Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Stephen Patronas, No. B-109252.
Richard F. Kronz, with him Lichtenstein & Bartiromo, for appellant.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him J. Shane Creamer, Attorney General, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
This is an appeal from a Decision and Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review ("Board") denying the appellant's claim for benefits.
The appellant was employed as a machinist by the United States Steel Corporation at their Christy Park Works for a period of approximately 4 1/2 years, and he was laid off on December 30, 1970, because of a reduction in the work force. When he applied for unemployment benefits, his application was refused by the Bureau of Employment Security ("BES") solely because he was a full-time student at California State College, and, therefore, considered as not available for work and not genuinely and realistically attached to the labor market. This ruling was based on Section 401(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of Dec. 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 801. The appellant thereafter appealed to the Board, and a hearing was held before a Referee on March 8, 1971, whose decision was to reverse the BES and award benefits to the appellant. This decision was in turn appealed to the Board by the employer, and on May 4, 1971, the Board reversed the decision of its Referee and denied benefits. The appeal to this Court was then brought.
The appellant is currently 29 years old, is married, and has a child approximately 2 years old. He had
been employed by the United States Steel Corporation since his release from military service in 1966, and, while so employed, he had first attended a technical school on a part-time basis and then begun taking college classes, first on a part-time and then on a full-time basis. Because of schedule and shift arrangements available at the college and in the plant, he was able to carry his educational schedule without interfering with his full-time job, and, after being laid off, he continued to attend his college classes, while also seeking employment.
The appellant testified, in the hearing before the Referee, that he had looked for employment ever since being laid off and that he would be available for any job, even if it meant leaving school. His testimony was to the effect that he had applied for a number of jobs but had not yet been offered any. Asked if he would limit his work to certain hours, because of his class schedule, the appellant answered: "Well, the first thing, if anyone decides to hire me, I will ask them if possible to arrange my schedule . . . I am hoping that U.S. Steel calls me and if I get a job that will not arrange my schedule, of course, I would have to discontinue the education."
The Board's decision is based solely upon the fact that the appellant is currently attending school on a full-time basis and, therefore, must be presumed not available for work. In most cases this would be a reasonable presumption, but the facts of this case bring it within the standards outlined in the Wiley Unemployment Compensation Case, 195 Pa. Superior Ct. 256, 171 A.2d 810 (1961). The court therein stated that: "The record discloses that appellant was and is realistically and genuinely attached to ...