This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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







Craig J. Lysdahl,





Classic Touch, Inc.,



Department of Employment and

Economic Development,




Filed June 27, 2006

Klaphake, Judge


Department of Employment and Economic Development

File No. 687 05


Craig J. Lysdahl, 4363 France Avenue North, Robbinsdale, MN 55422 (pro se relator)


Classic Touch, Inc., 314 Buchannan Street Northeast, Minneapolis, MN 55413 (respondent employer)


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


            Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Dietzen, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Pro se relator Craig J. Lysdahl brings this certiorari appeal to challenge a decision issued by a senior unemployment review judge (review judge), who determined that relator was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because he was discharged by his employer, respondent Classic Touch, Inc., for employment misconduct.  Because the evidence reasonably supports the findings that relator departed from the employer’s practice of making twice-daily bank deposits without obtaining the employer’s approval for making such a change and that the deposits that were made showed unexplained cash irregularities, we affirm the review judge’s determination that relator committed disqualifying employment misconduct.


            On appeal by certiorari, the question of whether a discharged employee has engaged in employment misconduct is a mixed question of fact and law.  Schmidgall v. FilmTec Corp., 644 N.W.2d 801, 804 (Minn. 2002).  The review judge determines the fact question of whether an employee committed the alleged acts of misconduct.  Scheunemann v. Radisson S. Hotel, 562 N.W.2d 32, 34 (Minn. App. 1997).  Whether those particular acts constitute misconduct and disqualify the employee from receiving benefits is reviewed de novo by this court, as a question of law.  Schmidgall, 644 N.W.2d at 804.

            The statute defines misconduct as “any intentional, negligent, or indifferent conduct, on the job or off the job (1) that displays clearly a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has the right to reasonably expect of the employee, or (2) that displays clearly a substantial lack of concern for the employment.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 6(a) (2004).  As a general rule, an employee commits disqualifying misconduct when he or she refuses to “abide by an employer’s reasonable policies and requests.”  Schmidgall, 644 N.W.2d at 804 (upholding determination of misconduct when employee was discharged for failing to follow employer’s policy of reporting any injury during shift in which it occurred).  And it is well established that an employer has a right to expect “scrupulous adherence” to procedure when handling employer funds.  McDonald v. PDQ, 341 N.W.2d 892, 893 (Minn. App. 1984).  An employee’s violation of procedures or policies for handling funds shows a substantial disregard for the employer’s interests and for the employee’s duties and obligations to his or her employer.  Id.

            Relator insists that he attempted to cooperate with his employer’s policies throughout its investigation into the cash shortages and that he was not indifferent but had substantial concern for these problems.  Relator claims that the record shows that he was reporting problems with the procedures utilized by the employer all along and that rather than performing audits, the employer “just let the problems slide until bringing in an outside auditor after [relator] was suspended.”  Relator further claims that his cash reconciliation reports show that when he saw a problem, he made notes before faxing those reports to the employer and that, contrary to the findings made by the review judge, he informed the employer when he made only one daily deposit.

            For purposes of this unemployment appeal, it is relatively unimportant whether relator was responsible for the cash shortages because the evidence reasonably supports the finding that relator failed to follow the employer’s procedures for handling cash.  While relator claims that he informed his employer that he was unable to make the morning deposits on several days because he did not have enough cash on hand, his testimony was contradicted at the hearing by the company’s owner, who testified that relator failed to report any change in procedure, and by relator’s supervisor, who testified that he discovered the shortages himself and that those shortages were not reported by relator.  The review judge chose to credit the testimony of the employer’s witnesses and was entitled to do so.  See Whitehead v. Moonlight Nursing Care, Inc., 529 N.W.2d 350, 352 (Minn. App. 1995) (stating that this court defers to review judge’s ability to weigh evidence and make credibility assessments).

            The evidence reasonably shows that relator failed to make the required two deposits for several days, that relator knew that his actions were contrary to his employer’s policies, and that relator failed to inform his employer that he was doing things differently or obtain his employer’s approval for changing procedures.  Under these facts, the review judge did not err in determining that relator’s departures from his employer’s policies constituted disqualifying employment misconduct.