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Dolan v. Hursh Motors Co.

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

June 24, 2013

Randall Dolan, Relator,
v.
Hursh Motors Co., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Department of Employment and Economic Development File No. 30019218-3

Randall S. Dolan, Zumbrota, Minnesota (pro se relator)

Hursh Motors Co., Owatonna, Minnesota (respondent)

Lee B. Nelson, Colleen Timmer, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent Department of Employment and Economic Development)

Considered and decided by Bjorkman, Presiding Judge; Ross, Judge; and Kirk, Judge.

BJORKMAN, Judge

Relator challenges the determination by the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for benefits, arguing that he had good reason to quit because his work environment was hostile and offensive. We affirm.

FACTS

Relator Randall Dolan was employed as a salesperson for respondent Hursh Motors Co. From March through May 2012, Dolan received cancer treatment and was largely absent from work. During this period, Dolan regularly provided his supervisor, Duane Polson, written verification of his medical condition and communicated about when he would return to work, but Dolan believed Polson used a cold tone and did not show proper sympathy for his medical condition. Dolan also felt excluded from the sales team and singled out for criticism throughout early 2012, even after he was back at work and meeting his sales goals.

On July 2, Polson asked Dolan if he was coming to work the next day, a Tuesday. Dolan's regular day off from work was Tuesday; he reminded Polson of this and said that he was not planning to work that day. Polson responded that Dolan would have the July 4 holiday off but was expected to work on July 3. Polson also denied Dolan's request to take off the following week. Later on July 2, Polson again spoke with Dolan, stating that Dolan would not be successful unless he put in more time and made more sales, and that Hursh Motors had hired a new salesperson because Dolan was not bringing in more business. This conversation occurred in front of other employees, which embarrassed Dolan.

Dolan did not report to work on July 3. Early that afternoon, he called company vice president Dennis Hursh to complain about his interactions with Polson the previous day. Hursh said he would investigate Dolan's concerns and call him back. Dolan subsequently received a text message from a coworker indicating that Polson told other employees that Dolan had resigned. This led to a series of phone calls involving Dolan, Polson, and Hursh, culminating in Dolan's girlfriend calling Hursh to complain that Dolan was being treated poorly. Dolan never returned to work at Hursh Motors.

Dolan applied for unemployment benefits. Respondent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) initially determined that Dolan had been discharged and was eligible to receive benefits. Hursh Motors appealed. After an evidentiary hearing, the ULJ concluded that Dolan quit without good reason attributable to Hursh Motors and therefore is ineligible for benefits. Dolan requested reconsideration. The ULJ clarified ...


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