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JOHN G. LAWLOR v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/31/78)

decided: August 31, 1978.

JOHN G. LAWLOR, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT; DISCIPLINARY BOARD OF THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA, INTERVENING RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of John G. Lawlor, No. B-140785.

COUNSEL

Jay L. Fingeret, for petitioner.

Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

John W. Herron, for intervenor.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 381]

John Gary Lawlor, Appellant, appeals a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a decision of the referee finding

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 382]

    him ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits under Section 402 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 802(b)(1), which states, in relevant part:

An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week --

(b)(1) In which his unemployment is due to voluntarily leaving work without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. . . .

Appellant had been employed as an Assistant Disciplinary Counsel for The Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for 18 months. On July 12, 1976, he submitted a letter of resignation, citing an "irreconcilable personality conflict" between him and his immediate supervisor, Edward A. Burkhardt (Burkhardt). He said that his relationship with Burkhardt became "intolerable" because the latter constantly made demeaning comments and "embarked on a campaign to undermine his confidence." The tension caused by this situation allegedly became so intense as to adversely affect Appellant's health. He testified that although he enjoyed his work, he had no alternative but to resign, and would leave as soon as he located another suitable position. The Chief Disciplinary Counsel, Allen B. Zerfoss (Zerfoss) expressed regret at Appellant's pending departure, and offered his assistance in locating other work. In fact, he wrote at least one letter of recommendation on Appellant's behalf.

During the week of July 5, 1976, an alleged physical confrontation between Appellant and Burkhardt took place wherein Appellant claims that Burkhardt took a swing at him. This incident called Zerfoss away from his home office to the Pittsburgh ...


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