December 29, 1953
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW. (GREEN UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE.)
Louis DiGiovanni, Norristown, for appellant.
William L. Hammond, Sp. Dep. Atty. Gen., for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Ross, Gunther and Wright, JJ.
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This is an appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review holding appellant ineligible for benefits under section 402(b) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of 1936 (1937), P.L. 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802. Affirming the findings of fact made by the Referee, the Board concluded that claimant quit his employment because of a personal difference with a co-worker which did not constitute good cause for the separation.
For sixteen years claimant had been employed as a carding machine operator for Hardwick and Magee Company in Philadelphia. Both the shop foreman and the superintendent testified that claimant was a competent workman. He was employed on the day shift, working until 3:00 p. m. Another employe reported at 2:45 p. m. and operated the same machine during the second shift. A difference arose between the two men over the manner in which the work was being performed, culminating in an incident on Friday, March 23, 1951, in which the other man struck the claimant. On the following Tuesday (the plant having been closed down for the Easter holiday) claimant and the other man were called to the Superintendent's office and requested to 'shake hands and make up'. The
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other man was willing to do this, but claimant refused and quit work.
Section 402(b) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law provides inter alia that an employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week 'in which his unemployment is due to voluntarily leaving work without good cause'. Appellant contends that his leaving was with good cause and not a mere whim or impulse, citing Department of Labor and Industry of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 164 Pa. Super. 421, 65 A.2d 436; Barclay White Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 356 Pa. 43, 50 A.2d 336; and Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 358 Pa. 224, 56 A.2d 254.
Good cause means cause sufficient to justify an employe voluntarily leaving the ranks of the employed and joining the ranks of the unemployed. Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, supra. It is impossible to give a general definition of good cause, and the meaning of the words must be determined in each case from the particular facts. Barclay White Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, supra. To constitute good cause, claimant's conduct must meet the standards of ordinary common sense and prudence. Kaylock v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 165 Pa. Super. 376, 67 A.2d 801. He must be compelled to quit by necessitous circumstances or because of legal or family obligations. Bliley Electric Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 158 Pa. Super. 548, 45 A.2d 898.
In the Barclay White case, supra, it was held that good cause might include reasons which were personal to the employe and extraneous to the employment, providing they were substantial and reasonable. In the
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rewards in order to enter the ranks of the 'compensated unemployed'. An employee may contend that the character and habits of his fellow employees are distasteful to him, * * * yet these and similar reasons cannot be legally accepted as a 'good cause' for leaving one's employment.'
WOODSIDE, J., absent.
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