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Hatleli v. Midwest Door Co. of Austin, MN, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

July 15, 2013

Jerod Hatleli, Relator,
v.
Midwest Door Company of Austin, MN, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Department of Employment and Economic Development File No. 30096888-3

Jerod A. Hatleli, Austin, Minnesota (pro se relator)

Midwest Door Company of Austin, MN, Inc., Austin, Minnesota (respondent employer)

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

Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Chutich, Judge; and Smith, Judge.

PETERSON, Judge

This certiorari appeal is from an unemployment-law judge's decision that relator is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because he was discharged for aggravated employment misconduct. We affirm.

FACTS

Relator Jerod Hatleli worked as an installer at respondent Midwest Door Company of Austin, MN, Inc., which is owned by Jeff Pederson. On August 2, 2012, Midwest Door received a telephone call from Green Source, a general contractor, looking for a door for one of its customers. Green Source told Hatleli that the customer would pay Midwest Door $1, 145 to install the door and that Midwest Door should send Green Source a $95 referral fee. Hatleli and Allen Belden, who was also an installer, went to Stacyville, Iowa, to install the door.

After completing the job, Hatleli instructed the homeowner to write the check to him, instead of to Midwest Door. When Hatleli and Belden returned to Austin, Hatleli cashed the check and gave $100 to Belden. Hatleli told Belden, "[Pederson] will never know about the door being gone if we don't say anything." That evening, Belden told Gene Kline, Midwest Door's operations manager, that Hatleli told the homeowner to write the check to him, and gave Belden $100 from the check proceeds. Belden gave Kline the $100 he had received from Hatleli.

The next day, Kline asked Hatleli about the Stacyville job, and Hatleli told Kline that he and Belden did not install a door but only took measurements. After talking to Kline, Hatleli asked Belden to help him move a door into the space previously occupied by the door that they had installed in Stacyville.

On August 5, after Pederson returned from vacation, Kline and Belden told him about Hatleli's conduct. On August 7, Pederson discussed the situation with a police officer, and on August 8, Pederson discharged Hatleli for having the customer write the check to him rather than to Midwest Door. During the police investigation, Hatleli gave police an envelope containing $940 and told police that the money was from the Stacyville job and that he intended to give it to Pederson. Hatleli was charged with gross-misdemeanor theft.

Hatleli sought unemployment-compensation benefits from respondent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and DEED initially determined that Hatleli was eligible for benefits. Midwest Door appealed, and a hearing was held before an unemployment-law judge (ULJ). Hatleli testified that he intended to give the ...


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