may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Linda A. Johnson,
Advanced Duplicating & Printing Inc.,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed December 8, 1998
Department of Economic Security
File No. 2413UC98
Advanced Duplicating & Printing Inc., 7405 Washington Avenue South, Edina, MN 55439 (respondent)
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
Linda A. Johnson appeals from the denial of reemployment benefits, challenging the determination that she quit her employment with respondent Advanced Duplicating & Printing Inc. without good cause attributable to employer. We affirm.
The reemployment insurance judge found that Johnson quit without good cause attributable to Advanced Duplicating. On appeal, the commissioner's representative found that Johnson quit after a poor performance review, during which she indicated that she was having problems with her supervisor, despite the managers' expressions of their willingness to investigate. The commissioner's representative concluded that even if there was a problem, Johnson did not give Advanced Duplicating adequate time to resolve it, and she was, therefore, disqualified from benefits.
The factual findings of the commissioner's representative must "be viewed in the light most favorable to the decision," and if the evidence reasonably sustains them, they should not be disturbed. White v. Metropolitan Med. Ctr., 332 N.W.2d 25, 26 (Minn. 1983). When reviewing a question of law, however, this court is not bound by the conclusions of the commissioner's representative. Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989). Whether an employee quit without good cause attributable to the employer is a question of law. Zepp v. Arthur Treacher Fish & Chips, Inc., 272 N.W.2d 262, 263 (Minn. 1978).
1. Johnson challenges the findings of fact. There was conflicting testimony by Johnson and the Advanced Duplicating managers as to what happened at the meeting on the day Johnson quit. Viewed in the light most favorable to the decision, the evidence supports the findings that the managers agreed to look into Johnson's complaints. In addition, Johnson admitted that she failed to report any problems with her supervisor before the meeting. It is also undisputed that Johnson quit before the managers had any opportunity to act on the complaints first voiced at the meeting. The evidence supports the factual findings.
2. An employee who quits employment is disqualified from benefits "unless the claimant quit the employment because of a good reason caused by the employer." Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1a(1) (1998). Johnson bears the burden of showing she had good reason to quit. See Zepp, 272 N.W.2d at 263 (employee bears burden).
Johnson claims her supervisor harassed her. According to the law:
"Good cause" may be established if the employee has been subjected to harassment on the job and can demonstrate that he gave his employer notice of the harassment and an opportunity to correct the problem.
Tru-Stone Corp. v. Gutzkow, 400 N.W.2d 836, 838 (Minn. App. 1987) (citing Larson v. Department of Econ. Secy., 281 N.W.2d 667 (Minn. 1979), review denied (Minn. July 26, 1984), and Burtman v. Dealers Discount Supply, 347 N.W.2d 292, 294 (Minn. App. 1984)). Once notice is given, if the employee is "provided with the expectation of assistance from his employer" in addressing the harassment, the employee must inform the employer of additional harassment. Id. (quoting Larson, 281 N.W.2d at 669). Johnson failed to give Advanced Duplicating an opportunity to correct problems she reported, despite assurances that managers would look into her complaints. Johnson did not meet the burden of showing good cause to quit.
Because the factual findings are supported by the evidence and Johnson failed to give Advanced Duplicating an opportunity to correct problems after her report, we affirm the determination that she is disqualified from benefits because she quit without good cause attributable to Advanced Duplicating.