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DOROTHY SMITH v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/05/79)

decided: March 5, 1979.

DOROTHY SMITH, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Dorothy Smith, No. B-150111.

COUNSEL

David L. Hill, for petitioner.

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

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

Author: Wilkinson

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 58]

This is an appeal from an affirmance by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review of a referee's decision denying benefits on a finding of voluntary termination pursuant to Section 402(b)(1) 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).*fn1 We affirm.

Claimant's last day of work for employer, a social service agency, was October 13, 1976, after approximately five years of service. Claimant last worked as an intake interviewer-receptionist, duties of which included screening and processing prospective clients. Certain events in mid-September 1976, not relevant to our decision, led to an investigation by and the eventual recommendation of the agency's deputy director that claimant be discharged for willful refusal to serve a client.

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 59]

Claimant first learned of her superior's actions on October 12, 1976 in a conversation concerning the incident. Claimant was apprised of the deputy director's findings and his proposed recommendation and was urged by him to resign. Given a day to consider her situation, claimant returned the following day and resigned.

It is now argued by claimant that she did not voluntarily terminate the employment relationship; under the circumstances she had no real option and was, in reality, forced to submit her resignation rather than wait for the inevitable firing.*fn2 In this regard the referee made the following critical findings:

3. Claimant was advised the Deputy Director was submitting a recommendation for her dismissal which would be reviewed by the Deputy Director*fn3 for his decision.

4. The claimant was given the option to resign, however, employment was available for her since the recommendation of the Deputy Director was not the ...


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