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Post v. Board of Review

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


October 5, 2009

TERESA A. POST, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND CHELBUS CLEANING COMPANY, INC., RESPONDENTS.

On appeal from Board of Review, Department of Labor, 167,898.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 15, 2009

Before Judges Skillman and Fuentes.

Appellant Teresa Post appeals from the decision of the Board of Review (Board) denying her unemployment compensation benefits after September 30, 2007. We affirm. We derive the following facts from the testimony presented at a hearing conducted by the Appeals Tribunal. The factual record developed at this hearing was adopted by the Board in its opinion mailed to appellant on May 23, 2008.

Appellant was employed as an office manager by Chelbus Cleaning Company, Inc. from February 5, 2007 to September 19, 2007. According to appellant, her annual salary was $33,000, payable every two weeks. At the outset of her employment appellant was paid $1,275.00 twice a month. When she divided $33,000 by twenty-four pay cycles, appellant discovered that her paycheck should have been $1,375.00.

According to appellant, when she brought this alleged discrepancy to the attention of the president of the company, John Chelbus, he agreed to pay her according to her original expectation of $33,000 annually. She thus expected to receive a retroactive supplemental payment, and the correct bi-weekly amount from this point on.

Chelbus testified that appellant's annual salary was only $30,000. Her claim otherwise was a "misunderstanding" on her part. Although he disputed appellant's claim for an additional $3,0000, he agreed to a prospective increase in her salary and to additional vacation and sick days as compensation for the previous deficit payments. This change would take effect in June 2007.

When appellant returned from vacation on September 19, 2007, she asked Chelbus for an additional $800.00 of retroactive compensation. When he declined, appellant told him that she was resigning from her position effective two weeks from that date. According to Chelbus, appellant was angry and used profanity when she gave the two weeks notice. Based both on her demeanor and unwillingness to accept what he believed was a reasonable solution to an initial misunderstanding, Chelbus told appellant that he was accepting her resignation effective that same day and wanted her to leave the premises immediately. Chelbus's testimony in this respect was corroborated by his office assistant, Ilene Alteri.

Based on this evidence, the Board found that appellant had voluntarily terminated her employment without good cause attributable to her work and was thus ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits. N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). However, the employer's decision to reject appellant's two weeks notice, and his subsequent demand that she leave her employment immediately, did not disqualify appellant from receiving benefits between September 19, 2007 and September 30, 2007.

N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(b). Her termination during this time period was not due to misconduct connected to her work. Ibid.

Against these facts, appellant now appeals arguing that she did not voluntarily leave her employment. Our scope of review of decisions reached by State administrative agencies is limited. Shuster v. Board of Review, 396 N.J. Super. 240, 246 (App. Div. 2007). We will not disturb the decision of a State administrative agency unless it is arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable, or if it is not supported by substantial competent evidence in the record. Ibid.

The record here supports the Board's findings that appellant terminated her employment voluntarily without good cause attributable to her work. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(D). We affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by the Board in its decision mailed to appellant on May 23, 2008.

Affirmed.

20091005

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