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Ali v. Board of Review

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


September 1, 2010

BURHAN ALI, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, AND ELECTRONIC VISION, RESPONDENTS.

On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 227,188.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted August 3, 2010

Before Judges Axelrad and Espinosa.

Burhan Ali appeals from a final decision of the Board of Review of the Department of Labor that he was not eligible for Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits. We affirm.

Ali was employed by Electronic Visions Inc. from June 29, 2008 to December 4, 2008. A claim for unemployment benefits with a weekly benefit rate of $315 was filed as of November 30, 2008. Ali applied for and received unemployment benefits from December 5, 2008 through April 14, 2009.

Thereafter, Ali applied for EUC benefits under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-252, § 4001, Title IV, 122 Stat. 2353 (June 30, 2008) (EUCA).*fn1 His application was denied and he appealed. The Appeal Tribunal conducted a hearing by telephone.

The EUCA provides in § 4001(d)(2)(A) that the terms and conditions of State law applicable to claims for regular compensation shall apply to EUC benefits except that an individual shall not be eligible for emergency unemployment compensation under this title unless, in the base period with respect to which the individual exhausted all rights to regular compensation under the State law, the individual had 20 weeks of full-time insured employment or the equivalent in insured wages, as determined under the provisions of the State law implementing section 202(a)(5) of the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 (26 [U.S.C.A. § 3304] note)[.]

[26 U.S.C.A. § 3304 note (emphasis added).]

"Base year" is defined in N.J.S.A. 43:21-19(c)(1) as "the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding an individual's benefit year." As a result, Ali's "base year" for the calculation of eligibility was from October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008. Therefore, although Ali worked for twenty-one weeks during 2008, the weeks after September 30, 2008 did not count toward the twenty-week requirement. Similarly, only the wages earned through September 30, 2008 could be counted in determining his eligibility for EUC benefits. The evidence at the hearing showed that Ali worked seventeen weeks and earned $9,034.92 during the base year ending September 30, 2008. As a result, the Appeal Tribunal affirmed the determination that Ali was not eligible for EUC benefits. The Board of Review affirmed the decision of the Appeal Tribunal and this appeal followed.

Our review of a final decision of an administrative agency is limited. In the absence of "a clear showing that it is arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable, or that it lacks fair support in the record[,]" the decision will be sustained. In re Herrmann, 192 N.J. 19, 27-28 (2007); see also Brady v. Bd. of Review, 152 N.J. 197, 210-11 (1997); Henry v. Rahway State Prison, 81 N.J. 571, 579-80 (1980). In this case, the application of the eligibility requirements of the EUCA to the undisputed facts regarding Ali's employment during the base year supports the decision reached by the Board of Review. Ali was not credited with earnings or weeks of employment after the September 30, 2008 end of the base year pursuant to the dictates of the EUCA not as the result of any alleged discrimination.

Affirmed.


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