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MCANDREW UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE. (04/12/55)

April 12, 1955

MCANDREW UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE.


Appeal, No. 23, Feb. T., 1955, by claimant, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, decision No. B-37166, in re claim of Mary McAndrew. Decision vacated and record remitted.

COUNSEL

John R. Lenahan, for appellant.

William L. Hammond, Special Deputy Attorney General, with him Herbert B. Cohen, Attorney General, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ. (gunther, J., absent).

Author: Ervin

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 99]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J. sation Board of Review's denial of the appellant's

This is an appeal from the Unemployment Compenclaim for unemployment compensation on the ground that her unemployment was "due to voluntarily leaving work without good cause" within the meaning of § 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, P.L. 2897, § 402, as amended by the Act of August 24, 1953, 43 PS § 802(b).*fn1

Claimant was employed as a hand presser on a piece rate basis at Paula Lee Frocks, Inc., Carbondale, Pennsylvania, for approximately eight years prior to March 26, 1954. Paula Lee Frocks, Inc. was engaged in the manufacture of infants' dresses. When lots of new style dresses were given to the hand pressers it was customary for the employer to set an initial piece rate per dozen dresses. This rate would remain in effect until experience determined the actual amount of time required to perform the pressing operation, whereupon the initial rate would then be adjusted accordingly. On March 26, 1954, the last day of her employment, shortly before 10:30 a.m. claimant was given a lot of dresses to press and was informed by the forelady that the employer had fixed the rate for this work at 20› per dozen, which was 2 1/2› less than the rate which claimant last received and 2 1/2› less than the rate which had prevailed since January 1, 1954. Claimant refused to press any of the garments for that price. Upon being informed of her refusal the plant manager

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 100]

    instructed the forelady to take out dresses of a style previously pressed by claimant for which the rate had been established at 22 1/2› per dozen. Claimant also refused to press this lot and left the employer's establishment.

The bureau ruled that claimant was not entitled to receive benefits under § 402(b) of the Law because she had quit work of her own accord due to dissatisfaction with a slight reduction in wages, which could not be considered a good cause for leaving work under the Law; but the referee reversed this ruling and allowed benefits on the ground that claimant had good cause f6r quitting work under § 402(b) because her employer had reduced her wages on two different occasions during the last three months of her employment, which amounted to a violation of her contract of hire and a decrease in her earnings of about 5› a dozen, or a possible reduction of approximately $2.00 per day. Paula Lee Frocks, Inc., the employer, appealed from this decision and the Board of Review reversed the referee's decision and denied benefits under § 402(b). After reargument at the request of counsel for the claimant the board reaffirmed its decision denying benefits to claimant.

The relevant findings of the board are as follows:

"3. On their last day of work, the claimants were given a lot of dresses of a style which they had never pressed before, the initial rate being twenty cents per dozen. The claimants thought the initial rate was too low and refused to press the dresses. The ...


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