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Modjeski v. Winona Mechanical, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

August 26, 2013

Mark Modjeski, Relator,
v.
Winona Mechanical, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Department of Employment and Economic Development File No. 30524109-3

Mark R. Modjeski, Rollingstone, Minnesota (pro se relator).

Winona Mechanical, Inc., Winona, Minnesota (respondent).

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

Considered and decided by Rodenberg, Presiding Judge; Worke, Judge; and Smith, Judge.

RODENBERG, Judge.

Relator appeals an unemployment law judge's order affirming the dismissal of relator's administrative appeal as untimely, arguing that there were extenuating medical circumstances that should excuse his untimely appeal. We affirm.

FACTS

Relator Mark Modjeski ended his employment with Winona Mechanical in mid-April 2012 for medical reasons. Relator established a benefits account with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and on December 17, 2012, DEED issued a determination letter to him. The determination letter explained that relator was ineligible for unemployment benefits, that he had been overpaid benefits in the amount of $11, 480.00, and that "[t]his determination will become final unless an appeal is filed by Monday, January 7, 2013."

Relator submitted an appeal online on January 10, three days after the appeal deadline. In his appeal application, relator explained that he filed late because "I was confused as I thought my benefits were exhausted so [I] no longer thought I qualified." A telephonic hearing was set with an unemployment law judge (ULJ) for January 24.

On January 11, the ULJ issued an order dismissing relator's appeal as untimely. The ULJ found that the determination of ineligibility sent by DEED to relator in December "clearly stated that it would be final unless an appeal was filed within 20 calendar days from the date of mailing" and that relator's appeal, filed on January 10, "was not filed within the time period required by law."

On January 15, relator requested reconsideration. He argued that "[t]here was some confusion on my part on which issue this appeal involved." Relator claimed that he mistakenly thought the issue to be appealed was whether he had earned sufficient wages to open a benefits account and that he believed filing an appeal was pointless because he knew he had not made enough money. Relator further explained that he now realized that the correct issue was whether he quit his employment for medical reasons, and he asserted for the first time on ...


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