On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, No. 148,362.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Simonelli and King.
Appellant Gregory DeGraffenreid appeals from a final decision of the Board of Review (Board) that affirmed the Appeal Tribunal's determination that he was disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits under N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). We affirm.
The following facts are summarized from the record. Appellant was employed as a warehouse person for Brickforce Staffing (Brickforce), a temporary employment agency. When originally hired, appellant signed an employment agreement, which provided as follows:
I understand and agree that I am an employee of Brickforce Staffing ("Brickforce"), not the company to which I am assigned. In the event I learn that my assignment is about to be terminated, or that my assignment has been terminated, I understand and agree that I am to report to Brickforce immediately for reassignment. In the event that I fail to report for or accept reassignment, it will be deemed a voluntarily [sic] abandonment of, and resignation from my employment with Brickforce, and any application for unemployment benefits will be denied for failure to meet this obligation.
Lastly, I understand that I am applying for a general warehouse and/or office clerical position with hourly rates starting at minimum wage, with travel distances up to 60 miles.
Brickforce assigned appellant to the Cozridge Company (Cozridge) in Bloomfield. Appellant worked Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. He became ill and was out of work for a week beginning November 27, 2006.
Appellant was required to telephone his supervisor, Eladio Gonzalez (Gonzalez), to report an absence. Gonzalez claimed that appellant did not call the entire week and was listed as a "no-call, no-show." Appellant claimed he called once.
Gonzalez also claimed that when he came in to get his paycheck on December 1, 2006, he asked appellant why he did not call. Appellant responded that he was sick. Gonzalez then instructed appellant to return to Cozridge. Appellant did so, but was advised his services were no longer required because he failed to report to work without notifying Brickforce. Gonzalez then offered appellant a job at DSI Company (DSI) in Newark, with the same working hours and pay. Appellant accepted the job, but failed to report on December 4, 2006. As a result, he was terminated.
Appellant claimed that Gonzalez said that the work was slow and that Cozridge was laying off temporary employees, and that Gonzalez never offered him work at DSI. However, appellant admitted that when he visited Cozridge, he observed other temporary employees "busy working." Also, Gonzalez was seeking workers, as it was difficult to secure temporary help during December and January, and Brickforce's plant manager produced weekly manpower reports which showed that work was available for appellant at various job locations.
Appellant filed a claim for unemployment benefits on December 10, 2006. On April 12, 2007, a deputy claim examiner determined that appellant was eligible for benefits. Brickforce appealed. The Appeal Tribunal reversed and determined that appellant was not disqualified for benefits pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(c), because he did not refuse to apply for suitable work, but was disqualified pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a) because he left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the work.
Appellant appealed. The Board affirmed the decision of the Appeal Tribunal, but modified the date of disqualification to December 3, 2006. Citing N.J.A.C. 12:17-15.1 and N.J.A.C. 12:17-15.2, the Board found that appellant had executed a valid agreement with a temporary help service firm, that he was offered continuing employment which he failed to accept, and that his leaving work was without ...