Can Schundler collect unemployment benefits? Unclear.

New Jersey Education Commissioner Bret Schundler was fired last week for allegedly lying to his boss, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie. He lost his job after allegedly misrepresenting a mistake that may have caused the state to lose $400 million in education funds. He told the press — amazingly — that he had opted to be fired instead of resigning because he wanted to collect unemployment benefits.

But that may not be an option — or at least not right away. In response to my inquiries, the New Jersey Department of Labor sent me and a handful of other reporters the following note on Friday night:

As a class of individuals, New Jersey cabinet officials are generally not eligible for unemployment benefits.  The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has previously determined, pursuant to NJSA 43:21-19(i)(1)(D)(iii)(ee), that commissioners of cabinet-level departments are “major non-tenured policy-making or advisory” employees and, accordingly, are ineligible to collect unemployment benefits.

Hours after I got this, the press release containing the information was “retracted.” I left a message asking for clarification, which will hopefully come this week.

Whether or not Schundler’s position makes him ineligible to collect benefits, Christie’s reforms could delay any benefit payout. One of Gov. Christie’s policy reforms was to delay unemployment benefits for those fired for “regular misconduct” for up to five weeks (and to ban them altogether for those fired for “gross misconduct,” although that appears to require the commission of a crime).

I received the retracted press release because I had asked — among other things — whether lying to one’s boss would constitute “misconduct.” That hasn’t been answered yet, either.

Beltway ConfidentialChris ChristienjUS

Just Posted

San Francisco health experts recommend that pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a booster shot. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Questions regarding COVID-19 booster shots for pregnant people have been pouring in… Continue reading

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

The so-called “twindemic” that public health officials in California and elsewhere warned about last year — the combined threat of influenza and COVID-19 — was largely eased by the wide use of face masks, physical distancing and reduced travel, experts say. But their concerns are back this year. (Shutterstock)
COVID and the flu: Is a ‘twindemic’ threat lurking again?

‘Because of so little disease last year, population immunity is likely lower’

49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hopes to return to the field this weekend to lead San Francisco against the Colts. (Photo courtesy of 49ers)
NFL Week 7 picks: Niners face crucial matchup against the Colts

San Francisco could join Seattle on the brink of irrelevancy in the NFC West with another loss

Most Read