Michael A. Donadee, Edward Van Stevenson, Jr., and Richard E. Gordon, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Sydney Reuben, Charles G. Hasson, Asst. Attys. Gen., Harrisburg, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Packel, JJ.
This appeal arises from an order of the Commonwealth Court, affirming the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, which affirmed the action of the referee in denying benefits to appellant, Walter E. Deiss.
Appellant was employed by the Canada Dry Corporation until he was laid off on December 5, 1974. On January 6, 1975, petitioner accepted a job with the Gordon Service Terminal Company (Gordon). His job was to remove molded plastic bottles from a production line and place them into shipping boxes. On January 10, 1975, appellant terminated his employment. It was appellant's contention that he left his employment for a "cause of necessitous and compelling nature" and thus remained eligible for benefits under § 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, 43 P.S. § 802(b)(1). According to appellant, he had no choice but to
terminate his employment with Gordon because of the anxiety and emotional stress which were caused by the pressures of working on a production line.
When appellant first appealed to the referee, he did not have an attorney. However, by the time of the hearing before the board, he had secured an attorney from Neighborhood Legal Services, who petitioned for a remand for a second hearing before a referee. At the second hearing, appellant presented the testimony of Edward Wimberly, a psychotherapist for the Northern Communities Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center (the "McClure Center"), the community mental health program in appellant's neighborhood. According to the witness, appellant had been a patient at the McClure Center for over a year at the time he left the employ of Gordon. According to Wimberly, appellant had a longterm psychiatric problem which he called "a character disorder." The witness said that appellant was "an awfully sincere and capable person, he is very meticulous . . . he cares very much for people and for himself. He is a perfectionist in ways of things that he does, he wants everything to be just so, not only the things he does but his life, his relationship with people, his parents. Often he is a very hard taskmaster about that."
Wimberly further testified that he was familiar with reports of the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation*fn1 which indicated that appellant would not be suited for work which required either fine motor co-ordination or close social interaction. When asked how Wimberly would expect appellant to perform in a job which required fine motor co-ordination, the witness replied:
"I think that it would frustrate him very much and that very likely he would -- his anxiety level would go up and probably we'd have to up the dosage of valium that he's on right now, to deal with the anxiety. He could become very anxious to the point of ...