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Appeals Court Rules Workers Keep Unemployment if Promised Job Falls Through


A New Jersey appeals court recently ruled that workers who voluntarily leave one's job for another, better-paying job offer that falls through doesn't do not lose their unemployment benefits. Fortunately, the Appellate Division ruled that a person who leaves one job to start another does not get the double whammy of losing unemployment benefits when the new job pulls the rug out from under them.

The decision stemmed from a suit filed by Patricia McClain, a teacher. She accepted an offer to teach at another school. The job began within the week, but the day after McClain quit her original teaching job the offer was rescinded when the teacher who originally held that position chose to return to work, removing the need to fill the no longer open position.

Now that McClain was unemployed, she applied for unemployment benefits. However, the Board of Review at the Department of Labor denied her application since she never started her new job. McClain appealed the ruling.

The three judge Appellate Division ruled in her favor, overturning the Department of Labor’s denial of benefits. In the published decision for McClain v. Board of Review, Appellate Division Judge Francis Vernoia, joined by Superior Court Judge Scott Maynihan, who is temporarily assigned, and Appellate Division Judge Michael Ostrer wrote that,

“[A] claimant need not actually start the new employment to be exempt from disqualification [from benefits]… [There should be no disqualification for unemployment benefits for a person who] voluntarily leaves work with one employer to accept another employer employment which commences not more than seven days after the individual leaves from the first employer.”

At Levinson Axelrod, P.A., our New Jersey attorneys have spent more than 75 years working with our clients to ensure they have the chance to fight for the compensation they deserve. Through our efforts, we have secured more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements throughout the firm’s existence, and we are committed to using the knowledge we gained through those countless cases to help you put together a plan of action that suits your needs. Call us at (732) 440-3089 to explain your situation to a member of our firm, or request a free case evaluation by filling out our online form.

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