This opinion will be unpublished and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

C0-96-370

Harry C. Galt,

Relator,

vs.

Hermantown Amoco,

Respondent,

Commissioner of Economic Security,

Respondent.

Filed December 10, 1996

Affirmed

Amundson, Judge

Minnesota Department of Economic Security

Michael R. Inglimo, Inglimo & Associates, 1507 Tower Avenue, Suite 420, Superior, WI 54880 (for relator)

Michael S. Gerlach, Running & Gerlach, 101 West Second Street, Suite 200, Duluth, MN 55802 (for respondent-employer)

Kent E. Todd, Minnesota Department of Jobs and Training, 390 N. Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101(for respondent-Commissioner)

Considered and decided by Amundson, Presiding Judge, Huspeni, Judge and Foley, Judge.[*]

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

AMUNDSON, Judge

Relator challenges the Commissioner's representative's decision disqualifying him from benefits on the grounds that he discontinued employment without good cause attributable to the employer. We affirm.

FACTS

Relator Harry Galt worked full time as an auto mechanic for respondent-employer Amoco from May 16, 1994 to September 15, 1995. From May 16, 1994 to June 16, 1995, Galt was paid $2.00 per hour, plus 5% commission on accessories and oil and 40% commission on labor sales. During these months, Galt's lowest monthly pay was $1,432.37 and highest monthly pay was $2,019.96. Galt's average hourly wage ranged from $8.63 to $12.52.

Effective June 16, 1995, the employer instituted a new employee benefits package and changed the wage and commission rates. Under these changes, Galt was paid $4.00 per hour and a straight sales commission of 10-20%, depending on labor productivity. Galt earned a monthly wage of $2,377.23 for July 1995 and $2,162.10 for August 1995. Galt earned an hourly wage of $12.83 for July 1995 and $10.14 for August 1995.

Galt gave oral notice that he was quitting and his last day of work was September 15, 1995.

D E C I S I O N

A claimant is disqualified for reemployment insurance benefits if the claimant voluntarily terminates employment without good cause attributable to the employer. Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1(a) (1994). The question of whether an employee voluntarily terminated employment with good cause attributable to an employer is a question of law that may be independently reviewed. Wood v. Menard, Inc., 490 N.W.2d 441, 443 (Minn. App. 1992).

Galt claims that he had good cause to terminate his employment because the change in wages and commission rates implemented by the employer amounted to a substantial reduction in his wages.

"Good cause" to quit has been defined as a reason that is "real, not imaginary, substantial not trifling, and reasonable, not whimsical; there must be some compulsion produced by extraneous and necessitous circumstances." Ferguson v. Department of Employment Servs., 311 Minn. 34, 44 n.5, 247 N.W.2d 895, 900 n.5 (1976) (quoting 81 C.J.S. Social Security and Public Welfare, § 167). The standard is "reasonableness as applied to the average man or woman, and not to the supersensitive . . . ." Id. A substantial reduction in wages may provide an employee with good cause to quit. Scott v. Photo Ctr., Inc., 306 Minn. 535, 536, 235 N.W.2d 616, 617 (1975).

However, Galt has not shown that the employer's changes resulted in a decrease in wages. To the contrary, the evidence shows that under the new wage and commission schedule, Galt actually increased his earnings. Galt's claim that once the vacation season ends his monthly wages will decrease is speculative. Thus, Galt did not have good cause to discontinue employment, and the Commissioner's representative's decision to disqualify Galt from receiving benefits was proper.

Affirmed.

[ ]* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.