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Grosland v. Smyth Companies LLC

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

December 23, 2013

Kim Grosland, Relator,
v.
Smyth Companies LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Department of Employment and Economic Development File No. 30877163-2.

Kim Grosland, Austin, Minnesota (pro se relator)

Smyth Companies LLC, St. Paul, Minnesota (respondent)

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

Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Ross, Judge.

HALBROOKS, Judge

Relator challenges the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits. Because the record contains substantial evidence to support the ULJ's determination that Grosland quit her employment without good reason caused by the employer, we affirm.

FACTS

Relator Kim Grosland worked as an administrative assistant for respondent Smyth Companies LLC for 10 years. She resigned on December 31, 2012, due to frustrations with her work environment. Grosland identifies several incidents that led to her decision to quit.

The first incident involved Grosland's duty to schedule pre-employment physicals for prospective employees. The physical includes a drug screen. In August 2012, a prospective employee told Grosland that he might fail the drug screen because he had used marijuana. Grosland instructed the job applicant to discuss his concerns with the plant manager or his prospective supervisor and proceeded with scheduling the appointment. After she scheduled the physical, the plant manager told Grosland to "stretch out the time" of the appointment, meaning to reschedule it for a later date. Grosland complained to the plant manager that his request made her uncomfortable and reported to human resources her concern that the plant manager was trying to contravene the purpose of the pre-employment physical. She requested that a note be placed in her personnel file indicating her concern. Human resources granted the request.

The second incident occurred later that month when the plant manager told Grosland that she would either have to work additional hours or switch to part-time. Grosland contacted human resources and objected to any change in her schedule. Smyth chose not to alter Grosland's schedule.

The third incident concerned an employee who was paid for time he worked while allegedly intoxicated. On Saturday, December 22, 2012, a co-worker called Grosland on her day off to report that an employee had showed up to work intoxicated. Grosland relayed this information to four managers. On Saturday, December 29, Grosland received another call indicating that the same employee arrived to work intoxicated and was sent home early. When Grosland prepared the company's payroll the following Monday morning, she noticed that the approved timesheet for the employee accused of working while intoxicated included 1.5 hours of work on December 29. Because Grosland thought that Smyth should have terminated the employee and believed it was unethical to pay him for his time on December 29, she tendered her resignation and walked off the job that morning.

Grosland applied for unemployment benefits. Respondent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development determined that Grosland is ineligible for benefits. Grosland appealed. Following an evidentiary hearing in which Grosland alone testified, a ULJ concluded that Grosland quit her employment without a good reason caused by the ...


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