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Cutright v. Board of Review

A-5569-00T1 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2002) (Unpublished)

UNEMPLOYMENT —A prior manager’s benevolence in once authorizing a long vacation does not give an employee the right to take such vacations in future years.

A mail handler for a private company was fired after he took an unauthorized six week vacation. He then applied for employment benefits and although the Appeal Tribunal granted those benefits, the Board of Review determined that the employee should have been disqualified. He appealed, and the Appellate Division agreed with the Board of Review. Apparently, a short time after he was employed, he told his supervisor that he wanted time off for six weeks’ vacation. Apparently, this had been his practice over the prior twenty years with other employers. That supervisor approved the leave of absence for the vacation purpose. After a change in supervisors, the employee asked for a similar vacation in the following year and his request was denied. He took the vacation anyway. As a result, he was fired. The Court rejected the employee’s claim that a six weeks’ vacation was a condition of his term of employment. It also rejected his claim that granting a leave of absence for the first vacation was precedent for the granting of the second vacation. The Court felt that just because the employee’s prior manager “had been benevolent in authorizing his six-week vacation,” the employee could not rely on that benevolence in asserting that he had the right to take such vacations in later years.

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