PATRICIA J. MCCLAIN, Appellant,
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LEARNING EDGE ACADEMY, INC., and KIDS CHOICE ACADEMY, Respondents.
May 31, 2017
appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor.
Cassandra Stabbert argued the cause for appellant (South
Jersey Legal Services, Inc., attorneys; Ms. Stabbert, on the
Melissa Dutton Schaffer, Assistant Attorney General, argued
the cause for respondent Board of Review (Christopher S.
Porrino, Attorney General, attorney; Ms. Schaffer, of
counsel; Patrick Jhoo, Deputy Attorney General, on the
Respondents Learning Edge Academy, Inc., and Kids Choice
Academy have not filed briefs.
Judges Ostrer, Vernoia and Moynihan.
recent amendment to the unemployment insurance law exempts
from disqualification for unemployment benefits "an
individual who voluntarily leaves work with one employer to
accept from another employer employment which commences not
more than seven days after the individual leaves . . . the
first employer." L. 2015, c. 41, § 1, codified at
N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). Appellant left her first employer after
accepting new employment that was to commence within seven
days; her new employer, however, rescinded the offer before
she ever began work. Finding this statute inapplicable -
because appellant hadn't commenced her new employment
within seven days - the Board found she was disqualified from
receiving benefits. We reject the Board's interpretation
and reverse, finding a claimant need not actually start the
new employment to be exempt from disqualification under
Patricia J. McClain began working as a teacher at Learning
Edge Academy, Inc. in January 2013. She was on disability
leave commencing in August 2015, and was scheduled to return
to work in October.
October 12, 2015, McClain accepted an offer from Kids Choice
Academy for full-time employment. She immediately submitted a
letter of resignation to Learning Edge.
next day, the director of Kids Choice requested McClain's
permission to contact Mcclain's former employer and
advised her an appointment would be made for her to be
fingerprinted. Later in the day, the director rescinded the
job offer to McClain because the person McClain was supposed
to replace decided to return to work at Kids Choice. McClain
also received an email from Learning Edge accepting her
began looking for other jobs. She did not contact Learning
Edge following its acceptance of her resignation because she
did not think Learning Edge would want her to return since
she had resigned.
applied for unemployment benefits. Her claim was denied and
she appealed. The Appeal Tribunal held a hearing, McClain
testified, and the Appeal Tribunal affirmed the denial. The
Appeal Tribunal found McClain resigned from her position with
Learning Edge on October 12, 2015 to accept a higher paying
position with Kids Choice, and that on October 13, 2015, Kids
Choice rescinded the offer "because the employee who
originally held the position decided to return to work."
Appeal Tribunal explained that a claimant is disqualified
from receiving unemployment compensation benefits under
N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a) where the claimant "has left work
voluntarily without good cause attributable to such
work." The Appeal ...