IN RE: the Claim of Sophie G. AYAD

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

IN RE: the Claim of Sophie G. AYAD, Appellant. Alia-The Royal Jordanian Airline Corporation, Respondent. Commissioner of Labor, Respondent.

Decided: June 28, 2007

Before:  MERCURE, J.P., CARPINELLO, ROSE, LAHTINEN and KANE, JJ. Sophie G. Ayad, Bayonne, New Jersey, appellant pro se. Condon & Forsyth, L.L.P., New York City (Michael J. Holland of counsel), for Alia-The Royal Jordanian Airline Corporation, respondent.

Appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, filed January 13, 2006, which ruled that claimant was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because she voluntarily left her employment without good cause.

Claimant worked as a ticket agent for an airline company for approximately seven months.   She resigned from her position in August 2005 due to unhappiness about allegedly offensive comments regularly made by a coworker and dissatisfaction with her work environment.   Claimant was initially denied unemployment insurance benefits, but, following a hearing, an Administrative Law Judge determined that claimant was entitled to benefits.   The employer appealed and the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board reversed, ruling that claimant was disqualified from receiving benefits because of her voluntary separation from employment without good cause.   Claimant now appeals the Board's decision.

 We affirm.   It is well settled that neither an inability to get along with a difficult coworker nor dissatisfaction with the work environment constitutes good cause for leaving employment (see Matter of Yastrzemski [Commissioner of Labor], 32 A.D.3d 1123, 1124, 821 N.Y.S.2d 490 [2006], lv. dismissed 8 N.Y.3d 896, 832 N.Y.S.2d 899, 865 N.E.2d 8 [2007];  Matter of Vazquez [Utopia Home Care-Commissioner of Labor], 27 A.D.3d 814, 814, 809 N.Y.S.2d 691 [2006];  Matter of Fradys [Commissioner of Labor], 308 A.D.2d 672, 673, 764 N.Y.S.2d 661 [2003] ).   At the hearing, claimant explained that conflict with her coworker caused her to become dissatisfied with the work environment.   Conflicting testimony regarding exactly when and how often claimant alerted her employer to her coworker's offensive comments presented a credibility issue for the Board to resolve (see Matter of Kretchmer [Commissioner of Labor], 8 A.D.3d 849, 850, 779 N.Y.S.2d 261 [2004];  Matter of Elewa [Commissioner of Labor], 249 A.D.2d 618, 618-619, 670 N.Y.S.2d 945 [1998] ) and, under the circumstances, the Board could find that claimant did not afford the employer a sufficient opportunity to address the situation prior to tendering her resignation (see Matter of Roman [Commissioner of Labor], 32 A.D.3d 1067, 1068, 820 N.Y.S.2d 860 [2006];  Matter of Parker [Commissioner of Labor], 19 A.D.3d 903, 904, 798 N.Y.S.2d 525 [2005] ).   As substantial evidence supports the Board's credibility determinations and ultimate decision, we decline to disturb the Board's decision disqualifying claimant from receiving benefits.

Claimant's remaining contentions have been considered and determined to be without merit.

ORDERED that the decision is affirmed, without costs.



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