Skip to main content

Lawmakers want unemployment for workers who quit Clubhouse Jäger

The owner had donated to white supremacist David Duke.

Under Minnesota law, quitting your job usually means you can't collect unemployment benefits – which could spell trouble for the workers who walked out of Clubhouse Jäger in Minneapolis late last month

But a group of state lawmakers says those employees should be covered while they seek new jobs. 

The staff of the historic North Loop bar quit on Thursday, Aug. 31, following the bombshell revelation that owner Julius DeRoma had donated money to notorious white supremacist David Duke.

"These workers are not out to game the (unemployment insurance) system, but are simply hard-working Minnesotans who made the same decision all of us would have made in that situation," a Monday news release from Rep. Jim Davnie says.

Davnie and seven other DFL House members have sent a letter to top officials at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, asking the agency to help the Jäger crew under a set of exceptions written into state law.

The letter points to a 60-year-old "good reason" statute that applies when workers quit their jobs for any of the following causes:

  • Those directly related to employment and for which the employer is responsible
  • Those adverse to the worker, and
  • Those that would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit rather than remain in the job.

"The situation at Club Jäger clearly meets this threshold," the lawmakers' letter states. 

What employees went through

"Aside from the indignity of working for an owner who supports white supremacy," the lawmakers write, "the working conditions at Club Jäger became untenable after the Duke story was released."

The letter references reports that the employees were harassed, threatened, and "taunted on the streets" because of their affiliation with DeRoma.

Additionally, the revelations about Jäger's owner also brought white supremacists out of the woodwork and into the bar, the letter says, potentially forcing employees to serve "countless groups" of racists. 

The employees' walk-out forced the club to shut down, and it has been closed since. 

Clubhouse Jäger, which is located in a building that dates back to 1906, was bought by DeRoma about 13 years ago. 

Duke – who once led the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan – is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "Neo-Nazi, longtime Klan leader." 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 10.02.59 AM

North Dakota's only abortion clinic relocating to Minnesota

A GoFundMe set up to help the clinic make the move to Minnesota has surpassed its $500,000 goal.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 12.37.03 PM

Deadly vehicle fire on Interstate 94 west of Fargo

The victim's age and name have not been released.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

Overturning Roe v. Wade won't do a 'damn thing' to prevent abortions, Walz says

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Saturday meant to protect abortion access in the state and people who come from out of state seeking one.


Man crossing Highway 13 in Burnsville fatally struck by driver

The victim is a 31-year-old man from Prior Lake.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 7.50.33 AM

4 shot near Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.55.28 PM

Charges: Cop feared for his life during struggle for gun with suspect

Allen Denzel Oliver-Hall has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Burnsville, Minnesota - May 2019 (2)

Shootout near Erik's Bike Shop, Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville

Police say youths were shooting at each other on Saturday afternoon.

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.


Clubhouse Jager has reopened, with the same controversial owner

The bar shut down five months ago after a staff walkout.

On second night back, Clubhouse Jager closes early after activists project swastika on building

The bar had been closed for 5 months since it was revealed it's owner had donated to David Duke.

More DJs and groups have pulled events from Clubhouse Jager

Their decisions came after learning the owner donated $500 to David Duke.

Minneapolis City Hall

Mpls. commits $5M to help small biz, renters and workers amid pandemic

The coronavirus gap funding program was announced Friday.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 10.40.44 PM

GOP lawmaker slams Teamsters for meme about 'free the growler' bill

The bill would remove the cap that prohibits five breweries from selling growlers and beer to go.