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Casciano v. Board of Review

May 16, 1997

DAVID H. CASCIANO, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from a Final Decision of the Board of Review.

Approved for Publication May 20, 1997.

Before Judges Pressler, Stern and Wecker. The opinion of the court was delivered by Wecker, J..s.c., t/a

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wecker

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WECKER, J.S.C., t/a

Petitioner David H. Casciano appeals from a final decision of the Board of Review, affirming the decision of the Appeal Tribunal, which held him disqualified for unemployment benefits because he left the job without good cause attributable to the work. N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). That statute provides in pertinent part:

An individual shall be disqualified for benefits:

(a) For the week in which the individual has left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work, and for each week thereafter until the individual becomes reemployed and works four weeks in employment . . . and has earned in employment at least six times the individual's weekly benefit rate, as determined in each case.

It is undisputed that petitioner was employed by Princeton Telephone Answering Service, Inc. (Princeton) from July 1994 through March 3, 1995. He then began employment with the Internal Revenue Service on March 6, but was laid off on March 17 and therefore did not have sufficient service with the Internal Revenue Service to qualify for unemployment benefits from that employer.

The Appeal Tribunal heard only two witnesses: petitioner and a former assistant manager *fn1 employed at Princeton. There was no evidence before the Tribunal that contradicted petitioner's testimony. According to petitioner, he sought to change jobs for two reasons. First, he claimed he was pressured to participate in intentional overbilling of clients. Second, he claimed his wages were underpaid, allegedly in violation of the Wage and Hour Law. If true, we have no doubt that each of those circumstances alone would establish "good cause attributable to [the] work." Petitioner testified with respect to the overbilling that he

went from total innocence, believing everything was correct, to suspecting that something was wrong, to being reasonably sure that something was wrong.

In response to questioning by the Appeals Examiner, petitioner testified as follows:

A. No, I proceeded to look for another job.

In other words, I didn't leave without having another job. I didn't want to go that route and file unemployment. When I realized that, I proceeded to look for another job.

Q. Okay, go ahead continue.

A. And then I did obtain a job commitment from the Internal Revenue Service which they lead me to be would be a longer duration. There was an inadvertent thing that came up, and it took me approximately two months to actually get the commitment from the Internal Revenue Service. I had an interview and I had to go for testing and a security clearance.

Q. Okay, while though you were waiting for this job to come through, you made the application with the Internal Revenue Service, you continued to work for your employer, Princeton Telephone. Is that correct?

A. That is correct.

In response to further questioning, petitioner testified that when the IRS made a firm job offer, he told Princeton he would be leaving. At the hearing, he further described the overbilling situation and ...


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