may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Yvonne K. Hill,
Deborah Lehnus, D.D.S.,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed March 30, 1999
Department of Economic Security
Agency File No. 3763UC98
Yvonne Hill, 1529 Adrian Street, Apartment Six, St. Paul, MN 55102 (relator pro se)
Debra K. Revzen, Briggs & Morgan, P.A., W2200 First National Bank Building, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Deborah Lehnus, D.D.S.)
Kent Todd, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)
Considered and decided by Davies, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Foley, Judge.[*]
Relator Yvonne Hill challenges the commissioner's representative's determination that she was discharged from employment for misconduct. We affirm.
Hill worked for Dr. Deborah Lehnus, D.D.S., doing cleaning and general office work, from November 1995 until April 1, 1998. On April 1, 1998, Hill became upset when a coworker left a note stating that certain cleaning had not been done. Hill grabbed the coworker, threw her against a file cabinet, threw her to the floor, and punched her in the face. When Lehnus tried to pull Hill away from the coworker, Hill kicked the coworker in the stomach and hit Lehnus in the nose. The same day, Lehnus discharged Hill from employment for physically assaulting Lehnus and the coworker.
Hill filed a claim for reemployment insurance benefits with the Department of Economic Security. A department claims representative determined that Hill was discharged from employment for misconduct and denied her claim. Hill appealed to a reemployment insurance judge, and a hearing was scheduled for June 2, 1998. Because a restraining order had been issued against Hill prohibiting her from being in Lehnus's presence, Hill requested that the hearing be rescheduled. The hearing was rescheduled for a telephone conference on June 15, 1998. Hill did not participate in the telephone conference, and no one presented any testimony. Based on the documetary evidence in the file, the reemployment insurance judge concluded that Hill was discharged from employment for misconduct and affirmed the denial of benefits. Hill appealed to respondent Commissioner of Economic Security. A commissioner's representative concluded that Hill was discharged from employment for misconduct and affirmed the reemployment insurance judge's decision. Hill filed this certiorari appeal, seeking review of the commissioner's representative's decision.
"[T]he Commissioner's representative is accorded deference when determining whether to remand for additional evidence." McLean v. Plastics, Inc., 378 N.W.2d 104, 107 (Minn. App. 1985). Hill's excuse for failing to participate in the telephone conference before the reemployment insurance judge is that she did not have a telephone at her residence, so she arranged to receive the telephone call at her parents' residence. At the scheduled conference time, she was downstairs doing laundry, and no one came to get her. Hill's excuse for failing to participate in the telephone conference is insufficient to warrant reversal of the commissioner's representative's determination that Hill had an adequate opportunity for an evidentiary hearing. See id. (upholding commissioner's representative's decision not to remand case when employee's excuse for failing to appear at hearing before reemployment insurance judge was that he thought hearing date was Friday, not Thursday).
A claimant who is discharged from employment by an employer shall not be disqualified from benefits "unless the claimant was discharged because of misconduct that interfered with and adversely affected that employment." Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 10(1). 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. Misconduct also includes negligent conduct by an employee demonstrating a substantial lack of concern for the employment. Inefficiency, inadvertence, simple unsatisfactory conduct, or poor performance as a result of inability or incapacity are not misconduct.
Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 12 (Supp. 1997).
The commissioner's representative found that: (1) Hill grabbed a coworker, threw her against a file cabinet, threw her to the floor, and punched her in the face; and (2) when Lehnus tried to pull Hill away from the coworker, Hill kicked the coworker in the stomach and hit Lehnus in the nose. The evidence submitted by Lehnus supports the commissioner's representative's findings regarding Hill's conduct. Hill's conduct, which could have seriously injured the coworker and Lehmus, was intentional conduct showing a disregard of standards of behavior that her employer had the right to expect of her. Therefore, the commissioner's representative properly concluded that Hill committed misconduct. See Shell v. Host Intern. (Corp), 513 N.W.2d 15, 18 (Minn. App. 1994) (employee committed misconduct when he pushed supervisor, causing supervisor to fall over a desk, knock over a chair and objects on the desk, and land against the wall and the floor).
[*] Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by apointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.