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Zimmerman v. Board of Review

Decided: February 14, 1975.

EDWARD ZIMMERMAN, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DAWSON FORD INC., RESPONDENTS



Michels, Morgan and Milmed.

Per Curiam

[132 NJSuper Page 318] This appeal is taken from a decision of the Board of Review, Division of Employment Security, which

affirmed a decision of the Appeal Tribunal, which in turn upheld a determination by the deputy that the claimant-appellant was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for a period commencing March 22, 1973 and ending April 9, 1973. Appellant was held disqualified for failure to report to an appointed claims office in accordance with agency regulations.

Claimant had been gainfully employed as the assistant manager of Dawson Ford in Summit, New Jersey, from November 1971 until February 14, 1973, on which date his employment was terminated by his employer because of lack of work. Claimant filed for unemployment benefits on February 15, 1973, and after certification of his eligibility benefits were paid through March 21, 1973.

Claimant's scheduled date to report to the local office of the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance was March 23, 1973. On March 21, 1973, however, he informed the local office by telephone that he would be unable to report since he would be out-of-state seeking employment. He was advised by an agency employee to notify the claims office of that fact by letter. Such a letter was sent on March 22 and received by the agency. In that letter he advised the office that he would be unable to report on March 23 since he would be out-of-state seeking employment, would be returning on April 7, and would be reporting to the office as soon as possible after his return.

Claimant testified that while in Florida he actively sought work. He described in detail the agencies to which he applied and the persons to whom he talked in an effort to locate employment in that state.

Following the unsuccessful search for employment in Florida claimant departed Florida on April 6, a Friday, by car, arriving in New Jersey on April 8, Sunday. An attempt to report on April 9 was aborted as a result of car trouble and claimant called the local office on that date to so advise them. He finally reported on April 10.

Eligibility requirements for receipt of unemployment compensation benefits can be found in N.J.S.A. 43:21-4. Section (a) of that provision is the source of the regulations adopted by the Division of Employment Security. It provides:

An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week only if it appears that:

(a) He has registered for work at, and thereafter continued to report at, an employment office in accordance with such regulations as the division may prescribe, except that the division may, by regulation, waive or alter either or both of the requirements of this subsection as to individuals attached to regular jobs, and as to such other types of cases or situations with respect to which the division finds that compliance with such requirements would be oppressive, or would be inconsistent with the purpose of this act; provided, that no such regulation shall conflict with subsection (a) of section 43:21-3 of the Revised Statutes.

Pursuant to this delegation of rule-making power, the Division promulgated a set of regulations pertaining to registration for work, reporting requirements and the procedure for making claims. The two regulations pertinent to the present controversy are N.J.A.C. 12:17-2.1(b) and (c). N.J.A.C. 12:17-2.1(b) provides:

In order to establish eligibility for benefits or for waiting period credit for any week of unemployment, the claimant shall report during each such week on the day or days and at the time or times designated by a representative of the Division to the local employment service office at which he is registered for work. A claimant who has failed to report on his assigned reporting day shall be considered as having complied with this reporting requirement; provided, he reports in person as soon as possible thereafter but not ...


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