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UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RICHARD HARPER (02/04/76)

decided: February 4, 1976.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RICHARD HARPER, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Richard Harper, No. B-124611.

COUNSEL

Peter J. Pinnola, for appellant.

Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 198]

This is an appeal by Richard Harper (claimant) from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which denied him benefits under Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1 The Board held that Harper had voluntarily left work without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature.

Harper was employed as a sanitation worker by Blue Bird Food Products, Inc., Philadelphia, for 5 1/2 years. On May 31, 1974, his last day of work, he reported to his supervisor at the start of the shift that a clean uniform had not been placed in his locker and that he had been unable to locate one. Under an existing collective bargaining agreement, the employer had the duty to provide clean uniforms. The supervisor told the claimant to look for a uniform on the floor of the plant changing room, and, after failing to find a suitable uniform there, Harper checked out for the day without notifying anyone that he was leaving. When he reported for work the next day, he found that his time card had been removed, and was told that his employment had been terminated because he had quit. The Bureau of Employment Security

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 199]

(Bureau) denied his application for benefits, and both the referee and the Board affirmed the Bureau's denial.

In unemployment compensation cases, review by this Court is limited to questions of law and to a determination as to whether or not the findings of the Board are supported by substantial evidence. Warminster Fiberglass Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 15 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 385, 327 A.2d 219 (1974).

The Board found here that the claimant had failed to make a substantial effort to contact his supervisor and that he had left work without notifying anyone. We are bound by these findings if the record contains evidence from which such inferences can reasonably and logically be drawn. Hinkle v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 512, 308 A.2d 173 (1973). And we must conclude that these findings are so supported.

The determination of whether or not a claimant's unemployment is a result of voluntarily leaving work, however, is a question of law. Rettan v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 15 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 287, 325 A.2d 646 (1974). The claimant argues here that he had no intention of terminating the employment relationship when he left work on May 31, 1974, as evidenced by his unrebutted testimony that he returned to work the next day, apparently expecting to carry out his duties. He contends that his absence was so brief that it cannot support the conclusion that he voluntarily left his employment. As we read the record, there is no evidence of any policy or procedure to suggest to this claimant that when he left work he had quit his job. There is testimony on his part that the employer's policy was to ...


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