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Morreale v. State

Decided: February 26, 1979.

DOROTHY MORREALE, APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



On appeal from Civil Service Commission.

Conford and King.

Per Curiam

Appellant appeals a determination of the Civil Service Commission denying her sick leave disability benefits for the period February 7 through August 21, 1977.

Appellant is a typist employed by the State Department of Education in Trenton. On February 7, 1977, as a result of a bomb scare, the State Police directed that the building be vacated between 11:30 A.M. and 12:30 P.M. The employees were thus given an early lunch hour. While walking in downtown Trenton during that period appellant fell after tripping on a raised sidewalk cellar door. The consequent injuries kept her out of work until August 21, 1977.

Appellant received a workers' compensation award of $4,400 for 40 weeks of permanent disability and $92 a week for 40 weeks of temporary disability. She then requested sick leave disability benefits pursuant to N.J.A.C. 4:1-17.9. That request was denied, and when appellant appealed to the Civil Service Commission that body concluded that since the accident occurred during lunch hour, when appellant was neither engaged on state business nor physically on the

premises of her appointing authority, no injury compensable under the disability leave regulations had occurred.

The pertinent regulation provides as follows:

(a) In State service, any employee who is disabled because of occupational injury or disease may on the recommendation of the appointing authority and approval of the Civil Service Department, be granted a leave of absence with full pay, with reduced pay or with full pay for a certain period and reduced pay thereafter, contingent upon the availability of departmental funds legally usable for this purpose. Any amount of salary or wages paid or payable to an employee for disability leave shall be reduced by the amount of workmen's compensation award under the New Jersey Workmen's Compensation Act for temporary disability.

[Emphasis supplied]

The regulation was adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 11:14-2 which, in pertinent respect, provides:

The commission shall establish regulations extending leaves of absence with pay or with part pay for longer periods to employees disabled either through injury or illness as a result ...


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