Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Gary L. Bicer, No. B-133672.
Paul A. Prince, for petitioner.
William J. Kennedy, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Judge Kramer did not participate in this decision. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case.
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Gary L. Bicer, an unemployed machinist, was denied further unemployment compensation benefits when he refused an offer of employment as a "machinist/die maker."*fn1 His proffered justifications that the rate of pay was too low and that the work was not suitable were accepted neither by the referee nor by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board). Raising the same contentions, Bicer timely
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appealed*fn2 the Board's order affirming the referee's denial of benefits to this Court. We affirm.
We conclude that the rate of pay of the offered employment was not such as to justify the refusal of that employment. The record demonstrates that the offered position paid $4.82 an hour for the first 30 days and $4.97 thereafter, that Bicer had previously earned $5 an hour, and that he had been unemployed for at least 5 months. We have held that, following a 3 1/2-month period of unemployment, a claimant's particularity for desired employment must decrease to the point of accepting substantially less remuneration; viz., $550 per month, as opposed to $704 per month. Donnelly v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 17 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 39, 330 A.2d 544 (1975); cf. Valentine Unemployment Compensation Case, 197 Pa. Superior Ct. 574, 180 A.2d 85 (1962) (lack of good faith in refusing employment at $50 and $60 a week, as compared to previous $100-a-week salary, after more than 4 months of unemployment). Accordingly, we now hold that Bicer has not carried his burden of proving his right to benefits, Veneski v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 29 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 154, 370 A.2d 382 (1977); Kanouse v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 188, 305 A.2d 782 (1973), on the ground of disparity in remuneration.
Furthermore, we hold that Bicer has not demonstrated that the offered employment was not suitable. The record indicates*fn3 that the position in question required
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toolmaking and diemaking. Toolmaking apparently included setting up and operating various machine tools, while diemaking included blueprint reading and trigonometric capability. Bicer admitted having made some tools in the past. As a machinist, he also ran lathes and milling machines and made parts for machines. Moreover, while Bicer stated that he had a little advanced trigonometry in school but that he was never any good at it, he admitted telling the employer's representative that he thought he could learn the diemaking responsibilities.
In Kline Unemployment Compensation Case, 200 Pa. Superior Ct. 328, 188 A.2d 858 (1963), the court concluded that a claimant who had worked as a burler removing loose threads or material from cashmere could not refuse employment removing burrs from cotton, rayon, and nylon tapestry and remain eligible for benefits. The court, ...