may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Julia B. Rupert,
Doubletree Guest Suites,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed January 26, 1999
Department of Economic Security
File No. 2681UC98
Julia B. Rupert, 3146 Cedar Avenue South, #101, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (pro se relator)
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.
Relator Julia B. Rupert contends the representative of the Commissioner of Economic Security erred in: (1) finding relator quit her job; and (2) determining relator was not compelled to quit for a good reason caused by her employer. We affirm.
A determination of the commissioner's representative regarding the reasons for an employee's separation is a factual determination. Embaby v. Department of Jobs & Training, 397 N.W.2d 609, 611 (Minn. App. 1986); Hollar v. Richard Mfg. Co., 346 N.W.2d 692, 694 (Minn. App. 1984). Whether the employee had good cause to quit her job is a question of law. Wood v. Menard, Inc., 490 N.W.2d 441, 443 (Minn. App. 1992).
A quit from employment occurs when the decision to end the employment was, at the time the employment ended, the employee's. An employee who seeks to withdraw a previously submitted notice of quitting shall be considered to have quit the employment if the employer does not agree that the notice may be withdrawn.
Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 2a (Supp. 1997).
Jane Dowd, Doubletree's director of human resources, testified that in a telephone conversation on October 28, 1997, relator stated that she was quitting work. Moreover, relator herself testified as follows:
On, now you say that on Tuesday I had called in and resigned Tuesday. I was, well, I was in so much pain until February of this year that I called in and resigned. I called you Tuesday morning to let you know that I would not be able to keep the appointment because I was just in too much pain.
This testimony, together with that of Jane Dowd, provides factual support for the representative's finding that relator quit. We conclude the finding of the commissioner's representative that relator quit is reasonably supported by evidence in the record.
Minn. Stat. § 268.09 states: "A claimant who quits employment shall be disqualified from benefits: (1) unless the claimant quit the employment because of a good reason caused by the employer[.]" Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 1a (Supp. 1997). A good reason for quitting caused by the employer is a reason:
(1) that is directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible; and
(2) that is significant and would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit.
Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 9 (Supp. 1997). While the initial burden to show that the employee quit is on the employer, once the employer has established that the employee quit, the burden shifts to the employee to show a good reason caused by the employer for quitting. Marz v. Department of Employment Servs., 256 N.W.2d 287, 289 (Minn. 1977). The issue of good cause to quit is a question of law that "is not binding on this court if it does not have reasonable support in the findings." Zepp v. Arthur Treacher Fish & Chips, Inc., 272 N.W.2d 262, 263 (Minn. 1978).
"Good cause" to quit has been defined as a reason that is "real, not imaginary, substantial not trifling, and reasonable, not whimsical." Ferguson v. Department of Employment Servs., 311 Minn. 34, 44 n.5, 247 N.W.2d 895, 900 n.5 (1976). In determining good cause, the standard is "reasonableness as applied to the average man or woman, and not to the supersensitive." Id.
Relator contends she was upset because in questioning her with respect to relator's first report of injury, the assistant manager asked relator her full name. This upset relator because she had known the assistant manager for a long while and felt the assistant manager should not have had to ask her name. We conclude this questioning is not enough to compel an average reasonable person to quit his or her job.
Relator contends she was treated poorly in subsequent phone calls. She claims she was put on hold for considerable lengths of time and that when she spoke to Ms. Dowd on the phone, Ms. Dowd implied that relator may not have been injured at work. Although relator may have been upset by these incidents, we conclude they would not compel an average reasonable person to quit his or her job.
Finally, relator argues that the finding of the commissioner's representative that she quit without good reason was premised on an incorrect assumption. Even if relator is correct, this does not change the fact that relator has not met her burden of showing she was compelled to quit for good reason caused by her employer.