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Meyer v. Board of Review

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


April 18, 2008

JEFFREY MEYER, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND SCHWING ELECTRICAL SUPPLY, RESPONDENTS.

On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 133,207.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 2, 2008

Before Judges Lisa and Lihotz.

Appellant, Jeffrey Meyer, appeals from a final decision of the Board of Review (Board), which affirmed a determination by the Appeal Tribunal that he was disqualified from benefits pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a) because he left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the work. After working less than three-and-one-half months for his employer, appellant quit his job. He contended the working conditions were intolerable. He based this contention on two reasons. He disagreed with procedures required by his employer to perform his job functions. And, appellant claimed he was physically assaulted by a co-worker, and was constantly harassed by his co-workers. When appellant reported the assault, his employer investigated the matter by speaking to appellant and the co-worker. They presented conflicting versions of the incident. Appellant contended the co-worker pushed a cart towards him and hit his wrist. The co-worker denied that the cart struck appellant. In any event, the employer advised appellant to go to the doctor for medical evaluation, which appellant did, one week after the incident. Appellant did not report the incident to the police, did not require further medical treatment, and did not file a workers' compensation claim. The employer also told appellant that if there was any recurrence of such conduct by a co-worker to immediately report it directly to him or the co-owner of the business, and it would be dealt with appropriately.

After being denied benefits, appellant filed an administrative appeal. The Appeal Tribunal conducted a hearing and found:

The claimant did not get along with co-workers. He believed he was intentionally assaulted by one, but did not inform the employer right away and did not call police. The employer came to investigate the problem, but there was [no] definite proof one way or the other. The claimant agreed to continue working and could call the employer if there were any other problems that his manager could not resolve. The claimant did not bother to use this option before leaving because he did not think it would help. Animosity between claimant and fellow workers, whether real or imagined, does not constitute good cause for leaving work voluntarily.

The employer has a right to assign duties regardless of the claimant's title or whether the claimant wanted more responsibilities or not. Leaving available work because he did not get his way is not considered good cause.

The claimant left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the work and is disqualified for benefits as of 10-8-06, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a).

The Appeal Tribunal therefore affirmed the determination initially made. Appellant sought further administrative review. The Board issued its final decision on March 12, 2007. Based upon its review of the record, the Board adopted the findings and decision of the Appeal Tribunal.

In his appeal to this court, appellant contends that the Board's findings are unsupported by the record and that he did not receive a fair hearing before the Appeal Tribunal. The scope of our review is very limited. We will not interfere with the Board's decision if it is adequately supported by the evidence in the record. Zielenski v. Bd. of Review, 85 N.J. Super. 46, 54 (App. Div. 1964). We are satisfied that the Board's finding that appellant left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the work is well supported by the record. Mere dissatisfaction with working conditions does not constitute good cause for leaving employment. Domenico v. Bd. of Review, 192 N.J. Super. 284, 288 (App. Div. 1983). Appellant's reasons for leaving did not rise above the level of mere dissatisfaction with working conditions. We are also satisfied from our review of the record that appellant was afforded a fair and impartial hearing. His arguments to the contrary do not warrant further discussion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).

The Board's final decision of March 12, 2007 is affirmed.

20080418

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