This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).






Mary A. Matteson,








Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development,



Filed June 21, 2005


Kalitowski, Judge


Department of Employment and Economic Development

File Nos. 6528 04, 6529 04


Mary A. Matteson, 851 Faribo Road, Apt. 320, Faribault, MN 55021 (pro se relator)


Sheldahl, Northfield Acquisition Co., 1150 Sheldahl Road, Northfield, MN 55057-9444 (respondent)


Lee B. Nelson, Linda A. Holmes, Department of Employment and Economic Development, First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351 (for respondent Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development)


            Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Parker, Judge.*

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Relator Mary A. Matteson challenges the determination of the commissioner’s representative that she failed, without good cause, to accept suitable employment.  We affirm.


            “We review the commissioner’s factual findings in the light most favorable to the commissioner’s decision and will not disturb them as long as there is evidence that reasonably tends to sustain those findings.”  Schmidgall v. Filmtec Corp., 644 N.W.2d 801, 804 (Minn. 2002).  We generally defer to the commissioner’s representative’s factual findings, but we exercise independent judgment with respect to questions of law.  Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989).

            An applicant for unemployment benefits “[is disqualified] for all unemployment benefits if the applicant, without good cause . . . failed to accept suitable employment when offered.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 8(a)(2) (Supp. 2003).[1]  “Suitable employment” is defined as “employment in the applicant’s labor market area that is reasonably related to the applicant’s qualifications.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.035, subd. 23a(a) (2002).  “Employment on a second, third, rotating, or split shift is suitable employment if it is customary in the occupation in the labor market area.” subd. 23a(f).

Here, the commissioner’s representative found that (1) relator was laid off on or about February 7, 2003; (2) on or about November 3, 2003, the employer offered relator suitable employment that was substantially similar to her prior position but required relator to work an evening shift; (3) shift work was customary in relator’s occupation; and (4) relator refused the employment because a full-time job would have interfered with her retirement plans, she felt she was entitled to remain on the day shift because of her work history, and it would be too hard for her to adjust to the new shift and new co-workers.  Based on these findings the commissioner’s representative determined that relator did not have good cause to refuse the offer of suitable employment under Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 8, and therefore, appellant was disqualified from all unemployment benefits when she rejected the employment offer.

The commissioner’s representative’s findings are amply supported by the record.  The employer’s representative testified that (1) relator was offered an assembly worker position pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement; and (2) relator contacted the employer’s representative and said that it was the relator’s intention to collect 26 weeks of unemployment and then to retire.  Relator testified that (1) she refused the offer of employment because she thought working a different shift and being out late at night would adversely affect her health; (2) she has a permanent infected lung and working different hours with different people would upset her; (3) she did not like the hours of her shift; and (4) she thought that her history of employment entitled her to work the day shift.  Relator did not offer other evidence as to the nature and extent of her illness.  Nor did relator explain why her illness prohibited her from working any shift other than the day shift, and she did not offer any other reason to justify her refusal of work.

We conclude that the record supports the determination of the commissioner’s representative that relator, without good cause, refused a suitable offer of employment and that she was therefore disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.


*  Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.

[1] The revisor’s office inadvertently substituted the term “ineligible for” for the term “disqualified from” in Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subds. 1, 4, 7, 8(a) (Supp. 2003).  See Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subds. 1, 4, 7, 8(a) (2002) (using term “disqualified from”); 2003 Minn. Laws 1st Spec. Sess. ch. 3, art. 2, § 11 (making other changes to Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1, but retaining term “disqualified from”); 2003 Minn. Laws 1st Spec. Sess. ch. 3, art. 2, § 20(j), (k) (directing revisor to change the term “disqualified from” to “ineligible for” only in Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 12, and then to renumber to Minn. Stat. § 268.085, subd. 13b).  The revisor has updated the statutes for 2004 to correct the error.