March 10, 2008
SALVATORE MORETTI, APPELLANT,
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, AND HACKENSACK BOARD OF EDUCATION, RESPONDENTS.
On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 125,958.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued February 25, 2008
Before Judges Graves and Alvarez.
Appellant Salvatore Moretti (Moretti) appeals from a final decision of the Board of Review (Board) dated November 14, 2006, which affirmed an Appeal Tribunal's determination that he is ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 43:21-4(g)(1), because he was employed by an educational institution and had a reasonable assurance to perform such services in a subsequent academic year. After reviewing the record in light of the arguments advanced on appeal, we affirm.
Following an Appeal Tribunal hearing on October 5, 2006, the appeals examiner found that Moretti "was employed as an on-call substitute teacher for the [Hackensack Board of Education] from 12/2004 through the week of 6/18/2006, when school closed for the summer recess." The appeals examiner also found that Moretti "expects to return to work as a substitute teacher for the ensuing school year commencing in the week of 9/3/2006 with an educational institution." Based on these findings, the appeal examiner rendered the following decision: "The claimant is ineligible for benefits from 6/25/2006 through 9/9/2006, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 43:21-4(g)(1), as the claimant has reasonable assurance of reemployment with an Educational Institution."
Our role in reviewing the decision of an administrative agency is limited. In re Taylor, 158 N.J. 644, 656 (1999); Brady v. Bd. of Review, 152 N.J. 197, 210 (1997). So long as an agency's decision is statutorily authorized and not otherwise defective because it is arbitrary or unreasonable, we must accord it a "strong presumption of reasonableness." City of Newark v. Natural Res. Council, 82 N.J. 530, 539, cert. denied, 449 U.S. 983, 101 S.Ct. 400, 66 L.Ed. 2d 245 (1980). If we find sufficient credible evidence in the record to support the agency's decision, then we must affirm even though we may have reached a different result. Clowes v. Terminix Int'l, Inc., 109 N.J. 575, 588 (1988).
In this case, Moretti testified that he returned to work on September 14 and October 4, 2006. Thus, the record fully supports the finding by the Appeal Tribunal and the Board that Moretti had a reasonable assurance of returning to work after the summer recess. Accordingly, we are satisfied the Board's final decision is neither unreasonable nor contrary to law. See Charatan v. Bd. of Review, 200 N.J. Super. 74, 79 (App. Div. 1985) ("Denial of benefits . . . 'conforms with the Legislature's intent not to subsidize the vacation periods of those who know well in advance that they may be laid off for certain specified periods.'") (quoting Davis v. Commonwealth, Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 394 A.2d 1320, 1321 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1978)); Patrick v. Bd. of Review, 171 N.J. Super. 424, 425-26 (App. Div. 1979) (holding substitute teacher, who had reasonable expectation of similar employment after summer recess, was properly declared statutorily ineligible).
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