Pagan v. Board of Review

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Determined the right to unemployment benefits when a woman is forced to quit job due to domestic violence.

Full Case Title: 

Pagan v. Bd. of Review, 687 A.2d 328 (N.J. App. Div.), cert. denied, 695 A.2d 667 (N.J. 1997)
  • Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment


  • Authored Amicus Brief


Summary of the Case

Claimant Yvette Pagan was a legal secretary who was denied unemployment benefits because she "voluntarily" quit her job. Pagan quit because she feared for her safety after her husband continued to harass and threaten her at work in violation of an order of protection. Pagan appealed the denial of benefits but lost her appeals.

Outcome of the Case

Legal Momentum's amicus brief argued that, as a matter of public policy, Pagan's need to leave her employment because of domestic violence should not constitute a "voluntary" quit and she should qualify for unemployment benefits. New Jersey's unemployment insurance law was subsequently changed to provide explicitly that an individual who left work or was discharged "due to circumstances resulting from the individual being a victim of domestic violence" is eligible for benefits.