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Perito v. Board of Review

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


February 8, 2007

ROSALINDA PERITO, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, AND FIELDWORK EAST, INC., RESPONDENTS-RESPONDENTS,

On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 103,349.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 13, 2006

Before Judges Winkelstein and Fuentes.

Petitioner Rosalinda Perito appeals from the final agency determination of the Board of Review denying her application for unemployment benefits. The Board found that although petitioner had not left her employment for personal reasons, her reasons for leaving were "not so substantial . . . as to constitute good cause attributable to the work." The Board thus affirmed the decision of the Appeal Tribunal denying petitioner's application for benefits. After reviewing the record, and in light of prevailing standards of review, we affirm.

Petitioner worked for Fieldwork East, Inc., (Fieldwork) as a Client Liaison/Receptionist from October 1985 until January 12, 2006. On the last day of her employment, petitioner was called into a meeting with Fieldwork's President and Vice-president to discuss her unsatisfactory job performance. She was given a forty-five day action plan outlining Fieldwork's expectations, and formally notifying her that unless she improved her performance, further action would be taken, including termination.

Petitioner took great offense at the manner her employer of twenty years was treating her, and informed the two Fieldwork's executives that she was resigning from her position effective immediately. At the hearing before the Appeal Tribunal, petitioner testified that she believed Fieldwork's President was harassing her, and that nothing she could do would be enough to allay his unwarranted criticism. Against this factual backdrop, the Board concluded that petitioner had not established that she left her employment for "good cause attributable to such work," as required by N.J.S.A. 43:21-5.

When an applicant for unemployment benefits voluntarily resigns her position, she has the burden of proving that she did so for good cause attributable to the work. Brady v. Bd. of Review, 152 N.J. 197, 218 (1997). Here, although petitioner has alleged that she was the victim of harassment by her employer's senior management, she has not presented any evidence to corroborate or otherwise support this assertion.

The scope of our review of a final decision reached by a State administrative agency is limited. An administrative agency's action is presumed to be valid and reasonable. In re Amendment to Recreation and Open Space Inventory, 353 N.J. Super. 310, 327 (App. Div. 2002). We will reverse the decision "'only if it is arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable or it is not supported by substantial credible evidence in the record as a whole.'" In re Taylor, 158 N.J. 644, 657 (1999) (quoting Henry v. Rahway State Prison, 81 N.J. 571, 579-80 (1980).

In this light, we discern no legal basis to set aside the Board's decision.

Affirmed.

20070208

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