This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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







Mark V. Scheid,





McPhillips Trucking, Inc.,



Department of Employment and

Economic Development,




Filed October 17, 2006

Klaphake, Judge


Department of Employment and Economic Development

File No. 1284105


Mark F. Gaughan, Jensen, Bell, Converse & Erickson, P.A., 1500 Wells Fargo Place, 30 East Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN  55101 (for relator)


McPhillips Trucking, Inc., 6971 Dickman Trail, Inver Grove Heights, MN  55076 (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 Minge, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Relator Mark V. Scheid challenges his disqualification from unemployment benefits, arguing that he quit his job for good reason caused by his employer, respondent McPhillips Trucking, Inc.  Because the evidence supports the decision of the unemployment law judge (ULJ), who concluded that the heated confrontation between relator and his employer was momentary and not the kind of situation that would cause an average, reasonable employee to quit and become unemployed, we affirm.


            An individual who quits employment is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits unless the quit was “because of a good reason caused by the employer.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1(1) (2004).     A good reason caused by the employer is a reason “(1) that is directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible; (2) that is adverse to the worker; and (3) that would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining in the employment.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(a) (2004).

            Here, relator and his employer had an argument on the morning of June 14, 2005, during which the two men exchanged heated words and bumped into each other.  The employer was upset because relator failed to call to tell him that a truck had not gone out; when relator retorted that it was not his job to do so, the employer pointed out that relator had been calling him for the past two years to give him this type of information.  The employer further told relator that unless relator wanted to drive the truck himself, he needed to call the employer so that another driver could be found.  When relator pointed out that driving the truck was outside his medical restrictions and continued to argue about whether informing the employer about absent drivers was part of his job, the employer angrily told relator “[t]hat’s what we need you to do” and that if relator did not like the situation, then he could leave.  The two men bumped into each other and walked away.

            Relator first challenges the ULJ’s finding that relator was not discharged but quit his employment.  “Whether an employee has been discharged or voluntarily quit is a question of fact.”  Midland Elec., Inc. v. Johnson, 372 N.W.2d 810, 812 (Minn. App. 1985).  Although the ULJ acknowledged that “[i]n the heat of the moment,” the employer did tell relator that he could leave if he refused to do the work he was being asked to do, the ULJ further found that continuing employment was available to relator, but that he chose to leave and not return, thus ending his employment.  See Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subds. 2(a) (stating that “quit . . . occurs when the decision to end the employment was, at the time the employment ended, the employee’s”), 5(a) (stating that “discharge . . . occurs when any words or actions by an employer would lead a reasonable employee to believe that the employer will no longer allow the employee to work for the employer in any capacity”) (2004).  Because substantial evidence supports the ULJ’s finding that relator quit his employment, that finding will not be disturbed.  See Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(d) (Supp. 2005) (providing that this court will not disturb ULJ’s factual findings unless “unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted”).

            Relator next argues that he had a good reason caused by his employer to quit his job.  Questions regarding the reason or cause of an employee’s separation from work involve fact issues.  See Embaby v. Dep’t of Jobs & Training, 397 N.W.2d 609, 611 (Minn. App. 1986); Beyer v. Heavy Duty Air, Inc., 393 N.W.2d 380, 382 (Minn. App. 1986).  Whether that reason is a good reason to quit, however, involves a question of law that we review de novo.  Peppi v. Phyllis Wheatley Cmty. Ctr., 614 N.W.2d 750, 752 (Minn. App. 2000).

            At the hearing before the ULJ, relator testified that he decided to leave because he was not “going to let any employer ever . . . assault me like that.”  The ULJ rejected relator’s claim that he was assaulted as unsupported by the record, noting that “[t]his was a single momentary heated confrontation for which [relator] bore part of the responsibility.”  We agree and defer to the ULJ’s credibility determinations on this issue.  See Whitehead v. Moonlight Nursing Care, Inc., 529 N.W.2d 350, 352 (Minn. App. 1995).

Relator also claims that he quit because his employer offered him only two choices:  either drive the truck himself, which was outside his light-duty, sedentary medical restrictions, or quit his job.  But when the employer’s statements are read in context, it is clear that his main concern was that relator did not notify him that a driver had failed to show up that morning; it was only in exasperation that the employer told relator that he could either drive the truck himself or leave.  As other witnesses testified, the two men had had arguments before and no one thought that relator had been fired or that he would quit.

Irreconcilable differences with one’s employer or frustration and dissatisfaction with one’s working conditions do not constitute good reasons to quit.  Portz v. Pipestone Skelgas, 397 N.W.2d 12, 14 (Minn. App. 1986).  Rather, the issue is whether “the employer made unreasonable demands of [the] employee that no one person could be expected to meet.”  Zepp v. Arthur Treacher Fish & Chips, 272 N.W.2d 262, 263 (Minn. 1978).  “The standard for determining good cause is that standard of reasonableness as applied to the average man or woman, and not to the supersensitive.”  Erb v. Comm’r of Econ. Sec., 601 N.W.2d 716, 718 (Minn. App. 1999) (quotation omitted).

Here, the record establishes that relator overreacted to the incident with his employer.  While both men were upset, the ULJ concluded that the incident did not present the “type of circumstance [that] would cause the average, reasonable individual to quit rather than remaining employed.”  Because substantial evidence in the record supports the ULJ’s ultimate determination that relator quit his employment without good reason caused by his employer, relator is disqualified from receiving benefits.