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UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MARGARET FIELDS (04/20/76)

decided: April 20, 1976.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
MARGARET FIELDS, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Margaret Fields, No. B-122612-B.

COUNSEL

Harold I. Goodman, with him Germaine Ingram, for appellant.

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

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

Author: Kramer

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 348]

This is an appeal by Margaret Fields from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review dated June 25, 1975, which affirmed a referee's denial of benefits. We are faced with deciding whether, under the facts

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 349]

    of this case, Fields' separation from employment is properly characterized as a voluntary termination or a refusal of suitable work. We agree with the Board that Fields voluntarily left her employment and we affirm the Board's order.

Fields was employed as an office worker by GAF Photo Service for three and a half years. Her normal working hours were 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and she performed a variety of tasks, including mail distribution, switchboard operation, and duplication. On January 16, 1975, Fields was advised by GAF that the amount of work involved in her position did not justify the retention of a full-time employe and that her position was being eliminated. Concurrent with receiving this information, Fields was offered another full-time job, at the same salary, in GAF's plant. The new position was described as a "checker" on GAF's production facility, and the Board found that, from time to time during her three and a half years with GAF, Fields had performed work as a "checker" when requested by GAF.

The "checker" position would have required that Fields report to work at 7:00 A.M. instead of 9:00 A.M., and, because of her asserted responsibility to see that her children arrived at school promptly, Fields refused GAF's offer.

The referee and the Board concluded that Fields had voluntarily left work without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature and denied benefits under Section 402(b)(1) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second. Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 802(b)(1). This determination is a question of law, and subject to review by this Court. Rettan v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 15 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 287, 325 A.2d 646 (1974).

Fields vigorously argues that her separation has been incorrectly characterized as a ...


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