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Rooth v. Bd. of Trs., Publ. Emp.s’ Ret. Sys.

New Jersey Appellate Division

June 3, 2022

The New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that “a school employee cannot obtain disability retirement benefits where disciplinary charges have not been shown to ‘relate’ to a disability under N.J.A.C. 17:1-6.4.” The plaintiff was a school bus driver until she crashed her bus while intoxicated. She then entered into a confidential separation agreement which ended her employment with the local board of education. The terms of that separation agreement included a waiver of “any and all rights to seek future employment with the” board. The plaintiff then applied for accidental disability retirement benefits. The Bureau of Retirements denied the application. She appealed to the Public Employees’ Retirement System, and the agency affirmed. The Appellate Division found that the plaintiff’s claim was “simply unsupported by the record” and affirmed.

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