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Susan P. Fata v. Board of Review and Metlife Group

June 29, 2011

SUSAN P. FATA, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW AND METLIFE GROUP, RESPONDENTS.



On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 241,227. Susan P. Fata, appellant pro se.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 15, 2011

Before Judges A.A. Rodriguez and LeWinn.

Appellant was employed by MetLife Group as a manager from May 16, 2005 until July 3, 2007. Her termination of employment was based upon her June 27, 2007 email to her supervisor, Deirdre Curran, stating that she was "leaving [her] position assenior product consultant . . . ." She filed a claim for unemployment compensation benefits on July 8, 2007. The Deputy determined that appellant was disqualified from receiving benefits because she had left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work; the Deputy also ordered appellant to refund the sum of $2680 that she received as benefits for the weeks ending July 14 through August 11, 2007.

Appellant appealed to the Appeal Tribunal on July 18, 2009. Following a hearing at which appellant and Curran testified, the Appeal Tribunal issued a decision on September 30, 2009, upholding the Deputy's decision. Appellant appealed to the Board of Review (Board). On April 12, 2010, the Board issued a decision affirming the Appeal Tribunal's disqualification determination, but remanding for further proceedings on appellant's obligation to refund the $2680 in unemployment benefits, which the hearing examiner had not addressed.

The Appeal Tribunal held a hearing on June 2, 2010, at which appellant testified. On that same date, the Tribunal issued a decision requiring appellant to repay the full amount of benefits received.

Appellant now appeals from the April 12, 2010 final decision of the Board; she did not appeal the June 2, 2010 refund decision by the Appeal Tribunal. We affirm.

At the September 30, 2009 hearing, appellant testified that she left employment at MetLife because she "was unhappy[,] . . . [and] the work was starting to affect [her] health. [She] work[ed] very long hours[,] . . . was very stress[ed] out . . . [and] felt [she] was treated differently th[a]n some of the other managers there." Appellant worked in the annuities department and felt she did not have sufficient support staff to meet the heavy workload. She complained to Curran, who told her that many employees were working long hours, that it was part of the job.

Appellant complained to Curran about disparate treatment, in that manager meetings were often scheduled when she was not present and, therefore, she was unable to attend. When she said she "needed help[,] the person that [she] was reporting to[,] the Director[,] . . . said, 'no, not really, you're not doing more work th[a]n anybody else, you really don't need help.'" She also stated that Curran had promised to promote her, but that promotion never came about.

Appellant testified that she "couldn't take it any more[,]" and that her concerns about the effect of work stress on her health were confirmed when, ten months after leaving employment, she "developed [c]ancer" which she thought "personally [was] due to the stress of working." She acknowledged that no doctor everrecommended that she leave employment for health reasons.

Curran testified that she had conversations with appellant and was aware of her formal complaints to human resources. Curran stated that those complaints were "investigated and the allegations were found to be unfounded." Curran arranged for appellant to report directly to her after that.

Curran further testified that other managers also worked long hours. She stated that she did not give appellant "a ...


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