This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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







Daryl J. Chute,


Kane Transport, Inc.,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,



Filed January 24, 2006


Toussaint, Chief Judge


Department of Employment and Economic Development

File No. 1295704



Daryl J. Chute, 2001 East 121st Street, Apartment 109, Burnsville, MN 55337-3089 (pro se relator)


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



            Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Shumaker, Judge; and Worke, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge

Relator Daryl J. Chute challenges the determination of the senior unemployment review judge (SURJ) that relator quit his employment with respondent Kane Transport, Inc.  Because the record supports the SURJ’s findings and determination that relator voluntarily quit his employment without good reason caused by the employer, we affirm.


Relator opened an account for unemployment benefits with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.  His request was initially denied, but, after a de novo evidentiary hearing, the unemployment law judge determined that relator was discharged relator for reasons other than misconduct and was not disqualified from receiving benefits.  Respondent appealed  The SURJ denied relator’s request for benefits after determining that he quit voluntarily.  Relator now seeks review.

On appeal, this court reviews the decision by the SURJ.  Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995).  The SURJ’s decision presents a mixed question of law and fact.  Colburn v. Pine Portage Madden Bros., Inc., 346 N.W.2d 159, 161 (Minn. 1984).  Review of the SURJ’s decision is very narrow, Whitehead v. Moonlight Nursing Care, Inc., 529 N.W.2d 350, 352 (Minn. App. 1995), and accorded “particular deference,” Tuff, 526 N.W.2d at 51.

We first consider the SURJ’s factual findings.  Whether the applicant quit or was discharged is a question of fact.  Goodwin v. BPS Guard Servs., Inc., 524 N.W.2d 28, 29 (Minn. App. 1994).  The findings of fact are viewed in the light most favorable to the SURJ’s decision, and will not be disturbed if the evidence reasonably sustains the findings.  Ress v. Abbott Nw. Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989).

Here, the record supports the SURJ’s finding that relator voluntarily terminated his employment.  An employee quits when the decision to terminate employment is the employee’s.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 2(a) (2004).  When asked by the unemployment law judge to characterize his termination, relator specifically stated, “I quit.”  He offered further explanation by saying that he believed the employer acted unreasonably when it asked him to accept a change in his work schedule.  The SURJ’s finding that, “[o]n June 17, 2004, [relator] quit from the employment because he was dissatisfied with the hours he was selected to work” is supported by relator’s own statements in the record.

An applicant who voluntarily quits his employment is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits unless the applicant demonstrates that an exception applies, such as good reason caused by the employer.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(1) (2004).  Whether an applicant quits for a good cause is a question of law, which this court reviews de novo.  Peppi v. Phyllis Wheatley Cmty. Ctr., 614 N.W.2d 750, 752 (Minn. App. 2000).  The applicant has the burden of proof.  Haskins v. Choice Auto Rental, Inc., 558 N.W.2d 507, 510 (Minn. App. 1997).

A good reason caused by the employer is a reason that: (1) is directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible; (2) is adverse to the worker; and (3) would compel an average worker to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining in the employment.  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(a) (2004).  The policy underlying the statute is to benefit “those who become unemployed through no fault of their own.”  Edward v. Sentinel Mgmt. Co., 611 N.W.2d 366, 368 (Minn. App. 2000).

An applicant who quits merely because the hours scheduled by the employer are inconvenient lacks good cause.  Markert v. Nat’l Car Rental, 349 N.W.2d 859, 861 (Minn. App. 1984).  Relator admitted that he voluntarily quit because he needed a specific work schedule that the employer could no longer provide.  While relator may have found it inconvenient to choose between fulfilling his personal obligations and his employment obligations, “[a] good personal reason [to quit] does not equate with good cause.”  Kehoe v. Minn. Dep’t of Econ. Sec., 568 N.W.2d 889, 891 (Minn. App. 1997) (quotation omitted).