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DICKSON UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE (06/17/65)

decided: June 17, 1965.

DICKSON UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE


Appeal by claimant, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-88800, in re claim of Frances B. Dickson.

COUNSEL

R. Charles Thomas, with him George X. Simonetta, for appellant.

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

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. (Flood, J., absent). Opinion by Wright, J.

Author: Wright

[ 205 Pa. Super. Page 469]

Frances B. Dickson was last employed by the Bell Telephone Company in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Her final day of work was July 17, 1964, on which date she had a valid separation. Her application for unemployment compensation was disallowed by the Bureau of Employment Security, the Referee, and the Board of Review on the ground that she did not have sufficient base year earnings to be eligible for benefits under the provisions of Section 404 of the Unemployment Compensation Law. Act of December 5, 1936, P. L. (1937) 2897, 404, 43 P.S. 804. This appeal followed.

Claimant's application was filed on July 20, 1964, which established as her base year period the second, third and fourth quarters of 1963 and the first quarter of 1964.*fn1 During this period claimant was employed by the Shuko Shoe Company in Meadville, and her wages in covered employment were as follows: second quarter 1963, $915.18; third quarter 1963, $356.86; fourth quarter 1963, none; first quarter 1964, none. Since claimant's highest quarterly wages amounted to $915.18, her potential weekly benefit rate as computed under Section 404(a)(1) was $37.00. The minimum base year wages to qualify claimant for this weekly benefit rate under the table in Section 404(e) is $1,332.00,

[ 205 Pa. Super. Page 470]

    whereas claimant's earnings for the four quarters in question totaled only $1,272.04.

Section 404(a)(3) of the statute then provides that, if the base year wages of an employe whose weekly benefit rate has been determined under Section 404(a)(1) are insufficient to qualify him for his potential weekly benefit rate but are sufficient to qualify him for the next lower rate, his weekly benefit rate shall be redetermined at such next lower rate. The next lower weekly benefit rate is $36.00, and the minimum amount of base year wages under the table in Section 404(e) to qualify for that rate is $1,296.00. It is therefore apparent that claimant was ineligible for benefits under either method of computation. Cf. Kissell Unemployment Compensation Case, 192 Pa. Superior Ct. 11, 159 A.2d 19.

Claimant's contention on this appeal arises out of the receipt by her of a check, in net amount of $46.34, covering vacation pay. Claimant received this check on June 28, 1963, and cashed it the next day. The amount thereof was included by the employer in reporting claimant's earnings for the second quarter of 1963. It is claimant's position that this check "should have been recorded in July since our vacation is in July". As calculated in her brief, this would reduce her highest quarterly wages to $868.84 and make her benefit rate $35.00. The minimum amount of base year wages under the table in Section 404(e) to qualify for that rate is $1,260.00. Thus, if her theory is adopted, claimant would be eligible for benefits.

We are of the opinion that the issue involved must be decided contrary to claimant's contention because of the express language of Section 404(b), which reads as follows (italics supplied): "The 'highest quarterly wages' of an employe shall be the total wages (computed to the nearest dollar) ...


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