Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Josephine Tanase, No. B-139978.
Joseph D. Messina, for petitioner.
Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, with him, Bernadette A. Duncan, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.
[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 582]
This case comes before us on appeal following the denial of unemployment compensation benefits to the petitioner. Both the referee and the Bureau of Employment
[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 583]
Security denied benefits to the petitioner on the grounds that she was not able and available for work, and that she had refused to accept a referral for suitable work. Sections 401(d) and 402(a) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. §§ 801(d), 802(a). The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review then disallowed claimant's appeal. We affirm the denial of benefits.
Petitioner was employed as a sewing machine operator by Cay Artley, Inc., for a period of twenty-two years and three months. Her last day of work was September 19, 1975, when she became unemployed due to the permanent closing of her employer's plant. Petitioner then applied for unemployment compensation benefits, which she received until the week ending October 2, 1976, a period of in excess of 12 months. Her benefits were terminated at that time because she refused to accept a referral for a position as a sewing machine operator at a plant located some thirteen miles from her home.
Petitioner has presented two basic reasons for refusing the referral. First, she testified that, although she has a valid driver's license and an automobile, she does not like to drive. She testified that she had never driven when there was snow or ice on the roads, and further that she would not drive under those circumstances because her brother had been killed in an auto accident while driving under similar conditions. Second, petitioner testified that she would prefer to work in her hometown of Johnstown so that she could be near her eighty-year-old mother in case of an emergency.
With respect to petitioner's availability for work under the provisions of Section 401(d) of the Law, 43 P.S. § 801(d), the issue which arises is whether, by refusing
[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 584]
to work outside of Johnstown,*fn1 petitioner "has conclusively and effectively removed [herself] from the labor market." Goodwin v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 32 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 285, 288, 378 A.2d 1308, 1310 (1977). ...