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When it comes to unemployment benefits, angry outburst isn’t reason enough to quit

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Employees who quit their jobs can sometimes receive unemployment compensation in Minnesota if they can show:

1. They had good reason to quit and

2. The reason was because of some- thing the employer did.

However, courts will always examine those issues through the lens of one question: Would an average, reasonable worker have quit under the circumstances, choosing to become unemployed?

Plus, courts want to see that the worker complained about the problem and gave the employer a reasonable opportunity to fix it.

Recent case: Edward worked as a lab assistant at Lake Superior College. After attending a meeting that included the college bookstore manager, he quit. Edward claimed the bookstore manager yelled at him.

Edward filed for unemployment compensation benefits but was turned down.

He appealed, arguing that he had no choice but to quit because he feared for his safety.

The appeals court rejected his argument, concluding that an average, reasonable worker would not have felt compelled to quit over one meeting in which another employee yelled.

Plus, he resigned before giving the college an opportunity to fix the problem. (Wrazidlo v. Lake Superior College, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2017)

Final note: Keep close tabs on how you respond to workplace complaints, even if they seem to be mostly trivial.

In this case, the college was able to show it had no opportunity to fix the alleged problem or even investigate what happened before Edward quit.

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