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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
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I was denied N.J. unemployment benefits. I am now appealing

Customer Question

I was denied N.J. unemployment benefits. I am now appealing to N.J. Superior Court, Appellate Division.
This the short version of my situation. My employer(Verizon), sent memos & e-mails to it's employees saying on a specific date they would lay-off 12,000 employees in my area ( I have documentation). Verizon is a unionized company. They offer employees a cash bonus to sign onto a voluntary release form. This form allows Verizon to let go employees at their discretion, without regard to reason or seniority. Only 2 employees had less seniority than I. So I signed the form & was let go on the date they specified.
Is there any similiar case where the employee won a reversal of the Board of Review's decision ? Thanks for any help, XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.

Hello there.

 

So basically what you are saying is that because you volunteered to be laid off the unemployment division is calling that a voluntary quit of the company and denying your benefits?

 

If that is the case, then what did Verizon have to say about it through all of the hearings? Were they calling it a voluntary quit also?

 

Finally -- did this happen to anyone else that you know of?

 

--MARY

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Verizon's only response ,until a few days ago, was to agree with the Board of Review. A few days ago they sent a brief to the court clerk & myself. In it they agree with the Board of Review, saying I left my job voluntarily & without good cause attributable to the work. They wrote many pages of repeating (over & over again) the Brady v. Board of Review. However, repetition doesn't make their statements true. The fact of the matter is the Brady decision actually supports my position. As in it's summation , the court says it would have reversed the decision if Brady could have shown an immenent lay-off date, and an economic hardship if Brady had not taken early retirement. Brady could not prove either. However, I can prove, with documentation, both.

What I would like, is to be able to cite court cases(at least one) where the court found in favor of the employee.

As to your question about other employees. I do know that many many employees were released. However, I have no access to Verizon's records. In fact as of the day I was released, I no longer could even access my Verizon e-mail account.

By signing the volunteer form, it allowed Verizon the ability to decide who to keep & or release. I do know they did keep some employees who signed the volunteer form. An example would be in the Spanish speaking dept., some were kept because that dept. would have been decimated if they released all who signed the form.

Basically, my options were either sign the form (& if let go, get a cash bonus) & allow Verizon to choose if I'd be l'd be relased, or don't sign the form & be laid-off by seniority.

 

Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.

Hello there

 

I have to opt out on this and put it back on the board -- I do not know of any NJ cases that will help you here. I think this is appalling and in your brief you should use the Brady case and put it out prominently in your brief how your case differs from the Brady case and why you should receive the benefits based upon that case -- you should even state that Verizon's analysis is WRONG and that any decision in favor of the unemployment department (and thus Verizon) will act as a windfall to Verizon -- because by laying off employees in this manner they are able to avoid paying appropriate unemployment compensation insurance premiums to the state of NJ.

 

--MARY

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