Madlyn Flannick, pro per.
William L. Hammond, Sp. Deputy Atty. Gen., Charles J. Margiotti, Atty. Gen., Bruce E. Cooper, Associate Counsel, Harrisburg, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.
[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 607]
The Board found: '1. Claimant [appellant] was last employed by the Ernest Ince Beauty Salon, * * * Philadelphia, Pa., from August, 1949, until December 31, 1949. 2. Claimant voluntarily left her employment on December 31, 1949, because of pregnancy. She did not request a leave of absence nor did she return to her former employer in an effort to be reinstated when she was again available for work, after the birth of her baby on April 24, 1950.' She registered for work in May 26, 1950. The findings are supported by the evidence and are binding upon us. Unemployment Compensation Law, § 510, 43 P.S. § 830. Compensation was denied under § 402, 43 P.S. § 802, which provides: 'An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week --
'(b) In which his unemployment is due to voluntarily leaving work without good cause'.
[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 608]
This appeal requires us to consider for the first time the problem and the status of a pregnant employe under the unemployment compensation statute.
It cannot be asserted, dogmatically and without reservation, that a pregnant woman who leaves her employment does so voluntarily and without good cause. A 'good cause' may be personal to the employe and need not be directly connected with the employment, Teicher Unemployment Compensation Case, 154 Pa. Super. 250, 35 A.2d 739, and where an employe is compelled to leave employment by necessitous circumstances the leaving is voluntary but with good cause. Sturdevant Unemployment Compensation Case, 158 Pa. Super. 548, 45 A.2d 898. Pregnancy is, of course, a physical condition which compels relinquishment or, at least, suspension of employment.
However, the condition which requires a prospective mother to cease work also prevents her from accepting other suitable work, and for a period she is ineligible for unemployment compensation. Law, § 401(d), 43 P.S. § 801(d). There may be instances where a pregnant woman is 'able to work and available for work' in a lighter or different occupation, less difficult or less detrimental to her health, for a period before her confinement, but the market for such service must, in the nature of things, be narrowly restricted. Subject to rare and exceptional cases, it may be said generally that a physical condition which justifies leaving employment will also prevent the employe from working, and consequently disqualify her from receiving benefits. D'Yantone Unemployment Compensation Case, 159 Pa. Super. 15, 46 A.2d 525.
In a realistic approach to the problem here involved, pregnancy must be treated as a temporary disability, the continuance of which varies with different individuals. Moreover, the birth of a child produces ...