems with supervisor Joni Sussman, who assured her things would change and promised to talk to the owners of Micro Voice. Subsequently, Sussman told Martinson she would receive a five percent salary increase and a revised commission plan. Martinson indicated her discontent with the amount of the raise, the basis of the commission plan, and the absence of a performance review. Sussman stated she would discuss the matter further with the owners. In April 1995, the owners met with Martinson and expressed their desire to retain her in their employ. The owners assigned Michael Tinz as her new supervisor, who agreed to provide her with an assistant. Martinson was unhappy with the qualifications of the individual Tinz suggested. She concluded that Micro Voice was not committed to resolving her problems and resigned the following day.

In July 1995, Martinson filed a claim for reemployment insurance benefits. The Minnesota Department of Economic Security determined she was disqualified from receiving benefits under Minn. Stat. ' 268.09, subd. 1, because she failed to show that she quit with good cause attributable to Micro Voice. Martinson appealed, and the reemployment insurance judge found that Martinson quit with good cause. On appeal to the Commissioner, Micro Voice disputed several factual findings. The Commissioner's representative reversed the reemployment insurance judge's decision, finding that Martinson voluntarily quit without good cause attributable to her employer.

D E C I S I O N

1. Minn. Stat. ' 268.09, subd. 1 (1994), provides that an individual voluntarily separated from employment without good cause attributable to the employer is disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits.

Upon review, the commissioner or authorized representative shall, on the basis of the evidence submitted at the hearing before the reemployment insurance judge, make findings of fact and decision, or remand the matter * * * . The commissioner may disregard the findings of fact of the reemployment insurance judge and examine the evidence and make any findings of fact as the evidence may, in the judgment of the commissioner require, and make any decision as the facts found by the commissioner require.

Minn. Stat. ' 268.105, subd. 3 (Supp. 1995). On appeal, this court reviews factual findings of the Commissioner's representative in the light most favorable to the decision and will not overturn findings that are reasonably sustained by evidence in the record. Fujan v. Ruffridge-Johnson Equip., 535 N.W.2d 393, 395 (Minn. App. 1995).

An employee bears the burden of proving good cause to quit. Dachel v. Ortho Met, Inc., 528 N.W.2d 268, 269 (Minn. App. 1995). "Good cause" to quit has been defined as a reason that is "real, not imaginary, substantial not trifling, and reasonable, not whimsical." Ferguson v. Department of Employment Servs., 311 Minn. 34, 44 n.5, 247 N.W.2d 895, 900 n.5 (1976). The standard for determining good cause is "reasonableness as applied to the average man or woman." Id. This court may independently determine whether an employee has good cause to quit. Hawthorne v. Universal Studios, Inc., 432 N.W.2d 759, 761-62 (Minn. App. 1988).

Martinson contends she had good cause to quit because the company provided inadequate financial and administrative support for her position, she was overworked, and she made efforts for one year to resolve the problems with her position. We disagree.

The phrase "good cause attributable to the employer" does not encompass situations where an employee experiences irreconcilable differences with others at work or where the employee is simply frustrated or dissatisfied with his working conditions.

Portz v. Pipestone Skelgas, 397 N.W.2d 12, 14 (Minn. App. 1986) (citations omitted). Good cause does not exist where an employee quits prematurely. Jaakola v. Duluth/Superior Area Educ. Television Corp., 374 N.W.2d 215, 217 (Minn. App. 1985).

This case parallels our decision in McLane v. Casa de Esperanza, 385 N.W.2d 416 (Minn. App. 1986), where the court held that the relator quit prematurely because her complaints were still being investigated when she resigned. Id. at 418. There, several staff members at a shelter expressed dissatisfaction with the scheduling of work hours and the shelter's handling of financial matters. Id. at 417. The relator quit prior to receiving a report from the Department of Correction because she felt there was no hope for change and the changes would take too long to implement. Id.

Martinson's decision to quit was premature because Micro Voice was attempting to remedy her complaints at the time of her resignation. The record supports the findings of the Commissioner's representative that (1) Martinson encountered no problems with out-of-pocket expenses after she received a company credit card, (2) she encountered no significant problems under Tinz's supervision, and (3) she quit before Micro Voice had a reasonable opportunity to propose a more desirable wage and benefit package. Martinson acknowledges that (1) she quit before she had the opportunity to test the sufficiency of the credit card limit, (2) Tinz appeared to be willing to make changes, including providing her with an assistant, and (3) she quit before she received Micro Voice's new wage and benefit proposal. Martinson did not give the company sufficient time to correct the causes of her dissatisfaction. See Trego v. Hennepin County Family Day Care Ass'n, 409 N.W.2d 23, 26 (Minn. App. 1987) (holding that the claimant's dissatisfaction did not constitute good cause to quit because she did not make an effort to work out her problems as the committee suggested) .

2. The Commissioner contends Martinson's brief contains references to facts that are not part of the record on appeal. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 110.01 (record on appeal consists of "papers filed in the trial court, the exhibits, and the transcript of the proceedings"); see also Minn. Stat. ' 268.105, subd. 3 (Supp. 1995) (commissioner's findings must be based on evidence before the reemployment insurance judge). The evidence that was not presented to the reemployment insurance judge is stricken from our record. [1]

Affirmed.


Footnotes

* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, ' 10.

[1] The content of this evidence has no probative value.