may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
US Postal Service,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Department of Economic Security
File No. 3244 UC FE97
US Postal Service, Attn: Joann Militano, P.O. Box 645004, St. Paul, MN 55164 (Respondent Employer)
Kent E. Todd, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (For Respondent Commissioner)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Huspeni, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
Relator Roberta L. Jacoway was disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits after her employer, the United States Postal Service, discharged her for misconduct that included intoxication, sleeping at work, insubordination, and failure to maintain a regular work schedule. Because there is sufficient evidentiary support for the commissioner's findings and conclusions, we affirm.
conduct evincing such wilful or wanton disregard of an employer's interest as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee * * * or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interests or of the employee's duties and obligations to his employer.
Tilseth v. Midwest Lumber Co., 295 Minn. 372, 374-75, 204 N.W.2d 644, 646 (1973) (quoting Boynton Cab Co. v. Neubeck, 296 N.W. 636, 640 (Wis. 1941)). This definition of misconduct may also include conduct demonstrating the employee's lack of concern for the job. Feia v. St. Cloud State College, 309 Minn. 564, 565, 244 N.W.2d 635, 636 (1976).
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the commissioner's decision, we conclude that the record supports the commissioner's findings and conclusions. See Jeane Thorne Temporary Serv. v. Elliott, Inc., 351 N.W.2d 393, 395 (Minn. App. 1984); Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989) (commissioner's findings must reasonably tend to support its decision). The postal service produced strong evidence of relator's misconduct, including sleeping at work, being intoxicated at work, insubordination, and failing to maintain a regular work schedule. Whether taken together or, in some instances, separately, this evidence supports the findings and conclusions of the commissioner. See McGowan v. Executive Express Transp. Enters., Inc., 420 N.W.2d 592, 596 (Minn. 1988) (employee must abide by employer's reasonable policies, procedures, and requirements); Auger v. Gillette Co., 303 N.W.2d 255, 257 (Minn. 1981) (employee's sleeping on job constituted misconduct); Ideker v. LaCrescent Nursing Ctr., Inc., 296 Minn. 240, 241, 207 N.W.2d 713, 713-14 (1973) (employee's harsh language constituted misconduct); Tilseth, 295 Minn. at 375, 204 N.W.2d at 646 (employee's intoxication constituted misconduct); Barstow v. Honeywell, Inc., 396 N.W.2d 714, 716 (Minn. App. 1986) (employee's numerous ignored warnings constituted misconduct under "last straw doctrine"); Sandstrom v. Douglas Machine Corp., 372 N.W.2d 89, 91 (Minn. App. 1985) (employee must follow employer's reasonable work rules); Snodgrass v. Oxford Properties, Inc., 354 N.W.2d 79, 80 (Minn. App. 1984) (employee's failure to cooperate with employer constituted misconduct); King v. Little Italy, 341 N.W.2d 896, 899 (Minn. App. 1984) (employee's intoxication constituted misconduct). While relator denied committing some of the alleged misconduct and offered explanations for other conduct, we decline to reevaluate the evidence presented to reach a conclusion contrary to that reached by the commissioner. See Jeane Thorne, 531 N.W.2d at 395 (reviewing court must examine evidence in light most favorable to commissioner's decision). Thus, we affirm the commissioner's decision.
Some of the documents relator includes in the record suggest that she claims her dismissal violated the terms of her labor contract. As the postal service notes, however, the sole question in this case is whether relator's conduct amounted to misconduct for the purposes of determining whether she was entitled to reemployment benefits. See Auger, 303 N.W.2d at 257 (in determining entitlement to reemployment benefits, "the issue is not whether the employee should have been terminated").