Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Velma Richards, No. B-139427.
William C. Knapp, for petitioner.
Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers, Blatt, DiSalle and Craig. Judges Mencer and MacPhail did not participate. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Rogers. Judges Crumlish, Jr. and DiSalle join in this dissent.
[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 426]
The appellant, Velma Richards, appeals from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review which affirmed a referee's determination that she was ineligible for compensation benefits under Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn1 (Act) because she had voluntarily terminated
[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 427]
her employment without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature.
The appellant had been employed as a school bus driver for the Quaker Valley School District near Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and her husband had a full-time job as a farm hand. His compensation included the use of a house in Sewickley, but his services were involuntarily terminated in January 1976 and they were required to vacate the house provided by his employer. The appellant and her husband then resettled in a home, which was located in Large, Pennsylvania, approximately 45 miles from Sewickley, the use of which was given to them by a relative. Because of the distance of her new home from the Sewickley area, the appellant voluntarily terminated her employment with the School District, and she subsequently obtained another job as a school-bus driver in the Large area. She was laid off there, however, after only five days because of lack of work, when she then applied for unemployment compensation benefits. She had not yet earned six times her weekly benefit rate while employed by the second employer, so her eligibility for benefits was required to be determined on the basis of her separation from her prior position. See Section 4a(f) of the Act, 43 P.S. § 401(f). The referee and the Board both found that she had terminated her employment because the distance was too great for her to commute to her place of employment from her new home in the Large, Pennsylvania area and held that she had not established a cause of necessitous and compelling nature for leaving pursuant to Section 402(b)(2)(I) of the Act,*fn2 which provides as follows:
[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 428]
An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week --
In which his or her unemployment is due to leaving work (I) to accompany or to join his or her ...