Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
Viking Automatic Sprinkler Co.,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
File No. 9938UC96
Rebecca S. Gjovik, 1636 Woodbridge St., St. Paul, MN 55117 (relator pro se)
Phyllis Karasov, Moore, Costello & Hart, 1400 Norwest Center, 55 East Fifth St., St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Viking Automatic Sprinkler Co.)
Kent E. Todd, Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert St., St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Davies, Judge.
Relator Rebecca S. Gjovik challenges the decision of a representative of the Commissioner of Economic Security disqualifying her from reemployment insurance benefits. On appeal, Gjovik contends that she had good cause to quit attributable to her employer. We affirm.
Gjovik completed her temporary assignment and then applied for reemployment insurance benefits. A department claims representative determined that Gjovik was disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits because she refused suitable continuing work for which she was qualified. A reemployment insurance judge, who conducted an evidentiary hearing, ruled that Gjovik was not disqualified from benefits because she had good cause attributable to Viking when she discontinued employment. Viking appealed to the commissioner.
The commissioner's representative determined that Gjovik did not have good cause attributable to Viking and was therefore disqualified from receiving benefits. The commissioner's representative also concluded that Gjovik was disqualified from receiving benefits because she had failed to make "a good faith effort to obtain suitable child care." This appeal followed.
An individual who voluntarily quits a job "without good cause attributable to the employer" is disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits. Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1(a) (1996). The employer bears the burden of proving that an employee voluntarily terminated his or her employment. Midland Elec., Inc. v. Johnson, 372 N.W.2d 810, 811 (Minn. App. 1985). If voluntariness is proven, the burden shifts to the employee to show good cause attributable to the employer. Id. "Good cause" to quit has been defined as a reason that is "real and not imaginary, substantial and not trifling, reasonable and not whimsical or capricious." Ferguson v. Department of Employment Servs., 311 Minn. 34, 44, 247 N.W.2d 895, 900 (1976). The reason cannot be attributable to the employee. Helmin v. Griswold Ribbon & Typewriter, 345 N.W.2d 257, 261 (Minn. App. 1984), review denied (Minn. June 12, 1984).
We review the commissioner's representative's factual findings in the light most favorable to the decision, and the findings will not be disturbed when there is evidence reasonably tending to sustain them. Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989).
Gjovik argues that she had good cause to quit because of the daycare scheduling problem. Gjovik contends that this court should apply McCourtney v. Imprimis Technology, Inc., 465 N.W.2d 721 (Minn. App. 1991), and that this court should determine that her inability to find early morning daycare constituted good cause to quit. This court in McCourtney held that a mother's frequent absenteeism because of a sick infant, in light of good faith efforts to obtain childcare, was not misconduct disqualifying her from receiving unemployment compensation benefits. Id. at 724-25. The McCourtney court noted that McCourtney had made "substantial efforts to find care for her child so she could work." Id. at 724.
In this case, however, Gjovik testified at the hearing that she did not explore the availability of other daycare arrangements. Moreover, difficulty finding childcare generally does not constitute good cause for a parent to refuse employment opportunities. See, e.g., Swanson v. Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co., 240 Minn. 449, 451, 458, 61 N.W.2d 526, 528, 532 (1953) (mother who refused to accept transfer to plant across city because of daycare scheduling problems failed to show good cause); Kampa v. Normandale Tennis Club, 393 N.W.2d 195, 197 (Minn. App. 1986) (mother's scheduling problems arising from son's medical needs not good cause for voluntary termination), review denied (Minn. Nov. 17, 1986).
We conclude the record evidence supports the commissioner's representative's decision that Gjovik failed to establish good cause attributable to her employer.
[ ]1 We did not consider the letter in Gjovik's appendix regarding the availability of daycare because it is 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 (1996) (commissioner's findings to be based on evidence before reemployment insurance judge).