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JOSEPH R. CATERINA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/23/79)

decided: May 23, 1979.

JOSEPH R. CATERINA, 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 Joseph R. Caterina. No. B-140890-B.

COUNSEL

Joseph R. Caterina, petitioner, for himself.

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

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

Author: Crumlish

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 20]

Joseph R. Caterina here appeals a determination by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (UCBR) which denied him benefits under Section 402(b)(1) of the Act.*fn1

At issue is whether his reason for refusing an offer of continuing employment rises to the level of a cause of a compelling and necessitous nature which in our law would render him eligible for compensation.

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 21]

We affirm UCBR.

Caterina had been employed approximately two and one-half years by the United States Army Corps of Engineers when he received notification that, due to a substantial decrease in work load, his job was being abolished effective July 23, 1976. In lieu of separation, he accepted a position with the Corps' River Basin Planning Section. However, on June 15, 1976, the Corps advised him that a revision of its plan for a reduction in force necessitated his being offered another civil engineering position with the Coastal and Special Studies section in lieu of the prior offer. Caterina refused the assignment, thus effectively terminating his employment on July 23, 1976.

On appeal, Caterina contends that he was bound by conscience and by law to decline the second offer because he lacked training and expertise in that particular area of engineering. He refers to his code of ethics as a professional registered engineer, which provides in pertinent part:

It shall be considered unprofessional and inconsistent with honorable and dignified bearing for any ...


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