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WOOD UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE (11/12/64)

decided: November 12, 1964.

WOOD UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE


Appeal by claimant, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-83635-B, in re claim of Lavona E. Wood.

COUNSEL

Joseph Lurie, with him Levitan and Lurie, for appellant.

Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Walter E. Alessandroni, Attorney General, for Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, appellee.

Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (Rhodes, P. J., absent). Opinion by Wright, J. Dissenting Opinion by Flood, J.

Author: Wright

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 388]

Mrs. Lavona E. Dohl, now Wood, was last employed as a cigar maker by the Consolidated Cigar Corporation in Berwick, Pennsylvania. 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 was disqualified under the provisions of Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law. Act of December 5, 1936, P. L. (1937), 2897, 402(b)(1), 43 P.S. 802(b)(1). This appeal followed.

The record discloses that claimant, now Mrs. Wood, then Mrs. Dohl, commenced work for the Consolidated Cigar Corporation on November 13, 1961. Living with her at the time in Berwick were her two daughters, Sandra and Jean Dohl, aged sixteen and eleven years

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 389]

    respectively. Claimant's prior husband, Dohl, had secured a divorce in Texas, effective January 12, 1961. According to claimant's testimony, she was not receiving any support from Dohl for the two children. Having agreed to marry Wood, who lived and worked in Cleveland, claimant gave her employer two weeks notice. Her final day of work was June 27, 1963. The date of her marriage to Wood was July 7, 1963. Claimant and her younger daughter, Jean, have since resided with Wood in Cleveland. The older daughter, Sandra, attained the age of eighteen and is now a married woman. It is undisputed that claimant was not discharged or laid off, and that continuing work was available.

The Board of Review found as a fact claimant voluntarily terminated her employment to be married, and properly concluded that this did not constitute cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. In Dames Unemployment Compensation Case, 158 Pa. Superior Ct. 564, 45 A.2d 909, this court held that a claimant who voluntarily resigned her position to marry a member of the armed forces did not have good cause for terminating her employment. Similarly, in Drahnak Unemployment Compensation Case, 198 Pa. Superior Ct. 35, 179 A.2d 659, benefits were denied where claimant voluntarily quit work to marry and join her husband in another state. While our opinion might well end at this point, we will briefly discuss the contention advanced by counsel for claimant on this appeal.

The argument is made that claimant is eligible for benefits by reason of the proviso in Section 402(b)(2) of the statute which reads 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

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 390]

    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, ...


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