Minnesota State Law Library
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: Gregory S. Peterson, Relator, vs. Northwest Airlines Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.
Read the opinion in this case at A07-1704
CITATION: 753 N.W.2d 771 (Minn. Ct. App. 2008)
Legal Issues in RELATOR'S BRIEF AND APPENDIX:
I. IS AN EMPLOYEE DISQUALIFIED FROM RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS ON GROUNDS OF "MISCONDUCT" BECAUSE HE WAS TERMINATED FOR A FIRST-TIME ALCOHOL OFFENSE WHEN HE COMPLIED WITH THE EMPLOYER'S POLICY THAT DISCHARGE FOR A FIRST-TIME OFFENDER WHO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES A CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY TREATMENT PROGRAM? The Unemployment Law Judge held that the employee is disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits on grounds of "misconduct." Apposite Authorities: Eyler v. Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co., 427 N.W.2d 758 (Minn. Ct. App. 1988; Hoemberg v. Watco Publishers, Inc., 343 N.W.2d 676 (Minn. Ct. App. 1984); Minn. Stat. § 268.095, Subds. 4 and 6. II. IS THE EMPLOYEE ELIGIBLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BENEFITS UNDER THE "CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY" PROVISION OF THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAW, MINN. STAT. § 268.095, SUBD. 6(b). The Unemployment Law Judge ruled that the "chemical dependency" provision was inapplicable because the termination was for a driving offense "that adversely affected the claimant's employment." Apposite Authorities: Minn. Stat. § 268.095, Subd. 6(b). III. IS THE EMPLOYEE ELIGIBLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BENEFITS UNDER THE "SINGLE INCIDENT" PROVISION OF MINN. STAT. § 268.095, SUBD. 6(b) WHEN HE WAS TERMINATED FOR A FIRST-TIME ALCOHOL RELATED INCIDENT THAT DID NOT HAVE A SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE EMPLOYER'S BUSINESS? The Unemployment Law Judge rejected the "single" incident claim. Apposite Authorities: Hendren v. Allina Medical Group, 2007 WL 900450 (Minn. Ct. App. 2007) (unpublished); Williams v. Brooklyn Center Motors, LLC, 2007 WL 1747125 (Minn. Ct. App. 2007) (unpublished); Minn. Stat. § 286.095, Subd. 6(a).
Legal Issues in RESPONDENT-DEPARTMENT'S BRIEF AND APPENDIX:
Under the law, an individual discharged for a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has a right to expect of the individual as an employee, is disqualified from the payment of unemployment benefits. Gregory Peterson, a pilot for Northwest Airlines, Inc., willfully violated Northwest Airlines' rule against drinking alcohol during the 12 hour period prior to being on call for flight status, a rule in place to protect the traveling public. Did Peterson violate the standards of behavior Northwest had right to expect of Peterson thus disqualifying him from the payment of unemployment benefits? Tne Unemployment Law Judge (ULJ) held that Peterson was disqualified from the payment of unemployment benefits on the basis that he was discharged for employment misconduct, that is, a serious violation of the standards of behavior Northwest Airlines had a right to expect of Peterson as a pilot.
Also filed: RELATOR'S REPLY BRIEF AND SUPPLEMENTAL APPENDIX