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Yi v. Board of Review

July 28, 2008


On appeal from Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Docket No. 149,526.

Per curiam.


Argued July 8, 2008

Before Judges C.S. Fisher and Grall.

Sang C. Yi, formerly employed by JP Morgan Chase Bank, appeals from a denial of unemployment benefits. The Board of Review (Board) determined that Yi left his employment voluntarily and without good cause related to his work. On that basis, the Board concluded that Yi was disqualified from receiving benefits pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). Because the Board's decision is supported by substantial credible evidence, we affirm with only a brief explanation. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(D).

Yi filed his claim for benefits on March 25, 2007. On April 20, 2007, a Deputy to the Director of the Division of Unemployment Insurance determined that Yi was eligible for benefits. His employer appealed on April 27, 2007, and a hearing was conducted on May 31, 2007. The Appeals Tribunal concluded that Yi was not entitled to benefits, and, after review of the record of the hearing, the Board agreed with the Tribunal's decision.

Yi tendered a letter of resignation, without stating a reason, on March 24, 2007. Before the Appeals Tribunal, Yi contended that he left his job because his duties and hours had changed.

Yi was hired on November 14, 2005, as a personal banker. In that position, he dealt with customers who came to the bank.

According to his employer, when Yi was not busy with customers in the bank he was expected to make phone calls to customers for the purpose of encouraging them to utilize additional services offered. Yi, who did not like "telemarketing," viewed this duty as inconsistent with his job description. He admitted, however, that he had been asked to make such calls during the sixth month of his one-and-one half years of employment with the bank. He also admitted that he had been warned that he was not meeting his employer's expectations in this area of responsibility.

Yi also contended that his employer changed his hours. He acknowledged that he was expected to work forty hours per week, which would include hours worked on some Saturdays but not more than one Saturday every other week. He also said that he had been told that he would work five days each week but had recently been told that he would be asked to work six days in one week in the future. He admitted that he had never been asked to work six days in one week and resigned because he did not want to wait until he was directed to give up one of his two days off.

Yi's employer offered evidence to dispute his claims about hours of work and scheduling. Personal bankers were expected to work on Saturdays when the bank's needs and staffing required it. Whenever an employee works on Saturdays, the employee is given time off on a different day of that week. Yi worked eleven Saturdays between September 9, 2006 and February 3, 2007, and he was never told he would be required to work six days a week in the future. His superior stressed that employees were not asked to work more than forty hours per week. Yi resigned on a Friday and was scheduled to work the following day; he had one day off earlier in that work week.

Unemployment compensation is not available to an employee who "has left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work . . . ." N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). "Good cause attributable to such work" is defined as "a reason related directly to the individual's employment, which was so compelling as to give the individual no choice but to leave the employment." N.J.A.C. 12:17-9.1(b) "'Mere dissatisfaction with working conditions which are not shown to be abnormal or do not affect health, does not constitute good cause for leaving work voluntarily.'" Domenico v. Bd. of Review, 192 N.J. Super. 284, 288 (App. Div. 1983) (quoting Medwick v. Bd. of Review, 69 N.J. Super. 338, 345 (App. Div. 1961)). An employee is expected "to do what is necessary and reasonable in order to remain employed." Ibid.

Although the Appeals Examiner did not expressly state that she found the testimony offered by the employer more persuasive, that determination is implicit in the decision adopted by the Board. The Board's determination that Yi did not have "good cause" to resign is supported by the record, which includes Yi's admissions about his job responsibilities, hours and work days prior to his resignation. Brady v. Bd. of Review, 152 N.J. 197, 210-11 (1997). Thus, the Board's decision is not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable. Ibid.

On appeal Yi argues that the hearing before the Appeals Tribunal was not conducted in a manner consistent with his due process rights. That argument lacks sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). Our review of the record convinces us that Yi was afforded an adequate opportunity to ...

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