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Hudzina v. Board of Review

July 1, 2008

THERESA A. HUDZINA, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, ACCOUNTEMPS, AND BARNES & NOBLE COLLEGE BOOKSELLERS, INC., RESPONDENTS.



On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 122,162.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 14, 2008

Before Judges Sapp-Peterson and Newman.

Claimant, Theresa A. Hudzina, appeals from the May 11, 2007 decision by the Board of Review (Board) finding that she was disqualified for unemployment benefits under N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). We affirm.

Hudzina worked as a temporary employee for Accountemps, an employment agency. She was placed in a temporary assignment with BNCB Management Corporation (BNCB) in March 2006. At the time of her placement, Hudzina was advised by Accountemps that the position could be converted into permanent employment at a $45,000 annual salary. From the outset, she complained about her working conditions, including (1) no permanently assigned desk, (2) dust and debris on desks, (3) dirty furniture, and (4) lack of training and inadequate supplies. Hudzina agreed to continue in the position at that time because there were no other temporary positions available.

Six weeks into her employment, Hudzina was in fact offered a permanent position, but at $43,000. Hudzina extended a counter-offer of $48,000, which BNCB did not accept. She continued in the temporary assignment and, on June 19, 2006, she was once again offered a permanent position at the $43,000 figure, which she verbally accepted. A day later, she left her employment after objecting to how management confronted her about the company's policy on sneakers. According to Hudzina, she felt that she was being treated like a child because the Human Resources (HR) director addressed the issue with her in an authoritative, degrading and unnecessary manner after she had previously addressed the issue with Hudzina earlier in the day and also after claimant's manager had addressed the issue at the HR director's request. Hudzina advised the HR director, "I'm sorry. I made a mistake. I can't work for a company like this basically who has management in place that do not know how to manage people."

Hudzina applied for unemployment compensation benefits. The deputy director of the Division of Unemployment and Disability Insurance determined that Hudzina was disqualified for benefits from June 18, 2006, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a), because she left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to work. N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). The Appeal Tribunal affirmed that determination. Hudzina appealed to the Board of Review, which remanded the matter for additional testimony "regarding the reason for [Hudzina's] separation from employment from both employers."

Upon remand, a second hearing was held before the Appeal Tribunal. At the conclusion of this hearing, the Appeal Tribunal found, The claimant, in this case, does not have good cause for leaving work or refusing suitable work.

First of all, the claimant[']s dissatisfaction with the physical condition of the workplace is one that could easily be remedied. The situation was noted when the claimant first started working in March, yet the claimant continued to work despite those issues.

Secondly, the situation regarding salary requirements does not satisfy the "good cause" requirement. The claimant, as of 3/20/06, was earning $18.00 per hour as a temp. That translates into $37,400 per year. The offer of $43,000 with benefits was $6,000 more than what the claimant was making. While the Agency told the claimant the job with employer #2 paid $45,000.00 plus benefits, the salary was negotiable. There was no obligation on the part of employer #2 to pay the sum of $45,000. In any event, there was no breach of contract if the terms of agreement did not result in a meeting of the minds. Even though an offer was made by employer #2, the temporary assignment had not ended. The claimant had quit prior to the acceptance of the agreement.

Thirdly, the sneaker incident is not viewed by this tribunal as intended to be demeaning or punitive. The employer was merely defining corporate policy.

Thus, it is considered that the claimant voluntarily quit her job with employer #1 without good cause. In addition, she refused suitable work without good cause with employer #2, however, the issue is academic in light of the disqualification period imposed by the voluntary quit.

The claimant left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the work and is disqualified for benefits as of 06/18/06 in ...


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