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Higgins v. Board of Review

Decided: January 18, 1955.

REGINA K. HIGGINS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



Clapp, Jayne and Francis.

Per Curiam

Among the several requirements to entitle an individual to receive benefits under the terms of our Unemployment Compensation Law (R.S. 43:21-1) are those specified in subdivision (c) of R.S. 43:21-4, to wit, that he or she is able to work, available for work, and has demonstrated that he or she is actively seeking work. Boyer v. Board of Review , 4 N.J. Super. 143 (App. Div. 1949); DeRose v. Board of Review , 6 N.J. Super. 164 (App. Div. 1950); Guidice v. Board of Review of Division of Employment Security , 14 N.J. Super. 335 (App. Div. 1951); Ludwigsen v. N.J. Department of Labor and Industry , 12 N.J. 64 (1953); Krauss v. A. & M. Karagheusian, Inc. , 24 N.J. Super. 277 (App. Div. 1953), reversed on other grounds, 13 N.J. 447 (1953).

Individualization is administratively inherent in the concepts of willingness, readiness, and availability for work. Exposure to the labor market must be sincere. Good faith cannot exist independently of honest and reasonable intentions. Cf. W.T. Grant Co. v. Board of Review , 129 N.J.L. 402 (Sup. Ct. 1943); Muraski v. Board of Review of Unemployment

Compensation Commission , 136 N.J.L. 472 (Sup. Ct. 1948).

Then, too, unemployment compensation acts are administered by administrative agencies to which pragmatically a generous area of discretion is accorded. Charles Headwear, Inc., v. Board of Review , 11 N.J. Super. 321 (App. Div. 1951). A realistic interpretation of the facts and circumstances disclosed by the evidence in the given case is absolutely essential to the successful administration of the statutory plan, and that function is primarily entrusted by the Legislature to the designated agencies.

With a mindfulness of the requirements of the statute and of the appropriate regard to be bestowed upon the factual findings of the legislative agency, we have examined the testimony with relation to the final determination of the Board of Review which is the subject of the present appeal.

The record before us discloses that the claimant appealed to the Board of Review from a decision of an Appeal Tribunal which resolved that she was eligible for benefits from October 11, 1953 through December 15, 1953 and ineligible thereafter. The Appeal Tribunal had determined that:

"She was not eligible for benefits after December 15, 1953 because her search for work was not extended, despite increasing evidence that she could not expect assignment under any regular pattern with the regular employer."

The appeal was heard by the Board of Review on February 24, 1954. The following is a reproduction of the memorandum of the Board's conclusions:

"FINDINGS OF FACT AND OPINION:

The findings of fact made by the Appeal Tribunal are correct and we agree with the opinion expressed therein. Additionally, after the Appeal Tribunal hearing on January 27, 1954, the claimant was able to work, was available for work and sought work in factories in her area on an ...


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