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Dingleberry v. Board of Review

Decided: December 9, 1977.

VIRGINIA DINGLEBERRY, CLAIMANT-APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, STANDARD BRANDS, INC., AND HILLS BROTHERS COFFEE CO., RESPONDENTS



Lora, Seidman and Milmed. The opinion of the court was delivered by Milmed, J.A.D.

Milmed

[154 NJSuper Page 416] Claimant appealed to the Appeal Tribunal from a determination of a deputy that she was ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits because of an insufficient number of base weeks, or, in the alternative, insufficient earnings (less than $2,200) in employment in the base year, in this case from February 9, 1975 through February 7, 1976. After a hearing the Appeal Tribunal affirmed the determination of the deputy. It found that in the base year: claimant worked for Hills Brothers Coffee Co. for six weeks earning $714.52;*fn1 she also worked for Standard Brands, Inc. for six weeks earning $1,177.16; she was temporarily laid off from Standard Brands, Inc. on September 5, 1975, the lay-off becoming permanent on December 5, 1975; she received from Standard Brands vacation pay in the amount of $251.28 "which represented six days for the

week ending November 16, 1975," and severance pay of $1,815*fn2 in accordance with a union contract.*fn3

The appeals examiner who heard the matter concluded that

The severance pay was not paid to the claimant for any services rendered or for services which she might have been required to perform but were waived. It was strictly stipulated in the union contract that the severance must be paid.

The claimant was, accordingly, found to have worked in the base year "a total of 12 weeks with total earnings of $2,142.96,"*fn4 a sum $57.04 short of the statutory minimum for eligibility of $2,200. N.J.S.A. 43:21-4.

N.J.S.A. 43:21-4(e) provides that:

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

(e) With respect to a base year as defined in subsection (c) of R.S. 43:21-19 he has established at least 20 base weeks as defined in subsection (t)*fn5 of R.S. 43:21-19, or, in the alternative, has earned $2,200.00 or more in his base year.

In disapproving claimant's claim for benefits, the appeals examiner reasoned:

R.S. 43:21-5(p)*fn6 [ sic ] provides:

(p) "Remuneration" means all compensation for personal services, including commissions and bonuses and the cash value of all ...


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