may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Star Tribune Div-Mpls Loc.,
Filed October 20, 1998
Department of Economic Security
File No. 550UC98
Christine J. Caspers, 425 Portland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55488 (for respondent Star Tribune)
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)
Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
Relator Charles Crawford challenges the decision of the representative of the Commissioner of Economic Security disqualifying him from receiving reemployment insurance benefits because he was separated from employment with respondent Star Tribune Div-Mpls Loc. due to misconduct. We affirm.
"On appeal, this court reviews the decision of the Commissioner's representative, not the decision of the reemployment insurance judge." Fujan v. Ruffridge-Johnson Equip., 535 N.W.2d 393, 395 (Minn. App. 1995) (citing Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995)). The factual findings of the commissioner's representative (hereafter "representative") must be viewed "in the light most favorable to the decision," and where there is evidence that would reasonably tend to sustain the findings, they will not be disturbed on appeal. Lolling v. Midwest Patrol, 545 N.W.2d 372, 377 (Minn. 1996). The question of whether an employee was properly disqualified from receiving benefits, however, is a question of law to be independently reviewed by this court. Id.
The representative found that Crawford was disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits because he committed misconduct. Evidence in the record, when viewed in the light most favorable to the decision, supports the findings of the representative that: (1) Crawford received a two-day suspension in August 1996 for running outdated plates that contained old advertisements; (2) in October 1996 Crawford received another two-day suspension for violations of safety rules when he left another employee alone in the press room; (3) on November 22, 1997, Crawford addressed another employee using profanity and threw away the plates the employee was running, resulting in lost production time; and (4) on November 26, 1997, Crawford threatened his supervisor, indicating that he would "deal" with his supervisor after work. On December 6, 1997, Crawford was discharged on the basis of his past misconduct and the November 1997 incidents.
Because the record supports the representative's factual findings, we next consider whether the findings support the representative's conclusion that Crawford was discharged for misconduct.
A claimant who is discharged from employment by an employer shall not be disqualified from benefits:
(1) unless the claimant was discharged because of misconduct that interfered with and adversely affected that employment.
Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 10 (Supp. 1997). The statute provides the following definition:
Misconduct is 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. * * *
Id., subd. 12 (Supp. 1997). We conclude Crawford's past behavior and conduct during the November incidents show a disregard of his employer's interests and a lack of concern for his job.
Additionally, Crawford's actions indicate his disregard for the standards of conduct established by respondent. When he began his employment with respondent Crawford received a document containing standards of conduct and signed a form stating he had read the standards and agreed to comply with them. The standards of conduct prohibit "[a]busive, profane, or threatening language or conduct to another employee." The evidence in the record indicates Crawford used both profane and threatening language with a co-worker and a supervisor.
Crawford argues that although he may have engaged in some of the behavior for which he was disciplined, other employees engaged in similar behavior without adverse consequence. To support this argument, Crawford submitted documents on appeal that purport to outline the acts of misconduct of other employees. However, because these documents were not a part of the record below, we may not consider them on appeal. Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582-83 (Minn. 1988). Further, we note that the representative did not rely on one incident in making his finding of misconduct, but rather considered the "totality of [Crawford's] conduct." See Drellack v. Inter-County Community Council, Inc., 366 N.W.2d 671, 674 (Minn. App. 1985) (holding that behavior may be considered as a whole in determining the propriety of an employee's discharge and qualification for unemployment compensation benefits). Finally, where Crawford contradicted his supervisor's testimony, the representative made credibility determinations adverse to Crawford, and we must defer to the representative on credibility issues. Tuff, 526 N.W.2d at 51.
We conclude the representative did not err in determining Crawford was not entitled to reemployment benefits because of his disqualifying misconduct.