This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn.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 C0-96-417 Kim I. Cole, Respondent, vs. St. Joseph Gas & Bait, Relator, Commissioner of Economic Security, Respondent. Filed August 13, 1996 Affirmed Schultz, Judge* Department of Economic Security File No. 8075UC95 Brenda L. Theis, 925 South First Street, P.O. Box 638, St. Cloud, MN 56302 (for Respondent Cole) John C. Provinzino, Reichert, Wenner, Koch & Provinzino, P.A., 501 St. Germain, P.O. Box 1556, St. Cloud, MN 56302 (for Relator) 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 Parker, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Schultz, Judge. U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N SCHULTZ, Judge Relator St. Joseph's Gas & Bait (the employer) appeals the Commissioner's determination that Kim I. Cole quit her employment as a manager for good cause attributable to the employer. We affirm. FACTS In April of 1993, Cole met Mike Deutz, the owner of St. Joseph's Gas & Bait, at a nightclub in St. Cloud. A few days later, Cole began working for Deutz. Both Deutz and Cole testified they had a sexual relationship for a time after Cole began work. Cole testified that almost every time she worked, Deutz would slap or pinch her buttocks, tell her how nice she looked and treat her much better than other employees, and that Deutz often brought her back to the coolers in the store and "came on to her" while working. Cole testified Deutz continued to fondle her in the store, although she always told Deutz to "quit it." Cole testified the sexual contact by Deutz (slapping, pinching and fondling) ended in January of 1995 when she developed a decisive attitude toward Deutz, keeping him at a distance and refusing to see him outside the workplace. Cole testified that things were so bad between her and Deutz that she was afraid to come to work and felt sick when his car pulled into the parking lot at the store. On August 3, 1995, she began experiencing migraine headaches from the tension at work. She went to the doctor, who prescribed a muscle relaxer and something for her headaches. On August 9, 1995, Cole quit her job. Deutz testified he never touched Cole at work, never pulled her into the cooler, and basically had no inappropriate contact with her. He testified Cole was a very poor manager in 1995 because she did not work enough to manage the store properly, and that he talked to Cole sternly a few times when shifts were not covered or when the cash registers were short, but did not yell at her at any time. He testified that in the last month Cole worked at the store, she missed several days of work by calling in sick and several customers complained to him that she was rude to them. Cole filed a claim for reemployment insurance and a claims deputy denied her request. Cole appealed to a reemployment insurance judge. After hearing all the testimony, the judge disqualified Cole from receiving reemployment insurance because she found Cole quit her job without good cause attributable to the employer. Cole appealed the judge's decision to the Commissioner of Economic Security pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 3 (1994). Based upon his review of the evidence, the Commissioner's representative concluded Cole voluntarily separated from her employment with good cause attributable to the employer, and was entitled to receive reemployment insurance benefits. D E C I S I O N On review from a decision of the Commissioner's representative, the standard is whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain the Commissioner's findings, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the findings. Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989). Where the issue involves a legal determination, however, the court need not defer to the Commissioner. Id. This court reviews the decision of the Commissioner's representative rather than that of the reemployment insurance judge even on issues of credibility. Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995). Minnesota law authorizes the Commissioner to affirm, modify, or set aside any finding of fact or decision of the reemployment insurance judge on the basis of properly submitted evidence. Minn. Stat. § 268.10, subd. 5 (1994). If an employee voluntarily quits her employment, but can show "good cause attributable to the employer," the employee is not disqualified from receiving benefits. Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1(a). Whether an employee had good cause to quit is a question of law. Porrazzo v. Nabisco, Inc., 360 N.W.2d 662, 664 (Minn. App. 1985). Good cause to quit has been defined as a reason that is compelling, substantial and reasonable, not imaginary, trifling or whimsical. Ferguson v. Department of Employment Servs., 311 Minn. 34, 44 n.5, 247 N.W.2d 895, 900 n.5 (1976). The reason cannot be attributable to the employee. Id. The legislature has specifically provided that good cause to quit includes sexual harassment. Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1(a); see also Tru-Stone Corp. v. Gutzkow, 400 N.W.2d 836, 838 (Minn. App. 1987) (good cause may be established where the employee has been subjected to harassment). An employee must complain about offensive conditions and give the employer an opportunity to correct the problem. Heaser v. Lerch, Bates & Assocs., 467 N.W.2d 833, 835 (Minn. App. 1991). Here, Cole's testimony and written statement support the decision of the Commissioner's representative. Deutz's testimony, however, would clearly support the opposite conclusion, that Cole was not subjected to unreasonable or harassing work conditions. The question here turns solely on witness credibility. Taking the findings of the Commissioner's representative that have support in the record, we conclude Cole had a compelling, substantial, and reasonable reason to leave her employment that was attributable to the employer. Additionally, because the harassing conduct allegedly was done by the owner, the employer had notice of the conduct, should have known it was harassing, and had an opportunity to put an end to such conduct prior to Cole's decision to quit. Affirmed.
* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.