This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).




Barbara J. Deters,



Openarms Dayschool, Inc.,


Commissioner of Economic Security,


Filed August 18, 1998


Schultz, Judge*

Department of Economic Security

File No. 8821UC97

Barbara J. Deters, 145 Turnham Road, Maple Plain, MN 55359-9614 (pro se relator)

Openarms Dayschool, Inc., 3800 West Wayzata Boulevard, Orono, MN 55356 (respondent employer)

Kent E. Todd, Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)

Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Huspeni, Judge, and Schultz, Judge.


SCHULTZ, Judge Relator Barbara Deters seeks certiorari review of the Commissioner of Economic Security's decision that, without good cause, she failed to accept suitable offers of reemployment from her former employer, Openarms Dayschool, Inc. We affirm.


Barbara Deters was employed as a preschool teacher at Openarms Dayschool, Inc. (Openarms). During the 1996-97 school year, Deters averaged 32 hours per week at a rate of $9.00 per hour. Deters's last day of teaching preschool for the 1996-97 school year was June 20, 1997. The following August, the 1997-98 school year commenced with an open house. After the open house, Openarms conducted a staff meeting, at which Deters was informed that she would be working significantly fewer hours than in previous years.

On September 5, 1997, Deters was informed that beginning the following Monday, September 8, there would not be any teaching hours available for her because her only class had been cancelled. On September 8, 1997, two teachers tendered their notices of resignation. Later that same day, Openarms contacted Deters and told her that some hours had become available. Deters was offered a choice of a full-time or part-time teaching position. Deters's friendship with the teachers who had resigned prevented her from immediately accepting the offer of reemployment and instead, Deters told Openarms that she needed time to consider the offer. Deters never contacted the school regarding her decision.

On September 30, 1997, Openarms's president, Luann Walters, telephoned Deters's home and spoke with her husband. Walters told Deters's husband that Deters should report to work at Openarms the following morning. Deters failed to contact Openarms or report back to work.


"On appeal, this court reviews the decision of the Commissioner's representative, not the decision of the reemployment insurance judge." Fujan v. Ruffridge-Johnson Equip., 535 N.W.2d 393, 395 (Minn. App. 1995) (citing Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995)). We view the factual findings of the commissioner's representative "in the light most favorable to the decision," and determine whether the evidence reasonably tends to sustain those findings. Lolling v. Midwest Patrol, 545 N.W.2d 372, 377 (Minn. 1996). The question of whether an employee was properly disqualified from receiving benefits, however, is a question of law to be independently reviewed by this court. Id.

An employee is disqualified from receiving reemployment insurance benefits if the employee, without good cause

(1) failed to apply for available, suitable employment of which the claimant was advised by the commissioner or an employer;

(2) failed to accept suitable employment when offered; or

(3) avoided an offer of suitable employment.

Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 14(a) (Supp. 1997). The commissioner's representative found that Openarms had presented Deters with suitable offers of reemployment. Suitable employment is defined as

employment in the claimant's labor market area that is reasonably related to the claimant's qualifications. In determining whether any employment is suitable for a claimant, the degree of risk involved to the health and safety, physical fitness, prior training, experience, length of unemployment, prospects for securing local employment in the claimant's residence shall be considered.

Id., subd. 15(a) (Supp. 1997). Minnesota Rules 3305.0900 (1997) further instructs:

A claimant is considered to have refused an offer of suitable reemployment from a base period employer unless the terms and conditions of the offer are substantially less favorable than the terms and conditions under which the principal part of the wage credits were earned with that employer in the claimant's base period.

The commissioner is vested with wide discretion in making a determination as to whether offered work is suitable reemployment. Di Re v. Central Livestock Order Buying Co., 246 Minn. 279, 288, 74 N.W.2d 518, 526 (1956); Mastley v. Commissioner of Econ. Sec., 347 N.W.2d 515, 518 (Minn. App. 1984).

The commissioner's representative was within his discretion in determining that Openarms had made Deters suitable offers of reemployment. Based on the record, Openarms's two offers of reemployment to Deters were suitable offers of employment because they involved the same basic terms and conditions as Deters's prior employment with Openarms, including a similar wage and choice of full-time or part-time hours.[1]

The second aspect of this issue is whether Deters had "good cause," pursuant to the statute, to reject Openarms's offers of suitable reemployment. See Minn. Stat. § 268.09, subd. 14(a)(2) (providing employee disqualified from benefits if employee fails to accept suitable reemployment without good cause). Minnesota Rules defines "good cause" for refusing offers of suitable employment as requiring

some necessitous and compelling reason for refusal. Good cause for refusing a job may, but need not, be attributable to the employer. Good cause reasons for refusal are usually personal to the claimant and extraneous to the employment, and are usually of a temporary and emergency nature so as not to detach the claimant from the labor market.

Minn. R. 3305.0800, subpt. 18 (1997). Deters's testimony, describing the reasons she failed to accept Openarms's September 8, 1997, offer of reemployment does not indicate necessitous or compelling reasons for refusing the offer.

She, called me on the 8th * * * and she said that she had hours which had opened up and offered me teaching hours Monday through Friday full days * * * or Monday through Friday half days * * * and I told LuAnn that I wouldn't want to take teaching hours away from Judy and Julie. We've been teaching together for 20 years * * *.

On September 30, 1997, Openarms made Deters a second offer of reemployment. Deters never responded to the second offer because she believed too many students had left the school and her program was no longer in place. Deters also testified that she believed Walters had intended to force her to resign. The record does not support this belief, but instead indicates that Walters made Deters two offers of reemployment that she failed to accept. Deters's subjective belief that Walters did not really want her to teach and her view that Openarms was faltering, are not necessitous or compelling reasons for refusing Walters's second offer of reemployment.

The commissioner's representative found that Deters failed to establish good cause for her failure to accept the offers of reemployment, stating

It is clear from the evidence in the record that the parents were upset because of conditions at the employer and that there was considerable disruption. However, it appears that the disruption related to the fact that the claimant and the other teachers were not there or were leaving. * * * [I]t is clear from the evidence that the employer was attempting to get the claimant back to work.

There is sufficient evidence in the record to support this finding. Although Openarms appeared to be experiencing considerable difficulties at the time Openarms made Deters a second offer of reemployment, it is quite possible that Deters's reemployment with Openarms may have assisted Openarms in increasing its enrollment and its stability.

Deters failed to accept suitable offers of reemployment without good cause and, therefore, was properly disqualified from receiving reemployment compensation.


*Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.

[1] Relator argues that she was not made a suitable offer of reemployment because the hours offered were not necessarily available when they were offered. This argument should not be considered on appeal because it was not addressed at the reemployment hearing and, therefore, is not properly before this court. Appelhof v. Commissioner of Jobs & Training, 450 N.W.2d 589, 591 (Minn. App. 1990) (evidence not reviewed below may not be reviewed as part of record on appeal).