A New Rule Will Be Coming Regarding New Jersey Unemployment Benefits:
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the case of Ardon v. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development. If you are considering leaving your current job for greener pastures, you should wait until the New Jersey Supreme Court issues an opinion in this case before quitting your current job.
The facts of the case presently pending before the Court are as follows. Margo Ardon is a nurse who previously worked in a hospital. Her job at the hospital required her to perform physically difficult tasks such as moving heavy patients. After years of doing this strenuous work, Nurse Ardon decided to look for another job that was easier on her sore back and knees. Ultimately, Nurse Ardon found a job with a company named Alliance. The job at Alliance was primarily desk work and required no heavy lifting. However, after just seven (7) weeks at Alliance, she was fired. I guess things just didn’t work out at the new position.
Because she voluntarily quit her job at the hospital and because she had not worked long enough in her new position at Alliance to qualify for unemployment benefits, the Department of Labor denied her claim for unemployment benefits.
This is not an uncommon scenario. In my practice as an attorney handling Workers’ rights cases, I have seen this before. I have seen workers who have worked ten (10) years or longer in a position and then decide to leave that position for greener pastures. All the time they worked, they were paying into New Jersey’s unemployment insurance fund. However, the optimism and joy of getting a new start in a new job is sometimes short lived. You really can’t know what a job is like until you have been working there for a while. It may be that the new job is much worse than the job you held for all those years. Perhaps there was a reason you worked the same job for so many years, perhaps it really was not such a bad place to work.
If the Supreme Court rules against Nurse Ardon, employees must be very careful before quitting their jobs to move onto a new employer. They could jeopardize their right to unemployment benefits, if the new job does not work out.
When the decision comes down from the Supreme Court, I will let you know what it says and try to offer my sage advice. Keep reading my blog for future details.