This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Kerry A. Youngdale,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Filed May 1, 2007
Department of Employment and Economic Development
Agency File No. 18171 05
Thomas H. Boyd, Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.,
Lee B. Nelson, Linda A. Holmes, Department of Employment and Economic Development, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351 (for respondent Department of Employment and Economic Development)
Sunbelt Sales & Leasing, Inc., 7528 East Point Douglas Road South, Cottage Grove, MN 55016 (respondent)
Considered and decided by Dietzen, Presiding Judge; Randall, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.
In this certiorari proceeding, relator challenges the decision of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that he was discharged for employment misconduct and, therefore, was disqualified from receiving benefits, arguing that his activities did not constitute employment misconduct. Because the ULJ’s decision was supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole, we affirm.
Kerry Youngdale was employed by Sunbelt Sales and Leasing, Inc. (
the hearing, Judd Beattie,
Youngdale ordered a credit report on himself from Sunbelt’s credit bureau
without receiving authorization from
Youngdale, who “had considerable experience in the automobile sales business,”
traded in a car as part of his purchase of another vehicle from
Following the hearing, the ULJ concluded that Youngdale was discharged because of employment misconduct and, therefore, was disqualified from receiving benefits. The ULJ reasoned that the check-signing and credit-report incidents violated the reasonable expectations of his employer but did not constitute serious violations. But the ULJ also concluded that “[h]is failure to disclose that he did not have legal title to the car he was trading in at the time of the transaction was a material omission” that “potentially subjected Sunbelt to serious legal liability and jeopardized its relationship with the bank which had made the loan to the customer who subsequently purchased the car.” Further, the ULJ concluded that Youngdale’s assertion that it was an “oversight” was not credible. Youngdale filed a request for reconsideration of the ULJ’s decision, and the ULJ issued an order affirming the decision. This certiorari appeal followed.
D E C I S I O N
Youngdale argues that the ULJ erred in concluding that his activities constituted employment misconduct. On certiorari appeal this court may reverse or modify the ULJ’s decision if the relator’s substantial rights “may have been prejudiced” by “error of law” or “unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted.” Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(d) (Supp. 2005) (establishing the standard of review for ULJ decisions issued after July 2005).
employee committed misconduct is a mixed question of fact and law. Schmidgall
v. FilmTec Corp., 644 N.W.2d 801, 804 (
An employee who is discharged for misconduct is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 4(1) (Supp. 2005). Under the statute, “employment misconduct” means:
[A]ny 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.
Inefficiency, inadvertence, simple unsatisfactory conduct, a single incident that does not have a significant adverse impact on the employer, conduct an average reasonable employee would have engaged in under the circumstances, poor performance because of inability or incapacity, good faith errors in judgment if judgment was required, or absence because of illness or injury with proper notice to the employer, are not employment misconduct.
Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd.
6(a) (2004). Thus, a knowing violation
of an employer’s directives, policies, or procedures constitutes employment
misconduct because it demonstrates a substantial lack of concern for the
employer’s interests. Schmidgall, 644 N.W.2d at 804. “A single incident where an employee
deliberately chooses a course of action adverse to the employer can constitute
misconduct.” Ress v. Abbott Nw. Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 524 (
Here, the ULJ
rested the determination of employee misconduct on relator’s conduct involving
the trade-in of the car. Youngdale
argues that his actions involving the trade-in were “outside the terms of his
employment” and did not occur in connection with the performance of his
employment duties. Youngdale relies on Forester v. Value Travel, Inc., 506
N.W.2d 667, 669 (Minn. App. 1993), and Hein
v. Gresen Div., 552 N.W.2d 41, 44 (
Here, the ULJ
found that the failure to disclose the title problem was a “material omission,”
and that Sunbelt “had a right to reasonably expect that Youngdale would be
honest and forthcoming in conducting all business transactions on behalf of and with
supports the ULJ’s finding. Youngdale’s
off-the-job conduct violated the standards of behavior that
Youngdale also argues
that his failure to disclose the title information was an “oversight,” and that
he had no motive for knowingly failing to disclose the information. Here, the ULJ rejected relator’s argument, finding that
Youngdale is experienced in selling cars, and that Youngdale knew that title
was in his parents’ name and needed to be transferred. We defer to the ULJ on
credibility issues. Ywswf v. Teleplan Wireless Services, Inc., 726 N.W.2d 525,
ULJ’s finding of adverse impact to the employer is supported by the
Youngdale challenges the ULJ’s finding that the three events constitute a pattern of misconduct, arguing that the three incidents are unrelated and, therefore, cannot constitute a “pattern of conduct.” Because Youngdale’s misconduct regarding the trade-in of the car is sufficient to support his ineligibility for unemployment benefits, it is not necessary for us to reach this issue, and, therefore, we decline to do so.