Preventive Law for Employers
NJ Employment Law, Unemployment

Jailed worker held ineligible for unemployment

Crystal  Mandall was a dental assistant, working at a New Jersey  dental pratice for 2 1/2 years.  She was arrested on criminal charges unrelated to work, and jailed for almost 2 weeks.  While she was in jail, she was terminated and a replacement was hired.

When she got out of jail, Ms. Mandall filed for unemployment benefits.  She received payments for two weeks, but was then notified that she was not eligible for benefits because she had left work “voluntarily without good cause attributable to the work” under NJ law, and had to repay what she had received.   Ms. Mandall appealed, but on February 10, 2012, the Appellate Divison denied her appeal and ordered that she refund the $844 in benefits. she had received.

While the appeals court found that, “[c]learly, Mandall’s incarceration was not voluntary” , they went on to find that since her inability to report to work was not related to her employment, benefits were properly denied.  Mandall v. Bd. of Review.



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Ann Kiernan is an employment lawyer who has been practicing law in New Jersey for more than 30 years. She represents only employers and management and regularly provides management training companies big and small. Employment law is constantly changing, and Ann is familiar how these changes affect employers. To keep up-to-date and learn what issues are currently affecting businesses and employers in New Jersey, read the blog.

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