Minnesota Unemployment: "Good Cause to Quit"?

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has held that where an employer encourage an employee to resign and to form own company, that such was good cause to quit and the employee was therefore eligible for unemployment benefits.  Rowan v. Dream It, Inc., A11-1135 (April 2, 2012).  In Minnesota and North Dakota an employee who resigns is generally going to be barred from recovering unemployment benefits.  In both Minnesota and North Dakota, an employee generally may not resign even in anticipation of discharge or layoff and expect to be eligible for unemployment benefits.  MSA 268.095, subd 3(e); NDCC 52-06-02(1)(f).  In Rowan, however, the Court distinguished the situation noting that the employee had never been told she would be discharged.  While this is a relatively narrow exception, it is something employers should be aware of when faced with having to let employees go and with the bargaining that may sometimes ensue.  If you have questions relating to hiring or termination or need representation in response to a unemployment claim, please contact us.