may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. sec. 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed June 23, 1998
Agency File No. 8697UC97
Nuro B. Dedefo, 2019-16th Avenue South, Apt. 1207, Minneapolis, MN 55404 (relator pro se)
Mark R. Gleeman, Richard C. Salmen, Maun & Simon, PLC, 2000 Midwest Plaza Building West, 801 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (for respondent employer)
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent commissioner)
Considered and decided by Davies, Presiding Judge, Crippen, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
Relator Nuro Dedefo appeals a decision denying him reemployment insurance benefits because of misconduct. We affirm.
Kissel testified that from August 19 to 22, 1997, Midwest made several additional attempts to arrange a schedule acceptable to Dedefo. It offered alternatives such as Dedefo's accepting a shift temporarily until something suitable became available. Midwest advised Dedefo that if he did not accept a shift, he would be discharged. On August 22, 1997, Midwest discharged Dedefo.
In September 1997, Dedefo filed an application for reemployment insurance benefits. The Minnesota Department of Economic Security disqualified him from receiving benefits because he had been discharged for misconduct. Dedefo appealed. After an evidentiary hearing, a reemployment insurance judge issued findings affirming the department's determination. Dedefo appealed to the commissioner, whose representative affirmed the reemployment insurance judge's decision. Dedefo obtained certiorari review by this court.
The commissioner's representative found that Dedefo refused to accept any of several shifts or other alternatives offered to him by Midwest. Dedefo disputes the findings and argues that he was not offered any alternatives. But these findings are supported both by Kissel's testimony at the hearing and a letter he wrote to the department, which was admitted as evidence. Kissel testified that although Dedefo was given several options, he refused to cooperate or accept a schedule.
Dedefo argues that he had an agreement with Midwest that he would have the evening shift, Monday through Friday. He did not present any evidence of such an agreement, however, and Midwest's personnel manual supports the finding that no such agreement existed; it states that "employees are not guaranteed any fixed schedule." Dedefo had signed a document acknowledging that he had received the personnel manual. Moreover, Kissel testified that no agreement had been made promising Dedefo a particular schedule.
Because the record supports the factual findings, we next consider whether the findings support the conclusion that Dedefo was discharged for misconduct. "Misconduct" is defined as:
Intentional conduct showing a disregard of:
(1) the employer's interest;
(2) the standards of behavior that an employer has the right to expect of the employee; or
(3) the employee's duties and obligations to the employer. * * *.
Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 12 (Supp. 1997). In general, if an employer's request is reasonable, the employee's refusal to comply with the request constitutes misconduct. Soussi v. Blue & White Service Corp., 498 N.W.2d 316, 318 (Minn. App. 1993).
Midwest's request that employees adapt to a restructured schedule was reasonable. Dedefo was never promised a particular schedule. Despite Midwest's efforts to accommodate Dedefo and assure he understood that he could be terminated if he did not accept a revised schedule, Dedefo still refused to cooperate. Dedefo's behavior shows disregard for the employer's interest and his duties and obligations to the employer. This conduct constitutes misconduct as defined in Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 12.
Dedefo also makes a public policy argument. He argues that the purpose of reemployment insurance is to protect employees from unreasonable termination, and the commissioner's representative's decision defeats that purpose. But the statute specifically provides that an employee terminated for misconduct is excluded from reemployment benefits. Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 10. Dedefo's policy argument is for the legislature.
We conclude that the commissioner's representative did not err in denying Dedefo reemployment benefits by reason of misconduct.