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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 268

Section 268.095

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268.095 Disqualification because of a quit or discharge.

Subdivision 1. Quit. An applicant who quit employment shall be disqualified from all unemployment benefits according to subdivision 10 except when:

(1) the applicant quit the employment because of a good reason caused by the employer as defined in subdivision 3;

(2) the applicant quit the employment to accept other covered employment that provided substantially better terms and conditions of employment, but the applicant did not work long enough at the second employment to have sufficient subsequent earnings to satisfy the disqualification that would otherwise be imposed under subdivision 10 for quitting the first employment;

(3) the applicant quit the employment within 30 calendar days of beginning the employment because the employment was unsuitable for the applicant;

(4) the employment was unsuitable for the applicant and the applicant quit to enter reemployment assistance training;

(5) the employment was part time and the applicant also had full-time employment in the base period, from which full-time employment the applicant separated because of nondisqualifying reasons, and the wage credits from the full-time employment are sufficient to meet the minimum requirements to establish a benefit account under section 268.07;

(6) the applicant quit because the employer notified the applicant that the applicant was going to be laid off due to lack of work within 30 calendar days. An applicant who quit employment within 30 calendar days of a notified date of layoff due to lack of work shall be disqualified from unemployment benefits through the end of the week that includes the scheduled date of layoff;

(7) the applicant quit the employment because the applicant's serious illness or injury made it medically necessary that the applicant quit, provided that the applicant inform the employer of the serious illness or injury and request accommodation and no reasonable accommodation is made available.

If the applicant's serious illness is chemical dependency, this exception shall not apply if the applicant was previously diagnosed as chemically dependent or had treatment for chemical dependency, and since that diagnosis or treatment has failed to make consistent efforts to control the chemical dependency; or

(8) domestic abuse of the applicant or the applicant's minor child, necessitated the applicant's quitting the employment. Domestic abuse shall be shown by one or more of the following:

(i) a district court order for protection or other documentation of equitable relief issued by a court;

(ii) a police record documenting the domestic abuse;

(iii) documentation that the perpetrator of the domestic abuse has been convicted of the offense of domestic abuse;

(iv) medical documentation of domestic abuse; or

(v) written statement that the applicant or the applicant's minor child is a victim of domestic abuse, provided by a social worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, attorney at law, or other professional who has assisted the applicant in dealing with the domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse for purposes of this clause shall be defined under section 518B.01.

Subd. 2. Quit defined. (a) A quit from employment occurs when the decision to end the employment was, at the time the employment ended, the employee's.

(b) An employee who has been notified that the employee will be discharged in the future, who chooses to end the employment while employment in any capacity is still available, shall be considered to have quit the employment.

(c) An employee who seeks to withdraw a previously submitted notice of quitting shall be considered to have quit the employment if the employer does not agree that the notice may be withdrawn.

(d) An applicant who, within five calendar days after completion of a suitable temporary job assignment from a staffing service employer, (1) fails without good cause to affirmatively request an additional job assignment, or (2) refuses without good cause an additional suitable job assignment offered, shall be considered to have quit employment.

This paragraph shall apply only if, at the time of beginning of employment with the staffing service employer, the applicant signed and was provided a copy of a separate document written in clear and concise language that informed the applicant of this paragraph and that unemployment benefits may be affected.

For purposes of this paragraph, "good cause" shall be a reason that is significant and would compel an average, reasonable worker, who would otherwise want an additional temporary job assignment with the staffing service employer, (1) to fail to contact the staffing service employer, or (2) to refuse an offered assignment.

For purposes of this paragraph, a "staffing service employer" is an employer whose business involves employing individuals directly for the purpose of furnishing temporary job assignment workers to clients of the staffing service.

Subd. 3. Good reason caused by the employer defined. (a) A good reason caused by the employer for quitting is a reason:

(1) that is directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible;

(2) that is adverse to the worker; and

(3) that would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining in the employment.

(b) The analysis required in paragraph (a) must be applied to the specific facts of each case.

(c) If an applicant was subjected to adverse working conditions by the employer, the applicant must complain to the employer and give the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the adverse working conditions before that may be considered a good reason caused by the employer for quitting.

(d) A reason for quitting employment shall not be considered a good reason caused by the employer for quitting if the reason for quitting occurred because of the applicant's employment misconduct.

(e) Notification of discharge in the future, including a layoff due to lack of work, shall not be considered a good reason caused by the employer for quitting.

(f) An applicant has a good reason caused by the employer for quitting if it results from sexual harassment of which the employer was aware, or should have been aware, and the employer failed to take timely and appropriate action. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact or other conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

(1) the applicant's submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition of the employment;

(2) the applicant's submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication is the basis for decisions affecting employment; or

(3) the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an applicant's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

(g) The definition of a good reason caused by the employer for quitting employment provided by this subdivision shall be exclusive and no other definition shall apply.

Subd. 4. Discharge. An applicant who was discharged from employment by an employer shall be disqualified from all unemployment benefits according to subdivision 10 only if:

(1) the applicant was discharged because of employment misconduct as defined in subdivision 6; or

(2) the applicant was discharged because of aggravated employment misconduct as defined in subdivision 6a.

Subd. 4a. Renumbered subd 6a

Subd. 5. Discharge defined. (a) A discharge from employment occurs when any words or actions by an employer would lead a reasonable employee to believe that the employer will no longer allow the employee to work for the employer in any capacity. A layoff due to lack of work shall be considered a discharge. A suspension from employment without pay of more than 30 calendar days shall be considered a discharge.

(b) An employee who gives notice of intention to quit the employment and is not allowed by the employer to work the entire notice period shall be considered discharged from the employment as of the date the employer will no longer allow the employee to work. If the discharge occurs within 30 calendar days prior to the intended date of quitting, then, as of the intended date of quitting, the separation from employment shall be considered a quit from employment subject to subdivision 1.

Subd. 6. Employment misconduct defined. (a) Employment misconduct means any intentional, negligent, or indifferent conduct, on the job or off the job (1) that displays clearly a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has the right to reasonably expect of the employee, or (2) that displays clearly a substantial lack of concern for the employment.

Inefficiency, inadvertence, simple unsatisfactory conduct, a single incident that does not have a significant adverse impact on the employer, conduct an average reasonable employee would have engaged in under the circumstances, poor performance because of inability or incapacity, good faith errors in judgment if judgment was required, or absence because of illness or injury with proper notice to the employer, are not employment misconduct.

(b) Conduct that was a direct result of the applicant's chemical dependency is not employment misconduct unless the applicant was previously diagnosed chemically dependent or had treatment for chemical dependency, and since that diagnosis or treatment has failed to make consistent efforts to control the chemical dependency.

(c) Conduct that was a result of the applicant, or the applicant's minor child, being a victim of domestic abuse as defined under section 518B.01, is not employment misconduct. Domestic abuse shall be shown as provided for in section 268.095, subdivision 1, clause (8).

(d) A driving offense in violation of sections 169A.20, 169A.31, or 169A.50 to 169A.53 that interferes with or adversely affects the employment is employment misconduct.

(e) The definition of employment misconduct provided by this subdivision shall be exclusive and no other definition shall apply.

Subd. 6a. Aggravated employment misconduct defined. (a) For the purpose of this section, "aggravated employment misconduct" means:

(1) the commission of any act, on the job or off the job, that would amount to a gross misdemeanor or felony if the act substantially interfered with the employment or had a significant adverse effect on the employment; or

(2) for an employee of a facility as defined in section 626.5572, aggravated employment misconduct includes an act of patient or resident abuse, financial exploitation, or recurring or serious neglect, as defined in section 626.5572 and applicable rules.

(b) If an applicant is convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony for the same act for which the applicant was discharged, it is aggravated employment misconduct if the act substantially interfered with the employment or had a significant adverse effect on the employment.

(c) The definition of aggravated employment misconduct provided by this subdivision shall be exclusive and no other definition shall apply.

Subd. 7. Act or omissions after separation. An applicant shall not be disqualified from unemployment benefits under section 268.085, subdivision 13c, and this section for any acts or omissions occurring after the applicant's separation from employment with the employer. A layoff due to lack of work is considered a separation from employment.

Subd. 8. Renumbered 268.085, subd 13c

Subd. 9. Renumbered 268.035, subd 23a

Subd. 10. Disqualification duration. (a) A disqualification from the payment of all unemployment benefits under subdivisions 1 and 4 shall be for the duration of the applicant's unemployment and until the end of the calendar week that the applicant had total earnings in subsequent covered employment of eight times the applicant's weekly unemployment benefit amount.

(b) Any disqualification imposed under subdivisions 1 and 4 shall begin on the Sunday of the week that the applicant became separated from employment.

(c) In addition to paragraph (a), if the applicant was discharged from employment because of aggravated employment misconduct, wage credits from that employment shall be canceled.

Subd. 11. Application. (a) Section 268.085, subdivision 13c, and this section shall apply to all covered employment, full time or part time, temporary or of limited duration, permanent or of indefinite duration, that occurred in Minnesota during the base period, the period between the end of the base period and the effective date of the benefit account, or the benefit year, except as provided for in subdivision 1, clause (5).

(b) Paragraph (a) shall also apply to employment covered under an unemployment insurance program of any other state or established by an act of Congress.

Subd. 12. Renumbered 268.085, subd 13b

HIST: (4337-27) Ex1936 c 2 s 7; 1937 c 401 s 1; 1939 c 443 s 6; 1941 c 554 s 6; 1943 c 650 s 5; 1945 c 376 s 6; 1947 c 432 s 7; 1965 c 741 s 17; 1967 c 342 s 1; 1967 c 573 s 5; 1969 c 42 s 1; 1971 c 942 s 11; 1973 c 23 s 1; 1973 c 599 s 9; 1974 c 477 s 1; 1975 c 336 s 16; 1977 c 4 s 8; 1977 c 242 s 1; 1977 c 297 s 19; 1978 c 618 s 1; 1979 c 181 s 11-13; 1980 c 508 s 9; 1982 c 619 s 1; 1Sp1982 c 1 s 26-28; 1983 c 372 s 26,27; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 362 s 19,20; 1987 c 385 s 23,24; 1989 c 65 s 8; 1989 c 209 art 2 s 1; 1992 c 484 s 11,12; 1993 c 67 s 5-7; 1994 c 488 s 4,8; 1995 c 229 art 3 s 15; 1996 c 417 s 19,20,31; 1997 c 66 s 43-54,79; 1998 c 265 s 25-29,44,45; 1999 c 107 s 44,66; 2000 c 343 s 4; 2000 c 478 art 2 s 7; 2001 c 175 s 38-41,52; 1Sp2003 c 3 art 2 s 11-14,20; 2004 c 183 s 62-65,86; 2005 c 112 art 2 s 24-29