may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Fidelity Services, Inc.,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed May 25, 1999
Department of Economic Security
File No. 6652UC98
Fidelity Services, Inc., 7888 12th Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55425 (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, Amundson, Judge, and Huspeni, Judge.[*]
Relator Mike Baltz appeals the commissioner's decision finding Baltz was discharged for misconduct and therefore ineligible for reemployment insurance benefits. We affirm.
Baltz began working for respondent Fidelity Services, Inc. as a janitor in November 1995. Baltz worked as a "floater" 35 to 45 hours per week. His supervisor told him that his schedule might require him to work 10 to 12 hour shifts occasionally. Baltz's supervisor gave him a warning on June 1, 1998, contending that Baltz refused to do assigned work.
On August 11, 1998, Fidelity Services assigned Baltz to clean three buildings. Baltz had cleaned the same three buildings the night before in seven to eight hours. He requested his supervisor exclude one building from his assignment or he would quit after giving five days notice. The supervisor accepted the notice. Baltz cleaned only one of the buildings that night and did not notify anyone that he was not going to clean the other two.
Baltz's supervisor discharged him on August 12, 1998. Baltz was denied reemployment insurance benefits because he had been fired for misconduct. Both the reemployment insurance judge and the commissioner's representative affirmed the disqualification. Baltz petitioned for writ of certiorari.
Baltz claims the commissioner's representative's decision that he was fired for misconduct was arbitrary and capricious. A determination by the commissioner's representative that an employee committed misconduct is a mixed question of law and fact. Colburn v. Pine Portage Madden Bros., Inc., 346 N.W.2d 159, 161 (Minn. 1984). A reviewing court will affirm if the findings of fact are supported by the evidence and if the conclusions are not contrary to the law. Id. The commissioner's representative's findings of fact are to be viewed in the light most favorable to the decision. White v. Metropolitan Med. Ctr., 332 N.W.2d 25, 26 (Minn. 1983).
In this case, the commissioner's representative found several facts supporting his decision that Baltz was discharged for misconduct. These facts include: Baltz had received prior warnings about completing work; the employer did not ask Baltz to work more hours than the employer could require of him; and Baltz purposefully did not clean two of the three buildings he was assigned on August 11. Testimony and documents submitted at the hearing reasonably support these findings.
We must decide whether the commissioner's representative's conclusion that Baltz was discharged for misconduct is contrary to law. Colburn, 346 N.W.2d at 161. The Minnesota Supreme Court has held that an employee's early exit from work combined with the failure to complete assigned work was willful misconduct in connection with the work because the action was adverse to the interests of the employer. Colburn, 346 N.W.2d at 161; see also Blom v. Madsen's Enters., Inc., 298 Minn. 573, 574, 215 N.W.2d 791, 792 (1974) (holding that refusal to perform assigned duties constitutes misconduct); Deike v. Gopher Smelting, 413 N.W.2d 590, 592 (Minn. App. 1987) (same).
The commissioner's representative found that Baltz's conduct was intentional and violated the standards of behavior the employer had a right to expect, constituting misconduct under the law. We conclude that the commissioner's representative's findings are supported by the evidence and his decision is not contrary to law
[*] Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by apointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.