IN RE: the Claim of Michael F. BUDNIK

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

IN RE: the Claim of Michael F. BUDNIK, Appellant. John E. Sweeney, as Commissioner of Labor, Respondent.

Decided: December 24, 1997

Before MIKOLL, J.P., and MERCURE, YESAWICH, PETERS and CARPINELLO, JJ. Michael F. Budnik, Rosen, MI, in person. Dennis C. Vacco, Attorney General (Steven S. Park, of counsel), New York City, for respondent.

Appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, filed October 9, 1996, which ruled that claimant was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because he voluntarily left his employment without good cause.

Claimant worked as the third assistant engineer on a merchant vessel for the employer, a steamship company.   He was notified in November 1995 that the annual shipping season which ended on December 20, 1995 would be extended for an indefinite period beyond the regular season.   Claimant exercised his right under his union contract to take family leave from December 30, 1995 until the shipping season ended on February 9, 1996.   He declined the option to work the extended shipping season.   Substantial evidence supports the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board's decision ruling that claimant voluntarily left continuing employment by exercising his right to enjoy extended season relief and which disqualified him from receiving unemployment insurance benefits (see, Matter of Desmarais [Sweeney], 234 A.D.2d 839, 651 N.Y.S.2d 243, appeal dismissed, lv. denied 90 N.Y.2d 876, 661 N.Y.S.2d 823, 684 N.E.2d 272;  Matter of Bahr [Sweeney], 234 A.D.2d 836, 651 N.Y.S.2d 236, appeal dismissed, lv. denied 90 N.Y.2d 876, 661 N.Y.S.2d 822, 684 N.E.2d 271).   Contrary to claimant's assertion, the fact that his union contract allowed him to decline employment during the extended shipping season without penalty is not dispositive of the question of whether claimant was properly disqualified from receiving benefits (see, id.).

ORDERED that the decision is affirmed, without costs.


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