Hudson, Judge Department of Employment and Economic Development File No. 30071014-3
Tracy Newman, Vadnais Heights, Minnesota (pro se relator)
Children's Health Care, Minneapolis, Minnesota (respondent employer)
Lee B. Nelson, Colleen Timmer, Department of Employment and Economic Development, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent department)
Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Schellhas, Judge; and Bjorkman, Judge.
In this certiorari appeal from a decision by an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged for employment misconduct for forging her supervisor's name, relator challenges the finding that she did so. Because we defer to the ULJ's credibility determinations, we affirm.
Relator Tracy Newman was employed as a part-time health unit coordinator by respondent Children's Health Care (CHC). Her duties included data entry, working with patients' families, routing doctor's orders to the appropriate departments, and other receptionist duties.
In December 2011, relator was asked by Ramsey County Community Human Services (county) to complete a form in order to reapply for public health benefits for her minor children. The form required relator to complete the top portion and for relator's employer to complete the bottom portion. Relator completed the form and faxed it to the county on December 21, 2011.
On July 16, 2012, relator's supervisor, Karen Martin, received a call from the county asking for additional information regarding the form that relator submitted. Martin asked the county to fax a copy of the form to her. Upon receiving the fax, Martin noticed that the document had her signature on it, but that she did not recognize it as her signature and did not believe she had ever seen the form before. That same day, Martin confronted relator about the form. Relator denied forging Martin's signature on the form and stated that she believed someone at the county must have signed her name. Relator requested, and was provided with, a copy of the form that was faxed to Martin by the county.
Subsequently, both relator and Martin contacted the county to figure out what had happened. According to Martin, a representative from the county stated that it is not their policy to sign someone else's name on a form. But, according to relator, she was told that the county sometimes contacts the employer by phone and would indicate that on the form. Relator stated that she believes someone at the county signed Martin's name but did not indicate that they had spoken to her by phone.
Martin attempted to contact relator twice to request that relator meet with her on July 20 to discuss the incident, which was the next time relator was scheduled for work. Relator refused to meet with Martin and called in sick to work that day. Martin again attempted to contact relator to tell her that she should not come to work until after they discussed the incident and that she wanted to meet with relator on July 23. On the evening of July 22, relator left a voicemail for Martin stating that an attorney had instructed her not to meet with Martin face-to-face until she obtained more ...