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Ehmann v. Board of Review

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


April 30, 2008

CHRISTOPHER M. EHMANN, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, AND HOFFMAN'S EXTERMINATING CO., INC., RESPONDENTS.

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

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 16, 2008

Before Judges Wefing and Parker.

Claimant appeals from a Final Decision of the Board of Review denying his application for unemployment compensation benefits. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

Claimant worked as technician for respondent Hoffman's Exterminating Co., Inc. He had been there for approximately three months when he left to address a medical problem related to his use of drugs. He did not seek a leave of absence and agreed that his employer did not promise to keep his job open for him. When he had completed his treatment, he sought to return to his former position, but there were no positions available. Upon learning of that, he applied for unemployment compensation benefits. His application, however, was denied.

We note at the outset the limited scope of our review of a final administrative determination. We are confined to a consideration of whether that determination is arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable. Brady v. Board of Review, 152 N.J. 197, 210 (1997); Close v. Kordulak Bros., 44 N.J. 589, 598-99 (1965).

An individual is disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits if the individual "has left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work . . . ." N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). It is not sufficient that the individual have good cause to leave the employment; that good cause must be attributable to the work itself. While claimant clearly needed to address his substance abuse problem, he candidly admitted that there was no relationship between his employment and his need for drug treatment.

The decision of the Board of Review that claimant left his employment for a personal reason, unrelated to his employment, and was thus disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits, is fully supported by the record and in accord with the statute. We thus affirm.

20080430

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