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UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN BROWN (01/26/76)

decided: January 26, 1976.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JOHN BROWN, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of John Brown, No. B-122786-B.

COUNSEL

David Kraut, for appellant.

Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr. and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 101]

This is an appeal by John Brown from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, dated February 25, 1975, which affirmed a referee's denial of benefits to Brown. The sole issue presented is whether Brown voluntarily terminated his employment without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature, as provided by Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 802(b). We conclude that Section 402(b)(2) disqualifies Brown from receiving benefits, and affirm.

Brown was employed by A.R.A. as a cook. On February 11, 1974 he notified his supervisor by telephone that his mother was seriously ill at her home in West Virginia and that he was needed to help care for her. Brown left for West Virginia shortly afterward and, two weeks later, he contacted his supervisor by mail. Brown's letter, which was not introduced into evidence, purportedly informed the supervisor that Brown's mother was still ill and that Brown was unable to determine when he would be able to return to work. Brown also indicated in his testimony that his letter requested that his accrued pay checks be mailed to him at his mother's home. On March

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 1024]

, 1974, Brown received a letter from his supervisor, dated February 28, 1974, which contained the requested checks and a note which read as follows:

"Dear John -- Sorry to hear of your trouble. Enclosed are three checks due you. . . . Let me know if, and when you will return as I cannot hold your job open too long."

Brown did not respond to this letter either by mail or telephone. On March 7, 1974, Brown left West Virginia to return home, and on March 8, 1974, he contacted his supervisor only to learn that his job had been filled by another.

Although the Board and the referee based their determinations on Section 802(b)(1) of the Act, neither of the parties refers us to Section 402(b)(2), which qualifies the eligibility determination of Section 402(b)(1) in cases involving absences due to family responsibilities. The parties have disagreed on the question of whether Brown took reasonable steps to maintain the employment relationship.*fn1 We ...


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