may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Dorinda L. Anderson,
Red Lake Falls Publishing Co.,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed December 22, 1998
Reversed and Remanded
Department of Economic Security
File No. 3034UC98
Dorinda L. Anderson, 130 Bottineau Ave. N.E., Red Lake Falls, MN 56750 (pro se relator)
Red Lake Falls Publishing Co., P.O. Box 370, Red Lake Falls, MN 56750 (respondent employer)
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert St., St. Paul, MN 551091 (for respondent commissioner)
Considered and decided by Davies, Presiding Judge, Amundson, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
Relator appeals from the denial of reemployment insurance benefits. We reverse and remand.
Relator Dorinda L. Anderson was employed as an editor by respondent Red Lake Falls Publishing Co., which is owned by Keith Axvig. Relator's employment contract provided that either party could terminate the contract on 60 days' written notice to the other.
On December 11, 1997, relator asked for a raise, which Axvig denied on December 16. On December 17, relator alerted Axvig that she was going to look for another job. The next day, Axvig gave relator written notice of termination, effective February 17, 1998, but told her she could leave earlier if she desired. Relator decided to leave on December 23, 1997.
A representative of the Commissioner of Economic Security ruled that relator was disqualified from reemployment insurance benefits because she quit without good cause. This appeal followed.
Findings of the Commissioner of Economic Security are not disturbed if they are reasonably supported by evidence. Bestler v. Travel Co. of Minn., 398 N.W.2d 611, 613 (Minn. App. 1986). However, on established facts, the ultimate issue of disqualification is reviewed de novo. Kalberg v. Park & Recreation Bd. of Minneapolis, 563 N.W.2d 275, 276 (Minn. App. 1997).
A claimant who quits employment is disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits unless the claimant quit for a good reason attributable to the employer. Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1a(1) (Supp. 1997). The employer has the burden of proving that the claimant quit voluntarily. Brunello v. Mill City Auto Body, 348 N.W.2d 409, 410 (Minn. App. 1984). The claimant has the burden of proving that she had good cause to quit. Hanson v. Choice Auto Rental, Inc., 558 N.W.2d 507, 510 (Minn. App. 1997).
Relator claims she quit for good cause because she was uncomfortable and felt that Axvig was avoiding her after she told him she was looking for another job. But a personality conflict with a supervisor is not good cause to leave employment. Trego v. Hennepin County Family Day Care Ass'n, 409 N.W.2d 23, 26 (Minn. App. 1987). Relator also claims that she had good cause to quit in December because she knew she was fired anyway. That, too, is not good cause.
This court has held, however, that an employee leaving work prematurely after receiving notice of discharge is disqualified only until the day of discharge specified in the notice. Fiskewold v. H.M. Smyth Co., 440 N.W.2d 164, 166-67 (Minn. App. 1989). Relator's situation is similar to that of the claimant in Fiskewold. Her February termination prompted her decision to leave employment, but the notice did not require her to leave in December. Therefore, when she left in December, she quit for the intervening two-month period. Under Fiskewold, she did not have good cause to quit immediately and was therefore disqualified from benefits for the interim period of nearly two months. Id. at 167. But the disqualification in Fiskewold ended when the employee's voluntary unemployment ended--on the stated date of termination. Id. Both parts of the Fiskewold rule apply here. The employer incurred unemployment liability starting February 17, 1998.
Relator is disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits for the period of her voluntary unemployment (from December 23, 1997, until February 17, 1998), but she is qualified to receive benefits commencing February 17, 1998. This case is remanded to the Department of Economic Security for calculation of relator's benefits in accordance with this decision.
Reversed and remanded.