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LINDA SCHWARTZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/30/79)

decided: March 30, 1979.

LINDA SCHWARTZ, 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 Linda Schwartz, No. B-151395.

COUNSEL

Katharina F. Bryant, with her David Kraut, for petitioner.

Reese F. Couch, Assistant Attorney General, with him Susan Shinkman, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, Blatt and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 452]

The appellant, Linda Schwartz, appeals here from the denial of unemployment compensation benefits, the denial having been based on finding that she had voluntarily quit her employment without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature.

The appellant had been employed as a medical technician for three years by the Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Center (employer). She and her supervisor evidently experienced a personality conflict, and, although

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 453]

    the appellant requested to be transferred, there was no other work available. The unpleasant working conditions, she says, adversely, affected her health to such an extent that she began to take tranquilizers, and states that she advised the management several times that the working conditions were psychologically unbearable for her. After exploring the alternative of seeking work elsewhere, no transfer having been offered, she decided that her employment situation had brought her to the brink of a nervous breakdown and she then voluntarily quit. The Bureau of Employment Security denied unemployment benefits pursuant to Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn1 (Act), and this ruling was affirmed on appeal by the referee and the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. This appeal followed.

The issue here is whether or not the appellant had cause of a necessitous and a compelling nature which would justify the termination of her employment and establish eligibility for benefits. In cases of this kind, of course, the party alleging that the termination is based on "necessitous and compelling reasons" bears the burden of proof. Taylor v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 474 Pa. 351, 378 A.2d 829 (1977).

Our Supreme Court has recently reviewed the relevant law on this issue in Deiss v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 475 Pa. 547, 381 A.2d 132 (1977), where the Court cites with approval the definition of "cause of a necessitous and compelling nature" as previously laid down by our Superior Court in Sturdevant Unemployment Case, 158 Pa. Superior Ct. 548, 556, 45 A.2d 898, 903 (1946).

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 454]

[T]hey connote, as minimum requirements, real circumstances, substantial reasons, objective conditions, palpable forces that operate to produce correlative results, adequate excuses that will bear the test of reason, just ...


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