Department of Employment and Economic Development File No. 29764386-4.
Michael Hunter, Minneapolis, Minnesota (pro se relator)
Dolphin Staffing – Dolphin Clerical Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota (respondent)
Lee B. Nelson, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent Department of Employment and Economic Development)
Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Ross, Judge.
Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he quit his employment. We affirm.
Relator Michael Hunter was employed by respondent Dolphin Staffing and assigned to an accounts-payable position with Donaldson Company beginning on January 9, 2012. On Friday, May 11, 2012, Dolphin contacted Hunter and informed him that the Donaldson assignment ended that day. The parties dispute whether Hunter requested a new assignment during this phone call. The ULJ found that he did not. The parties agree that on Thursday, May 17, 2012, Hunter contacted Dolphin and inquired about the availability of a new assignment. No assignment was available at that time.
Hunter applied for unemployment benefits and was determined to be eligible on the basis that he was laid off. Dolphin challenged that determination. On appeal, the ULJ determined that Hunter is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he quit employment under Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subds. 1, 2(d) (2012), when he failed to request a new assignment until more than five calendar days after the completion of his last assignment. On reconsideration, the ULJ affirmed the decision. This certiorari appeal follows.
We note at the outset an irregularity in how respondent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) processed Hunter's request for reconsideration of the ULJ's ineligibility determination. The ULJ's original decision was issued on July 30, 2012. The order affirming the decision states that Hunter filed his request for reconsideration on December 4, 2012. But a ULJ's decision is final unless a party files a request for reconsideration within 20 calendar days. Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subds. 1(c), 2(a) (2012). When a ULJ's decision becomes final, the department is deprived of jurisdiction to conduct further review. Rowe v. Dep't of Emp't & Econ. Dev., 704 N.W.2d 191, 196 (Minn.App. 2005). Because the identified ...