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RICHARD M. BLAIR v. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA. RICHARD M. BLAIR (01/17/77)

decided: January 17, 1977.

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



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Richard M. Blair, No. B-128886.

COUNSEL

David J. Graban, for appellant.

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

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

Author: Crumlish

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 211]

Richard M. Blair (Claimant) appeals the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) on the limited issue of timeliness of appeal. The Board dismissed Claimant's appeal, holding that Claimant had not been misinformed or misled by employes of a local Bureau of Employment Security (Bureau) office concerning his rights to appeal, and that his lateness in filing his appeal was, therefore, inexcusable. We affirm.

Claimant left his employment with Copey's Moving and Storage, Inc., and timely filed an application for benefits. The Bureau determined him ineligible under Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law),*fn1 on the grounds that he had voluntarily left work without a necessitous and compelling reason. This decision was affirmed by the referee in an opinion dated January 30, 1975. Claimant did not file his appeal of this decision until February 19, 1975, nine days after the ten-day appeal period specified in Section 502 of the Law had expired.

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 212]

When the Board notified Claimant of the late filing, and Claimant requested a hearing, the Board ordered a hearing be held on the timeliness issue alone. At two hearings, Claimant stated that the wording of the final paragraph of the referee's decision led him to believe that he had been denied compensation for only the six weeks enumerated therein, but that his rights to future benefits on the same claim were not affected. That paragraph reads:

Order: The determination of the Bureau is affirmed. Benefits for the compensable week ending October 12, 19, 29; November 2, 9 and 16, 1974 are disallowed.

Claimant also testified that when he got the referee's decision, and well within the ten-day appeal period, he went to the Bureau's office, asked certain employes to explain the meaning of the referee's decision, and somehow believed that his original interpretation was correct. Claimant further stated that he did not learn the true meaning of the referee's decision until he inquired of the referee himself, which he did after the ten-day appeal period had elapsed. The hearing officer also heard testimony from two employes of the Bureau office, who denied that they had so interpreted the referee's decision.

On December 4, 1975, the Board rendered its decision dismissing Claimant's appeal on the ground of untimeliness. It found as facts that Claimant had erroneously believed that the disqualification in the referee's decision applied only to the weeks at issue, but that he had not been misinformed or misled by the local office. Claimant perfected a timely appeal to this Court.

Our review of the facts found by the Board is limited to the question of whether those findings were based upon sufficient evidence. Unemployment Compensation Board of ...


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