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Vale v. Gaylords National Corp.

Decided: February 22, 1974.

JACK VALE, APPELLANT,
v.
GAYLORDS NATIONAL CORPORATION AND BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, RESPONDENTS



Handler, Meanor and Kole. The opinion of the court was delivered by Meanor, J.A.D.

Meanor

The appellant Jack Vale is now a California resident and a former resident of Ohio. He is also a former employee of Gaylords National Corporation which has its main office in Secaucus, New Jersey. For several years Vale was employed by Gaylords as merchandise manager. Gaylords operates 43 discount retail stores scattered throughout the east, southeast and mid-west, but has no stores in New Jersey. Vale's job entailed pretty much constant travel to these stores. He testified that he spent 10% to 15% of his time working in Ohio, and only 3% to 5% of it attending meetings in New Jersey. Gaylords had an office in Cleveland, Ohio, but the extent to which Vale was present there is not found in the record. Vale seems to have operated rather autonomously in his job, acting pursuant to his own judgment 95% of the time. Any orders he received came by telephone from New Jersey. He was paid from New Jersey.

Vale applied for New Jersey unemployment compensation, was turned down, and has appealed through the administrative route to this court. After his initial denial by New Jersey, he applied for and was refused benefits in Ohio and did not seek appellate relief in that state.

The applicable statute is N.J.S.A. 43:21-19. The question is whether Vale's job activities constituted "employment" under certain sections of that statute defining covered employment. It should be noted that with respect to the statutory sections involved here, pertaining as they do to interstate employment, uniform definitions are used throughout the nation on the theory that only one state shall become liable for unemployment compensation benefits, and to insure such liability in an appropriate jurisdiction to one

entitled to benefits. See Claim of Mallia, 299 N.Y. 232, 86 N.E. 2d 577, 9 A.L.R. 2d 636 (Ct. App. 1949), aff'g In re Mallia, 273 App. Div. 391, 77 N.Y.S. 2d 739 (App. Div. 1948), and Eagle Truck Transport, Inc. v. Board of Review, etc., 29 N.J. 280, 284-285 (1959). The provisions of N.J.S.A. 43:21-19 pertinent here are:

(i)

(2) The term "employment" shall include an individual's entire service performed within or both within and without this State if:

(A) The service is localized in this State; or

(B) The service is not localized in any state but some of the service is performed in this State, and (i) the base of operations, or, if there is no base of operations, then the place from which such service is directed or controlled, is in this State; or (ii) the base of operations or place from which such service is directed or controlled is not in any state in which some part of the service is performed, but the individual's residence is in this State.

(5) Service shall be deemed to be localized within a state if

(A) the service is performed entirely within such state; or

(B) the service is performed both within and without such state, but the service performed without such state is incidental to the individual's service within the state, for example, is temporary or ...


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