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Freas v. New Jersey Dep't of Labor

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


June 28, 2007

NANCY FREAS, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT.

On appeal from a Final Decision of the Appeal Tribunal, Department of Labor, Board of Review, No. 111,915.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 13, 2007

Before Judges Wefing and Weissbard.

Nancy Freas appeals from a Final Decision of the Board of Review affirming a decision of the Appeal Tribunal that she was ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. After reviewing the records in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

Ms. Freas was employed by the County of Sussex from July 1999 until November 2005, when she resigned due to her husband's transfer to another job in Massachusetts. Ms. Freas applied for unemployment compensation benefits and was initially told that she was eligible for these benefits. Later, however, it was determined that, having resigned for personal reasons, she was disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits under N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). That statute provides that a claimant is disqualified from unemployment compensation benefits:

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.

Ms. Freas was also ordered to refund the benefits that she had received to date, which totaled in excess of seven thousand dollars.

Ms. Freas appealed, and the Appeal Tribunal again found that she was disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits. It also noted that she could apply to the Director for a waiver of the refund requirement. The Board of Review affirmed the decision of the Appeal Tribunal. Ms. Freas has appealed to this court from the decision of the Board of Review.

The determination that Ms. Freas was disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits was entirely correct. Her resignation from her position with the County of Sussex was motivated solely by her husband's transfer to a position in another state. Clearly, she resigned for personal reasons and was thus not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits.

We are satisfied that it would not be appropriate for us at this juncture to address the question whether Ms. Freas is obligated to refund the unemployment compensation she received. The Board notes in its brief that, based upon the evidence presented before the Appeal Tribunal, it has requested the Director of the Division of Unemployment Compensation to consider whether the request for a refund should be waived. The Board also notes that Ms. Freas would be formally notified of that decision and, that in the event a waiver were to be denied, she would have the right to appeal from that decision. The issue of whether she is responsible for a refund of benefits is thus premature and is not before us.

Affirmed.

20070628

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