Briefs filed in Daniel Lamah, Relator, vs. Doherty Employment Group, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

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Minnesota Appellate Court Issues in Briefs

Shown here are the statements of the issues presented for review by the appellate courts in the briefs filed for this case. The entire brief set can be found at the State Law Library and other libraries around the state. See Minnesota Appellate Court Briefs Collection for more information.

CASE NAME:  Daniel Lamah, Relator, vs. Doherty Employment Group, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.
        Read the opinion in this case at A06-1680
        CITATION:  737 N.W.2d 595 (Minn. Ct. App. 2007)

  • I. Is Mr. Lamah eligible for unemployment benefits under Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(5) through his full-time, principal employer, Grazzini Brothers, after he separated from his temporary, part-time employment with Doherty Staffing? The Unemployment Law Judge held: The applicant worked for two employers; one on a full-time permanent basis and the other on a full-time temporary basis. The full-time permanent employment ended prior to the fulltime indefinite term employment. Statutory law provides that if an applicant quits part-time employment for personal reason, with a majority of the base period based on full-time employment, the applicant would be qualified to receive unemployment benefits. There is no similar exception where the employee quits full-time temporary employment. (App.109.) Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(5) (2005); Minn. Stat. § 268.03 (2005); Prickett v. Circuit Science, Inc., 518 N.W.2d 602 (Minn. 1994); Resident v. Noot, 305 N.W.2d 311 (Minn. 1981); Smith v. Employers' Overload Co., 314 N.W.2d 220 (Minn. 1981); Zoet v. Benson Hotel Corp., 274 N.W.2d 120 (Minn. 1978).
  • II. Is an ongoing temporary assignment created when the temporary agency never offers and the temporary employee never accepts an ongoing work assignment and neither the temporary agency nor the temporary employee intend to commit to an ongoing work assignment? The Unemployment Law Judge held: Lamah had good personal reason to quit. The work Lamah performed for Doherty was not suitable based on his prior training and experience. An applicant that quits employment within 30 calendar days of beginning the employment because the employment was unsuitable is not disqualified from receipt of unemployment benefits. Lamah's separation does not fall within the statutory exception to the quit statute because he was employed with Doherty Employment Group Inc. in excess of 30 days. An individual employed on an as-needed or on-call basis is deemed involuntarily separated from employment at the completion of each job assignment. Although Lamah called in each evening to see if there was further work for the following day, the testimony indicated that he was assigned work each week on a consistent basis. The record of earnings for Daniel Lamah proposed to be offered into evidence fails to show any significant gap in work days or periods of lack of work so as to warrant further testimony or evidence regarding that matter or a finding that the assignment was on call. (App.109-110.) Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(3) (2005); Mbong v. New Horizons Nursing, 608 N.W.2d 890 (Minn. Ct. App. 2000); McDonnell v. Anytime Temp., 349 N.W.2d 339 (Minn. Ct. App. 1984); Smith v. Employers' Overload Co., 314 N.W.2d 220 (Minn. 1981).
  • III. Were Mr. Lamah's substantial rights prejudiced when the Unemployment Law Judge based her decision on findings, inferences, and conclusions obtained from a telephone hearing conducted in violation of Minn. Stat. § 546.43 and Minn. R. 3310.2911, .2921-.2922? The Unemployment Law Judge held: Although there was difficulty in communication between the judge and the applicant, there is insufficient evidence that communication problems resulted in a misinterpretation of the statements made by the applicant so as to result in a misstatement of a finding of fact of any consequence and misapplication of the law. (App.109.) Minn. Stat. § 546.43, subd. 2 (2005); Minn. R. 3310.2911, .2921-.2922 (2005); Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970); In the Matter of GLAXO SMITH KLINE PLC, 699 N.W.2d 749 (Minn. 2005).
  • Legal Issues in Respondent-Department's Brief and Appendix:
  • A. Under the law, a quit from employment occurs when the decision to end the employment, at the time the employment ends, is the employee's. Daniel Lamah was working in a long-term temporary assignment, but gave notice that he would not be returning to that assignment because he was going to Africa for a month. Did Lamah quit his employment?
  • B. At the hearing before the unemployment law judge, the judge questioned Lamah, who answered questions and made statements on his own behalf. He never requested an interpreter either before or during the hearing. Did the judge conduct the hearing in conformity with the law?
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