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Snyder v. Board of Review, Department of Labor

A-280-03T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2004) (Unpublished)

UNEMPLOYMENT—An employee who is intimidated by a supervisor pointing a finger in his or her face and being threatened to sit down or be fired, is justified in quitting and may have good cause to do so.

A machine operator worked for a company for nineteen years. One day, he was “called for a conference with the plant manager and his supervisor. The words between [the employee] and the plant manager became heated. The manager pointed his finger in [the employee’s] face and told [the employee] that if he didn’t sit down he would be fired. [The employee] felt very much intimidated and left to go home.” He was told that if he left he should not return, but he was not expressly told that he had been fired. The employee did not report to work the next day and his employer treated that as if the employee had quit his job. The Deputy Director of the Department of Labor found in favor of the employee, but the Appeal Tribunal and the Board of Review reversed. On further appeal, the Appellate Division held that the Appeal Tribunal and the Board of Review were both wrong when they determined that the employee “had left work voluntarily without good cause and disqualified him from receiving benefits.” It was clear to the Appellate Division that neither of those tribunals had taken into account what had happened at the meeting the day before the employee quit his job.

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