This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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






Jason P. Leduc,





US Bank National Association (2001),



Department of Employment and Economic Development,



Filed February 14, 2006


Kalitowski, Judge


Department of Employment and Economic Development

File No. 5824 05


Jason P. Leduc, 839 North Century Avenue, #2, Maplewood, MN 55119 (pro se relator)


US Bank National Association (2001), c/o Jon Jay Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 182523, Columbus, OH 43218-2523 (respondent)


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 Department of Employment and Economic Development)


            Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Willis, Judge; and Stoneburner, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Relator Jason Leduc challenges the determination of the Department of Employment and Economic Development that relator was discharged from his employment for misconduct.  Because the record supports the findings that relator falsified his timesheets and that his actions constitute disqualifying misconduct, we affirm.


Relator applied for unemployment benefits, which were denied based on the initial department determination that relator was discharged for misconduct.  That decision was affirmed after an evidentiary hearing by the unemployment law judge (ULJ), and the senior unemployment review judge (SURJ) declined to conduct further proceedings and adopted the ULJ’s findings and decision.

Relator argues that his actions do not constitute disqualifying misconduct.  An employee is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits when his “intentional, negligent, or indifferent conduct . . . displays clearly a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has the right to reasonably expect  . . . or . . . displays clearly a substantial lack of concern for the employment.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 6(a) (2004).

Whether an employee is discharged for employment misconduct is a mixed question of fact and law.  Schmidgall v. FilmTec Corp., 644 N.W.2d 801, 804 (Minn. 2002).  Whether an employee committed a particular act is a question of fact, which we review for reasonable support in the record.  Scheunemann v. Radisson S. Hotel, 562 N.W.2d 32, 34 (Minn. App. 1997).  Whether the employee’s actions constitute employment misconduct is a question of law, which we review de novo.  Ress v. Abbott Nw. Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989).

The department’s factual findings are viewed in the light most favorable to the decision, and we will not disturb them as long as there is evidence that reasonably tends to sustain those findings.  Schmidgall, 644 N.W.2d at 804.  Credibility determinations are the province of the SURJ and are accorded deference on appeal.  Munro Holding, LLC v. Cook, 695 N.W.2d 379, 384 (Minn. App. 2005).

Relator worked as a structured-finance specialist at respondent US Bank from September 20, 2001, until his employment was terminated on March 15, 2005.  The Bank compared relator’s weekly electronic timesheets with the building-security access records for the weeks of January 3 through February 28, 2005, and found significant discrepancies in each of the nine weekly timesheets.  When confronted by his manager, Mari Weiss, and Vice President Thomas Maple, relator responded that Weiss had approved his timesheets.  Weiss stated that she had allowed relator to re-create three or four weekly timesheets when he had left his timesheets at home.  Relator was not allowed to return to his computer and was told his employment was terminated for falsifying timesheets.

Relator does not dispute the accuracy of the Bank’s documentation, including the timesheets, the security-access records, and a chart comparing the two.  Respondent calculated that during the nine-week period, relator added 37 hours of time to his actual hours of time at work in the building; each weekly timesheet contained at least one hour and as many as 8 hours more than the actual hours spent in the building. 

Relator argues that he was denied access to exonerating e-mails in his work computer; that Weiss approved the timesheets; and that the timesheets would not reflect work performed off-site.  Relator’s argument that he was not allowed access to documents for this unemployment-benefits review process lacks merit.  Relator had, but did not exercise, the right to subpoena production of documents.  See Minn. R. 3310.2914, subp. 1 (2005) (stating that subpoenas are available to a party to compel the production of documents).  Relator’s argument that his manager approved the discrepancies lacks support in the record.  The manager allowed relator to re-create four of the nine relevant timesheets because he failed to produce the original timesheets.  But this accommodation did not constitute approval of every entry by the manager.  Rather, it can reasonably be inferred that the manager approved only accurate statements of actual work time.  Moreover, relator did not identify specific dates or times with justifications for additional hours worked.  And when pressed for specifics at the hearing, relator could not recall why the timesheet differed from the access record.  In contrast, Weiss addressed each of the possible reasons for off-site work and explained that none applied to relator for the period in question.

When an employee knowingly violates a reasonable employer policy, that employee commits employment misconduct.  Schmidgall, 644 N.W.2d at 806.  Multiple violations of the same rule demonstrate an employee’s substantial lack of concern for the employment.  See Gilkeson v. Indus. Parts & Serv., Inc., 383 N.W.2d 448, 452 (Minn. App. 1986).  Falsifying a timecard is also employment misconduct.  Ruzynski v. Cub Foods, Inc., 378 N.W.2d 660, 663 (Minn. App. 1985).  An employer has the right to expect honest communication from employees regarding employment matters.  See Baron v. Lens Crafters, Inc., 514 N.W.2d 305, 307-08 (Minn. App. 1994) (“dishonesty that is connected with employment may constitute misconduct.”).

We conclude that the record supports the department’s findings that relator falsified his timesheets during at least four weeks and the department’s determination that the falsification displayed a clearly serious violation of standards the employer reasonably expected of its employees.