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Goodman v. Board of Review

August 13, 2008

RHODA GOODMAN, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW AND UNION OB-GYN INFERTILITY GROUP, PA, RESPONDENTS.



On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Docket No. 160,909.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted August 5, 2008

Before Judges Sapp-Peterson and Baxter.

Petitioner Rhoda Goodman appeals from the denial of unemployment compensation benefits. She argues that the Board of Review's (Board) decision was erroneous because her employer should have permitted her to return to work after she recovered from a non work-related compression fracture of the spine. She argued that because she had worked at the office in question for nearly twenty years, "she should have been given more consideration" and the Board's decision to the contrary was error. We affirm.

I.

Goodman was employed by respondent Union OB-GYN Infertility Group, PA (Union) until she resigned on January 12, 2007.*fn1

Goodman's employment with Union began in the mid-1980's and continued for seventeen years. She worked elsewhere for three years and returned to Union in September 2005. She resigned on January 12, 2007, because the severe pain in her back from a non work-related injury made it impossible for her to perform her work that required her to file documents and climb a step ladder. Once Goodman resigned her position in January 2007, she collected disability benefits for approximately six months. When those benefits were exhausted, Goodman filed an application for unemployment on July 22, 2007.

When her physician advised her in September 2007 that she was medically able to return to work, Goodman spoke with the office manager at Union about returning to work part-time. She was advised that Union had filled her position once she resigned in January and that there were no positions available.

Based upon the testimony before the appeals examiner, the Appeal Tribunal concluded that Goodman was ineligible for benefits from July 22, 2007, through September 9, 2007, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-4(c) because she was medically unable to work; and ineligible for benefits from September 9, 2007, and thereafter pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a) because she had not accumulated a sufficient amount of covered employment in the preceding weeks.

Goodman filed a timely appeal with the Board, which on November 29, 2007, rendered a final decision affirming the decision of the Appeal Tribunal, again finding that Goodman was disqualified for benefits.

II.

The Board's determination must be affirmed unless it is "arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable," or is not supported by substantial credible evidence in the record as a whole. Brady v. Bd. of Review, 152 N.J. 197, 210 (1997). In determining whether an agency decision is supported by substantial credible evidence, we are obliged to accord deference to the Board's ...


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