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Baxter v. Comm'r of Labor

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New York.
Jun 28, 2018
162 A.D.3d 1451 (N.Y. App. Div. 2018)

Opinion

525878

06-28-2018

In the Matter of the Claim of Nieama BAXTER, Appellant. v. COMMISSIONER OF LABOR, Respondent.

Brown Rudnick LLP, New York City (Daniel L. Day of counsel), for appellant.


Brown Rudnick LLP, New York City (Daniel L. Day of counsel), for appellant.

Before: Garry, P.J., Egan Jr., Lynch, Clark and Mulvey, JJ.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, filed February 2, 2017, which ruled that claimant was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because she voluntarily left her employment without good cause.

Claimant worked as a case manager for a social services organization for approximately 17 months. In August 2015, following a dispute regarding the adequacy of claimant's work product, claimant resigned from her position, claiming that she had been "subject to verbal abuse, threatening messages and other harassment" during the course of her employment and that she could no longer endure the stress that resulted from this treatment. Thereafter, claimant applied for unemployment insurance benefits, and the Department of Labor issued an initial determination finding claimant eligible to receive benefits. Following a hearing, this determination was upheld by an Administrative Law Judge, but later reversed by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, which determined that claimant was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because she had voluntarily separated from her employment without good cause. Claimant applied for reopening and reconsideration, but the Board denied her application. Claimant appeals.

We affirm. "Whether a claimant has voluntarily left employment for good cause is a factual determination to be made by the Board, and its decision will not be disturbed if supported by substantial evidence" ( Matter of Sheldon [Commissioner of Labor], 153 A.D.3d 1480, 1480, 153 A.D.3d 1480 [2017] [internal quotation marks and citation omitted]; see Labor Law § 593[1][a] ). The record reflects that, notwithstanding claimant's allegations of verbal abuse, claimant's supervisor, on at least two occasions, issued a corrective action to claimant regarding incomplete work. Claimant, in turn, spoke to an assistant human resources manager on at least one occasion about the allegedly unprofessional manner in which her supervisor addressed her. In response to her expressed concerns, claimant was repeatedly advised by human resources about how to file a formal internal complaint concerning her supervisor's alleged treatment of her; however, claimant acknowledged that she never filed a complaint, did not call the employee hotline that was also available to her to lodge a complaint, and failed to request an internal transfer. Moreover, the differing versions of what claimant told the assistant human resources manager presented a credibility issue that the Board was free to resolve in the employer's favor (see Matter of Baez [Commissioner of Labor], 126 A.D.3d 1211, 1212, 3 N.Y.S.3d 639 [2015] ). Furthermore, although the record demonstrates that claimant obtained treatment from a clinical social worker, who opined that claimant was suffering from job-related anxiety and depression, that therapist never advised claimant to quit her employment (see Matter of Bielak [Commissioner of Labor], 105 A.D.3d 1226, 1226, 962 N.Y.S.2d 815 [2013] ; Matter of Spaulding [Commissioner of Labor], 264 A.D.2d 881, 882, 694 N.Y.S.2d 813 [1999] ; Matter of Ikoli [Commissioner of Labor], 249 A.D.2d 673, 673, 671 N.Y.S.2d 206 [1998] ). Under the circumstances presented here, the Board's decision that claimant voluntarily left her employment without good cause is supported by substantial evidence, and it will not be disturbed.

ORDERED that the decision is affirmed, without costs.

Garry, P.J., Egan Jr., Lynch, Clark and Mulvey, JJ., concur.


Summaries of

Baxter v. Comm'r of Labor

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New York.
Jun 28, 2018
162 A.D.3d 1451 (N.Y. App. Div. 2018)
Case details for

Baxter v. Comm'r of Labor

Case Details

Full title:In the Matter of the Claim of Nieama BAXTER, Appellant. v. COMMISSIONER OF…

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New York.

Date published: Jun 28, 2018

Citations

162 A.D.3d 1451 (N.Y. App. Div. 2018)
162 A.D.3d 1451

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