This opinion will be unpublished and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

C2-96-1424

Katherine E. Armstrong,

Relator,

vs.

St. Francis Medical Center,

Respondent,

Commissioner of Economic Security,

Respondent.

Filed January 7, 1997

Affirmed

Harten, Judge

Department of Economic Security

File No. 750UC96

Katherine E. Armstrong, P.O. Box 964, Wahpeton, ND 58074 (Relator Pro Se)

Michael J. McCartney, McCartney Law Office, Law Centre Bldg., 110 N. Sixth St., Breckenridge, MN 56520-1502 (for Respondent St. Francis Medical Center)

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

Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Harten, Judge, and Foley, Judge.[*]

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

HARTEN, Judge

Relator Katherine Armstrong seeks certiorari review of a decision of a Department of Economic Security Commissioner's representative disqualifying Armstrong from benefits because she had voluntarily quit her job and the serious illness exception did not apply. We affirm.

FACTS

Katherine Armstrong worked for respondent St. Francis Medical Center (St. Francis) as a chemical dependency counselor from December 15, 1989, until August 6, 1995. Armstrong had suffered from depression since 1990 and was under continuing care for that condition. In March 1995, Armstrong took a one-month medical leave of absence. She returned in April on a part-time basis and then resumed full-time work at the end of April (she did not thereafter request additional schedule or work adjustments). On July 25, 1995, Armstrong resigned her employment in a terse letter to St. Francis that did not give a reason for resignation.

Armstrong filed a claim for reemployment insurance benefits with the Minnesota Department of Economic Security. The department's adjudicator determined that Armstrong was disqualified from receiving benefits. On appeal, a reemployment insurance judge held an evidentiary hearing, but St. Francis did not receive notice of the hearing and did not attend. The reemployment insurance judge determined that Armstrong was not disqualified, finding that she voluntarily discontinued employment due to her own serious illness after making reasonable efforts to retain her employment.

St. Francis appealed the reemployment insurance judge's decision. A Commissioner's representative reviewed the proceedings and remanded the case to another reemployment insurance judge for a second evidentiary hearing that would include the participation of St. Francis. Following the second hearing, the reemployment insurance judge determined that Armstrong had voluntarily terminated her employment, but was not disqualified from benefits because she quit due to her serious illness after making reasonable efforts to retain her employment. St. Francis appealed to a Commissioner's representative who determined that Armstrong was disqualified because she failed to make reasonable efforts to retain her employment. Armstrong argues on appeal to this court that her serious illness gave her good cause to quit and that she made reasonable efforts to retain her employment

D E C I S I O N

An individual who voluntarily discontinues employment without good cause attributable to the employer is disqualified from reemployment compensation benefits. Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1(a) (1996). The legislature has provided an exception to disqualification where the employee's separation is "due to personal, serious illness provided that the claimant made reasonable efforts to retain employment." Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1(c) (1996). An employee who quits due to serious illness has the burden of proving that the serious illness exception to disqualification is applicable to her situation. Minchew v. Minnesota Odd Fellows Home, 429 N.W.2d 702, 703 (Minn. App. 1988).

In determining what is a reasonable effort to retain employment, the Commissioner must consider what is reasonable for the particular employee under the circumstances of the case. Hirt v. Lakeland Bakeries, 348 N.W.2d 400, 401 (Minn. App. 1984). On appeal, the Commissioner's findings must be reviewed in the light most favorable to the decision and should be upheld unless they are clearly erroneous. Id. at 401-02; White v. Metropolitan Med. Ctr., 332 N.W.2d 25, 26 (Minn. 1983).

Here, Armstrong challenges the Commissioner's representative's determination that she did not make reasonable efforts to retain her employment. The evidence indicated that although Armstrong had previously requested and received accommodation for her health condition from her employer, at the time of her resignation she neither informed her employer of her reason for quitting nor made any other effort to retain her employment. We therefore conclude that the Commissioner's representative properly disqualified Armstrong from reemployment insurance benefits.

Affirmed.

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