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Capano v. Board of Review

A-1674-03T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2005) (Unpublished)

UNEMPLOYMENT—That a corporate owner or officer may have qualified for unemployment benefits with a former employer has no bearing on his or her ineligibility following collapse of his or her corporate business.

A claimant for unemployment benefits was the sole owner and president of a corporation who had closed its business but had not filed a certificate of dissolution. Further, the corporation had not filed for bankruptcy. The Unemployment Appeal Tribunal held that the claimant was disqualified for benefits. Under a New Jersey statute and the regulations pursuant to that statute, an “officer of a corporation or person who owns a five percent interest in the business may not claim unemployment compensation benefits for the period in which office or interest is held.” The claimant, on the other hand, asserted he had been previously employed in the same industry by an unrelated company. He claimed that when the earlier company closed operations and filed for bankruptcy, he did not file for unemployment benefits because he attempted to start a similar business on his own. When that didn’t work out, he filed for unemployment benefits. The Appellate Division agreed that the claimant was not entitled to receive benefits. According to the Court, “[t]hat he may have qualified for benefits with a former employer has no bearing upon his ineligibility for the claim made; and his subsequent act in formally dissolving his business [did] not change the fact of his disqualification for the period claimed.”

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