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HORNING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE. (03/24/55)

March 24, 1955

HORNING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE.


Appeal, No. 299, Oct. T., 1954, by claimant, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review dated June 29, 1954, in re claim of William F. Horning. Decision affirmed.

COUNSEL

William F. Horning, appellant, in propria persona.

William L. Hammond, Special Deputy Attorney General, with him Frank F. Truscott, Attorney General, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 177 Pa. Super. Page 619]

OPINION BY RHODES, P. J.,

Claimant in this unemployment compensation case was employed as an apprentice plumber by R. J. Lilly & Son, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a period of three years and eight months prior to February 5, 1954, his last day of work. He was employed under the Veterans' Training Program. When he started work his hourly wage was 75 cents, which rate gradually increased thereafter until he was receiving $1.25 per hour.

The claimant's usual quitting time was 4:30 p.m. About 4:00 p.m. on February 5, 1954, he was requested by his employer to take a specific assignment that might require him to work a few minutes overtime. The claimant refused to accept the assignment if overtime work would be required; and he told his employer that he would work only until 4:30 p.m. at which time he was going home. The employer then advised him that unless he worked the overtime required to complete the job there would be no work for him thereafter. Claimant thereupon left his employer's establishment about 4:15 p.m. and never returned.

Subsequently, claimant filed a claim for unemployment compensation benefits. In his claim he assigned as reasons for his unemployment (1) that he was discharged because of his refusal to work overtime, and (2) that his employer was not "keeping agreement

[ 177 Pa. Super. Page 620]

    with Veterans' Administration." The bureau allowed the claim for benefits upon the basis of claimant's contention that the employer had not been paying him the approved trainee rate under the GI Training Program. The employer appealed and the referee reversed the decision of the bureau. The referee found that the employer's request for claimant to work a few minutes overtime if necessary was not unreasonable, and that, in refusing to accede to such request and terminating his employment relationship, claimant had voluntarily left his work without good cause; that as a result he was ineligible for compensation under section 402 (b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, 43 PS ยง 802 (b). Upon claimant's appeal to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, the board adopted the referee's findings and conclusions, and affirmed his decision.

At the hearing before the board, claimant presented a copy of a letter to the employer from the Veterans' Administration which tended to indicate that claimant was entitled to a higher hourly wage. While we doubt that the record contains sufficient evidence to this effect for us to so decide, it is not necessary to make such a determination. There is merit in the suggestion that, even if a breach of contractual obligations did here exist, the mere existence thereof did not necessarily place claimant in a position whereby he was afforded good cause for a voluntary leaving of work so as to create a liability against the unemployment compensation fund. This is especially true when it does not appear that claimant availed himself of any legal remedies to obtain redress for such alleged breach ...


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