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PAUL D. REARDON v. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/13/77)

decided: May 13, 1977.

PAUL D. REARDON, JR., PETITIONER
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Paul D. Reardon, Jr., No. B-133259.

COUNSEL

Louis M. Shucker, with him Barbara J. Hart and Ellen Hyman, for petitioner.

Susan Shinkman, Assistant Attorney General, with her Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 140]

We are required in this case once again to draw that very fine line between those who are ineligible for benefits under the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn1 because they are primarily students who also work and those who are eligible for benefits because they are workers who also go to school. The instant claimant, Paul R. Reardon, Jr., asks us to place him in the latter category.

In March 1973, when he was 19 years old, claimant began working full time for General Electric in Reading. Within a few months he secured a position as bench hand, a position he retained for the next two years. During this time, claimant was also attending community college. In 1974, he completed his courses

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 141]

    at the community college and entered Kutztown State College as a third-year student.*fn2 He continued both his full-time employment and his education until November 1975 when he was laid off due to a lack of work. Claimant, at 22, was the unemployed head of a household of three. He applied for unemployment compensation.

During the application process at the Bureau of Employment Security (Bureau), claimant indicated that he was available for full-time employment during any hours. When questioned as to his intentions should the hours of offered employment conflict with his class hours, he unequivocally asserted his willingness to change his class hours or to postpone his education, if necessary. Nevertheless, the Bureau determined that because claimant was going to school he was unavailable for work. He appealed. After a hearing at which testimony indicated that claimant was actively seeking employment and that he would drop his courses or do whatever was necessary to obtain employment, a referee likewise denied benefits. Concluding that claimant was not genuinely and realistically attached to the labor force and thus not available for work, the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirmed the denial. Claimant then appealed to this Court.

Our review of the Board's adjudication is confined to questions of law and, absent fraud, to a determination of whether the Board's findings are supported by

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 142]

    the evidence. Claim of Wright, 25 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. ...


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