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LeBoon v. Board of Review

January 8, 2010

CASSANDRA A. LEBOON, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND PRIORITY SOLUTIONS, INC., RESPONDENTS.



On appeal from a Final Decision of the Board of Review, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Docket No. 204,400.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued October 15, 2009

Before Judges Cuff and Payne.

Cassandra LeBoon appeals from a final decision of the Board of Review affirming, as modified,*fn1 a decision of an Appeal Tribunal finding LeBoon disqualified from receipt of unemployment compensation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a) because she left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to her work. On appeal, LeBoon argues that she did not intend to resign from her position, but merely to call attention to perceived discrimination in the provision of promotional opportunities and to alleged workplace harassment. We affirm.

A recorded hearing was conducted in this matter before an Appeal Tribunal, at which LeBoon, represented by counsel, testified on her own behalf and Human Resources Generalist Colleen Kelly testified on behalf of the employer and cross-examined LeBoon. Our summary of the facts of the matter is derived from the hearing record. We decline to consider the additional factual statements made by LeBoon in her appellate briefing that are not contained in the record on appeal. New Jersey Div. of Youth & Fam. Serv's v. M.M., 189 N.J. 261, 278 (2007); Cipala v. Lincoln Tech. Inst. 179 N.J. 45, 52 (2004); R. 2:5-4.

LeBoon was hired by Priority Solutions in December 1993 and remained with that company at its Swedesboro, New Jersey, location until August 29, 2008. At the time her employment ceased, LeBoon was serving as Manager of Tariffs and Tariff Application, a job that gave her access to the confidential rates charged to customers by her employer. There is no evidence in the record to suggest that LeBoon was anything other than a valued employee. Kelly testified that LeBoon regularly received higher bonuses that most other employees and "very good" raises. Additionally, LeBoon had received preferential treatment on hours, initially receiving a schedule of 3:00 a.m. to noon to accommodate her young family, and later receiving a schedule of 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., again as an accommodation.

Throughout her employment, LeBoon maintained a close personal friendship with Priority's president, Chris Carpenter, who referred to her as "princess" or "sunshine" in e-mails and, according to LeBoon, at one managerial meeting in 2008. During the years of her employment, LeBoon had completed college and, in May 2008, she had completed a master's degree. Kelly testified that LeBoon was the only company employee to receive reimbursement for her tuition payments. She testified additionally that LeBoon was not required to refund the payments upon leaving the company.

August 29, 2008, was the Friday before Labor Day weekend. On that day, LeBoon did not feel good, and she went home early, informing her supervisor, Steve Giampapa, by e-mail at 12:15 p.m. that she was leaving. LeBoon was not scheduled to return until Thursday of the following week, because Monday was a holiday, and she had elected to take the next two days as vacation.

On the evening of August 29, while checking her office e-mails, LeBoon opened an e-mail from Giampapa, that stated as follows:

I received your email at 12:15 and replied back to you at 12:17. This is very concerning to me that you did not at least allow me to reply before you left the building. If you were feeling that badly that you couldn't wait you could've at least stopped in my office, which as you know is located very close to the time clock, to let me know that you were leaving. As a manager you should've done that just in case I get any of your calls or in case I needed to follow up with you. I needed some information from you before you left but of course would've never kept you here if you were feeling that badly.

In light of your attendance record for this past year I will be instructing Human Resources to supply me with your record for this year and will determine at that time if we need to take your attendance record any further.

LeBoon responded to Giampapa that evening at 7:23 p.m., stating "Don't worry about going to HR." Additionally, at 7:33 p.m., LeBoon sent an e-mail to Chris Carpenter and the company's co-president and director, William Ciminello, with copies to various other individuals at Thermo Fisher, the company that had recently acquired Strategic Solutions. The subject line of the e-mail stated: "resignation from my 15 year career." The text stated:

After 15 long grueling years in management and making millions every year for this company, I have decided that I will not be ...


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