December 6, 2021

Volume XI, Number 340

Advertisement
Advertisement

December 03, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Minnesota Court Rules Indignation Over Employer’s Handling of Substance Abuse No Reason To Quit, Get Unemployment Benefits

An administrative assistant’s belief that her employer asked her to engage in unethical conduct in dealing with company drug testing and alcohol abuse incidents did not give her good reason to quit her job or receive unemployment benefits, a Minnesota court has held.  That (a) the employee may have felt uncomfortable because the plant manager told her to reschedule an applicant’s pre-employment physical, including a drug test for a later date (to “stretch out the time”) after the applicant (whom the plant manager evidently wanted to hire) reportedly told the administrative assistant he had used marijuana, and (b) she regarded as “unethical” her discovery that another employee’s time (1.5 hours) was approved for payment on a day that employee had been sent home early, after reporting to work intoxicated (the same employee, she had been told, also showed up intoxicated the week before), and did not warrant her resignation from work.

Noting that the administrative assistant had reported these incidents, and even asked that a memo be placed in her personnel file noting her objection to the postponed drug test (which she had rescheduled), the court an average, reasonable employee would be compelled to quit and become unemployed in these circumstances.  As to the rescheduled drug testing, not only did the Company comply with her request for remedial action, but it never asked her to “stretch out” any other pre-employment drug tests.  Her dissatisfaction in this instance did not constitute good reason to quit, the court said.  Likewise, the Company’s decision to pay the reportedly inebriated employee did not constitute good cause for her to quit, even if the administrative assistant thought the employer showed poor judgment in doing so, and may have had a good “personal reason” for quitting.  What she found morally objectionable, however, did “not necessarily equate to good cause attributable to the employer.”  Grosland v. Smith Companies LLC, 2013 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1132 (Minn. Ct. of App., No. A13-0572, December 23, 2013).

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 2
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Roger Kaplan employee drug testing attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Roger S. Kaplan is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has worked with many employers to help assure their drug and abuse testing policies and procedures comply with the state and federal laws and to develop effective testing strategies. He has frequently addressed business and professional groups on substance abuse testing issues.

Mr. Kaplan has represented clients and appeared before executive departments and administrative agencies, such as the United States Department of Labor (...

631-247-4611
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement