Monday, September 19, 2011

Eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits - expectation of continued employment

Eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits - expectation of continued employment
Tsaganea v Commissioner of Labor, 279 AD2d 924
The Tsaganea case poses an interesting question. Is an offer of appointment to teach in the next semester that is contingent on having a “sufficient class enrollment” a reasonable assurance of continued employment for the purposes of denying a claim for unemployment insurance benefits? 

Doru Tsaganea taught during the Spring 1999 semester. He accepted the employer's offer to teach two classes in the Fall 1999 semester. The offer of employment, however, was conditioned upon sufficient student enrollment. The enrollment requirement was satisfied and Tsaganea ultimately taught the two classes.
Tsaganea had applied for unemployment benefits for the summer of 1999. His claim was denied on the grounds that he had been given “reasonable assurances of employment for the Fall 1999 semester” within the meaning of Section 590.10 of the Labor Law, thus making him ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits for the summer of 1999. The Appellate Division sustained the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board's rejection of Tsaganea's application for benefits.
Another issue: Tsaganea argued that the fact that there were “two intervening 1999 summer sessions,” during which he was not employed and therefore he was entitled to unemployment insurance benefits. The Appellate Division agreed with the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board that these summer sessions of instruction were not academic sessions for the purpose of Section 590.10
In another case involving the denial of unemployment insurance benefits, Wine v Commissioner of Labor, decided by the Appellate Division, Third Department January 25, 2001, the court sustained the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board's finding that Wine was disqualified for such benefits because he lost his employment due to his misconduct. Gordon D. Wine had been dismissed from his position as a math teacher in January 1999 based upon “several incidents of physical contact with students.”
The court said that the testimony of the school's principal regarding Wine's inability to control his classroom and the testimony of two students regarding Wine's use of physical force in his dealings with students provide substantial evidence to support the Board's decision.
While there was no “contemporaneous written documentation regarding the incidents,” this was not viewed as fatal despite Wine's testimony contracted that of other witnesses. This, ruled the court, was a question of credibility for the Board to resolve.

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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