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COCHRAN UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE. (01/16/62)

January 16, 1962

COCHRAN UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE.


Appeal, No. 293, April T., 1961, by claimant, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-65546, in re claim of Mary Helen Cochran. Decision affirmed.

COUNSEL

Sanford S. Finder, for appellant.

Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him David Stahl, Attorney General, for Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, appellee.

Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).

Author: Wright

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 150]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

Mary Helen Cochran was last employed as an assembler by Sylvania Electric Company, Altoona, Pennsylvania. Her final day of work was January 13, 1961. Her application for benefits was disallowed by the Bureau of Employment Security, the Referee, and the Board of Review on the ground that she had voluntarily terminated her employment without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature and that she was therefore disqualified under the provisions of Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law. Act of December 5, 1936, P.L. [1937] 2897, 43 P.S. 751 et seq. This appeal followed.

The record discloses that claimant had been employed by Sylvania Electric Company for over ten years. Apparently she lived in the Altoona area during that period. In July 1960, claimant married John W. Cochran, who was the manager of a furniture store Johnstown. She and her husband thereafter resided in Johnstown, and claimant commuted to her work in

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 151]

Altoona. In January 1961, the husband was transferred to Washington, Pennsylvania, and claimant voluntarily terminated her employment to go with her husband. It is conceded that continuing work was available.

By the Act of December 17, 1959, P.L. 1893, the Legislature amended Section 402 of the statute so that it now reads (43 P.S. 802) in pertinent part as follows: "An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week ... (b) ... (2) In which his or her unemployment is due to leaving work (I) to accompany or to join his or her spouse in a new locality, or (II) because of a marital, filial or other domestic obligation or circumstance, whether or not such work is in 'employment' as defined in this act: Provided, however, That the provisions of this subsection (2) shall not be applicable if the employe during a substantial part of the six months either prior to such leaving or the time of filing either an application or claim for benefits was the sole or major support of his or her family, and such work is not within a reasonable commuting distance from the new locality to which the employe has moved".

This is the first appeal to raise an issue under the new amendment. There is no question that claimant's work in Altoona was not within a reasonable commuting distance from Washington. The Referee, affirmed by the Board, disallowed the application for benefits on the basis of the following finding of fact: "3. The claimant was not the sole or major support of the family". Counsel for claimant contends on this appeal that the wife was the sole support of the family "by ...


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