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: Barbara Bergen, Relator, vs. Sonnie of St. Paul, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.
Read the opinion in this case at A10-1498
CITATION: 799 N.W.2d 234 (Minn. Ct. App. 2011)
Legal Issues in RELATORS ARGUMENT ON APPEAL:
I. Is Barbara A. Bergen a non-covered Employee under the terms of Minn. Stat. §268.035 subd. 20? II. Did Barbara A. Bergen receive notice from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that it viewed Barbara A. Bergen as an owner of 25% or more of Sonnie of St. Paul, Inc. and was therefore a non-covered employee which the employer must elect to be covered for unemployment insurance?
Legal Issues in RESPONDENT-DEPARTMENT'S BRIEF AND APPENDIX:
Under the law, only individuals who have worked in employment "covered" by the unemployment insurance program earn the wages necessary to establish an unemployment benefit account. Officers who own 25 percent or more of a corporation do not work in "covered employment" unless the corporation files an election to have the officer's employment covered, and the Department approves the election. Barbara Bergen owned 100% of BA Bergen LLC, which owned 100% of Sonnie of St. Paul, a retail store, and nothing else. Bergen was the president of Sonnie. After Sonnie closed due to lack of sales, Bergen attempted to establish a benefit account. But neither BA Bergen LLC nor Sonnie filed an election to have Bergen's wages "covered." Can Bergen use wages from her work as the president of Sonnie to establish a benefit account? Unemployment Law Judge Christine Steffen held that Bergen did not have wages that could be used to establish a benefit account. Bergen, by owning 100% of BA Bergen LLC, effectively owned 100% of Sonnie, and neither BA Bergen LLC nor Sonnie elected coverage for her wages.