may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat.§ 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Todd T. Daniels,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed December 31, 1996
Department of Economic Security
File No. 2065UC96
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)
Considered and decided by Crippen, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
Relator Todd Daniels challenges his disqualification from reemployment insurance benefits, claiming the representative of the Commissioner of Economic Security erroneously determined that he quit his job voluntarily without good cause attributable to his employer. We affirm.
Under Minnesota law, an employee is disqualified from benefits where the employee "voluntarily and without good cause attributable to the employer discontinued employment." Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1 (1996). The purpose of the statute is "to deny benefits to anyone whose termination was volitional and not a result of circumstances beyond his control." Jansen v. Peoples Elec. Co., 317 N.W.2d 879, 880 (Minn. 1982). The burden of proving that an employee quit voluntarily falls on the employer. Marz v. Department of Employment Servs., 256 N.W.2d 287, 289 (Minn. 1977).
Whether a termination is voluntary or involuntary is determined,
not by the immediate cause or motive for the act but by whether the employee directly or indirectly exercised a free-will choice and control as to the performance or non-performance of the act.
Wing-Piu Chan v. Pagoda, Inc., 342 N.W.2d 174, 175 (Minn. App. 1984) (citation omitted).
The only issue raised on appeal is whether the Commissioner erred in determining Daniels voluntarily quit. The parties had different accounts of the events leading to the end of Daniels' employment with Palubicki's. The Reemployment Insurance Judge (RIJ) found Palubicki's version of the events to be more credible and, thus, determined that Daniels voluntarily quit. The Commissioner's representative appropriately stated, "we give considerable deference to the credibility findings of the [RIJ] since it is the [RIJ] who has observed the parties and witnesses testify under oath." Because the only evidence that contradicted Palubicki's testimony was Daniels' testimony, which was found to be less credible, the Commissioner affirmed the RIJ's decision.
Daniels argues that because of inconsistencies in Palubicki's testimony regarding the events leading to the end of Daniels' employment, Daniels' testimony is more credible. We disagree. We give considerable deference to the Commissioner's determinations on credibility. Portz v. Pipestone Skelgas, 397 N.W.2d 12, 14 (Minn. App. 1986). Because the evidence reasonably supports the Commissioner's determination, we conclude the Commissioner did not err in determining that Daniels voluntarily quit his job without good cause attributable to Palubicki's.